Last week, we addressed the looming sexual harassment notice and training requirements affecting all New York State and New York City employers. We also wrote about the pending issuance of public resources containing model policies and other materials that would comply with the New York State mandates. The day after we posted our blog, New York State published a website – Combating Sexual Harassment in the Workplace, which provides resources to employers and employees on sexual harassment. Among other things, the new site contains:
- A model Statewide Sexual Harassment Prevention Policy, which employers are free to adopt;
- Minimum Standards For Sexual Harassment Prevention Policies for employers that intend to draft their own comprehensive sexual harassment policies;
- A model Complaint Form for Reporting Sexual Harassment;
- A model Sexual Harassment Prevention Training guide; and
- Minimum Standards for Sexual Harassment Prevention Training, for employers that wish to develop their own training.
The public is invited to comment on these materials by no later than September 12, 2018. Consequently, these documents may be subject to revision prior to the October 9, 2018 deadline for the implementation of compliant sexual harassment policies.
New York State’s proposed models and guidance define what is and is not sexual harassment, but an employer may want to prepare its own policies and training that not only take into account legal requirements, but also promote civility in the workplace by discouraging behavior that is contrary to its culture, regardless of whether the behavior or conduct also rises to the level of unlawful harassment.
As always, we will keep you updated on developments. In the meantime, please contact us if you have any questions on this or any other matter.