New York Sexual Harassment

If you have been following New York political news in recent days, you are certainly aware that sexual harassment is a hot topic.  New York employers should be familiar with both the necessity of having a Sexual Harassment Policy, and the requirement to do annual Sexual Harassment Training.

Sexual Harassment Policy

Every employer in New York State is required to adopt a sexual harassment prevention policy. An employer that does not adopt the model policy must make sure that the policy that they use meets or exceeds the below minimum standards. 

The sexual harassment policy must: 

  • prohibit sexual harassment consistent with guidance issued by the Department of Labor  
  • provide examples of prohibited conduct that would constitute unlawful sexual harassment 
  • include information concerning the federal and state statutory provisions regarding sexual harassment, remedies available to victims of sexual harassment, and a statement that there may be applicable local laws 
  • include a complaint form 
  • include a procedure for the timely and confidential investigation of complaints that ensures due process for all parties
  • inform employees of their rights and the available forums for adjudicating sexual harassment complaints administratively and judicially 
  • clearly state that sexual harassment is considered a form of employee misconduct  
  • clearly state that sanctions will be enforced against individuals engaging in sexual harassment and against supervisory/managerial personnel who knowingly allow such behavior to continue 
  • clearly state that retaliation against individuals who complain of sexual harassment or who testify or assist in any investigation or proceeding involving sexual harassment is unlawful

Sexual Harassment Training 

Every employer in New York State is required to provide employees with sexual harassment prevention training. An employer that does not use the model training developed by the Department of Labor must ensure that the training that they use meets or exceeds the below minimum standards.  

The training must: 

  • be interactive 
  • include an explanation of sexual harassment consistent with guidance issued by the Department of Labor  
  • include examples of conduct that would constitute unlawful sexual harassment 
  • include information concerning the federal and state statutory provisions regarding sexual harassment and remedies available to sexual harassment victims 
  • include information concerning employees’ rights of redress and all available forums for adjudicating complaints 
  • include information addressing conduct by supervisors and any additional responsibilities for such supervisors 
  • be given to each employee on an annual basis.

Should you or your Human Resources Department have any questions about your policy or training, kindly contact Wolfson and Klein-Wolfson, PLLC at 516 415-2785.  

Wolfson and Klein-Wolfson, PLLC. is a Syosset (Long Island) based law firm with experienced employment law attorneys that can help you understand your rights when dealing with discrimination, and advise you of legal options for filing a complaint or lawsuit.  Kindly contact us for a free consultation to discuss your specific circumstances.   

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