On October 1, 2018, New York State released final documents and resources in connection with its new sexual harassment prevention requirements. Along with the updated guidelines, the deadline to provide a first round of sexual harassment prevention training has been extended from January 1, 2019 to October 9, 2019.

Despite that New York State has extended the deadline for providing sexual harassment prevention training, New York City employers must continue to satisfy the requirements of the Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act, which as previously reported, requires all employers with 15 or more employees to conduct sexual harassment prevention training beginning on April 1, 2019.

New York State’s final guidance clarifies several points outlined below.

  • Sexual Harassment Policy (Distributed by October 9, 2018)
    • Must be provided to employees in writing or electronically with the ability for employees to print a copy from a work computer for their records.
    • Requirement does not extend to third-party vendors, nonemployees, contractors, subcontractors, or consultants.
    • Employers can provide their own policies that are similar to the model.
  • Sexual Harassment Prevention Training (Completed by October 9, 2019)
    • Required for all current employees.
    • Employees must be trained on an annual basis.
    • Newly hired employees must be trained as soon as possible. If the new employee can verify completion of training within the last year through a previous employer, he or she does not need to be retrained until the year is complete.
    • Only applies to employees who work or will work in New York State, for even a portion of their time. Does not apply to employees who work in other states.
  • Record keeping – Employers are not required to keep records of compliance with the law. However, it is a best practice for employers to maintain such records, particularly in the event of a future complaint or lawsuit.
  • Languages – The state will provide model materials in various languages. If materials are not available in the employee’s primary language, materials in English can be provided. However, employers should make every effort to provide a policy and training in the language spoken by the employee.

In response to comments from the public, New York State has revised the models and policies that it previously issued.

Below are the updated resources:

For questions on complying with the new requirements, including to what extent non-New York based employers with employees in New York are required to comply with these changes, please contact us.

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Photo of Salvatore G. Gangemi Salvatore G. Gangemi

Salvatore G. Gangemi is a Partner in the Litigation Department of Murtha Cullina and a member of the Labor and Employment Practice Group. He advises clients with respect to state, federal and local employment laws. In addition, he litigates matters involving misappropriation of trade secrets, restrictive covenants, breach of employment contract, fiduciary duty, and other work-related common law claims. Sal also counsels clients on day-to-day issues involving workplace management and administration, including requests for reasonable accommodation for disabilities, for family and medical leave, and wage and hour issues.  He conducts employment law training on a variety of topics, including sexual harassment prevention and wage/ hour compliance.  He also drafts employment policies and agreements, and assists clients in auditing worker classification practices and policies both in the context of the Fair Labor Standards Act and state laws governing independent contractor determinations.

Photo of Madiha M. Malik Madiha M. Malik

Madiha Malik is an Associate in the firm’s Litigation Department.  She represents a wide range of clients on issues related to labor and employment law.

Madiha has represented clients including health care facilities, independent schools, and various public and private employers. She has experience defending clients against claims of employment discrimination, harassment, retaliation, reasonable accommodation, family and medical leave issues, and wage and hour violations, under state and federal laws.  Madiha represents clients before federal and state courts and administrative bodies including the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities and U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.  In addition, Madiha regularly provides training seminars for a wide variety of clients on topics including harassment prevention in the workplace and workplace investigations.

Madiha earned her B.A. from the George Washington University where she received degrees in Journalism and International Affairs.  Before attending law school, Madiha worked for a financial services law firm in Washington, D.C.  Madiha earned her J.D. from the University of Connecticut School of Law.  During law school, Madiha served as a Law Clerk at the U.S. Department of Justice Federal Tort Claims Act Section and held an externship at the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut in the Civil Division.

Madiha was an Editor for the Connecticut Law Review and authored a published Note titled, “The Legal Void of Unpaid Internships: Navigating the Legality of Internships in the Face of Conflicting Tests Interpreting the FLSA.”

Madiha serves on the Executive Committee for the Connecticut Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Section.  Madiha is passionate about community service and serves as a Youth Mentor for the Klingberg Family Centers and a Law Student Mentor for the Lawyer’s Collaborative for Diversity.