Understand New York's new harassment prevention requirements, and how to bring your business into compliance.
New York State and City’s new anti-harassment regulations blanket all employers, regardless of size. If you haven’t thought about how you and your business will comply, read on!
New York State’s regulations went into effect about seven months earlier than those of New York City – as of October 9, 2018 – and are prioritized below. Though State and City regulations differ slightly (and the City’s guidelines are slightly more specific), they are aligned enough to tackle both in one fell swoop.
New York State: Effective October 9, 2018
Issue an anti-harassment policy that complies with the new regulations. This policy should be incorporated into your Employee Handbook, but we recommend that employees receive and sign your stand-alone policy initially to acknowledge that they’ve read, processed, and understood its important contents.
Adopt a complaint form. This form does not need to be included in your anti-harassment policy but should be made available to all employees.
Deliver interactive harassment prevention training to all employees once per year. New hires must be trained “as soon as possible” after their start date. What does that mean? Employers can structure their anti-harassment training around what is PRACTICAL financially and operationally but should also consider what will best prevent harassment within their workforce. For example, incorporating an interactive online training into the onboarding process might most effectively set expectations (check out the upcoming training from our friends at Harri, the Hospitality Alliance, and Fox Rothschild here).
Employers are not required to train vendors and third parties (including contractors) but should do whatever effectively prevents harassment. We recommend that you require contractors undergo training, either through your own training program or their own means.
New York City: Effective April 1, 2019
Collect signed acknowledgements from all participants in harassment prevention training. These acknowledgements must be stored for three years. This is a requirement under New York City, but not New York State.
Conspicuously post the Commission on Human Rights’ anti-harassment notice in both English and Spanish. Click here to access the notice.
Distribute the Commission on Human Rights ‘fact sheet’ to all employees at hire. You should also ensure that current employees receive the fact sheet. Click here for the fact sheet.
The State and City have provided useful resources help employers comply, some of which we have shared below. However, we believe that there is no appropriate ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to policy-writing or training practices. Every culture is different, and adopting a tailored approach is ideal to ensure your anti-harassment initiatives truly stick.
If you’re interested in developing a more customized harassment prevention strategy, tools or trainings, we can help you do so!
Access Empowered's harassment prevention tools and trainings!
Let us know how we can help!
Sarah Diehl, SHRM-CP