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New Sexual Harassment Regulations

New York State Law

a. Extends Protections to Non-Employees

  • The law adds Section 296-D to the New York State Executive Law. Section 296-D imposes liability upon employers for sex-based harassment experienced by non-employees, such as contractors, vendors, or consultants.

b. Prohibits mandatory arbitration clauses for allegations or claims of sexual harassment. The law also declares existing contract provisions that mandate arbitration of sexual harassment claims null and void.

c. Prohibits non-disclosure agreements in any settlement of a sexual harassment claim unless the claimant requests confidentiality.

d. Mandatory Sexual Harassment Prevention Policy and Training Program -- Effective October 9, 2018

  • Every employer in the State must adopt or establish a sexual harassment prevention policy and training program by October 9, 2018. Employers are required to provide all employees with a written copy of the policy and training on an annual basis.

  • All employees should complete sexual harassment prevention training before October 9, 2019.

  • All new employees should complete sexual harassment prevention training within 30 calendar days of their start date.

  • Employers should provide employees with training in the language that is spoken by their employees.

e. Requires bidder of State contracts to certify that they have a sexual harassment prevention policy and training in place.

Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act

a. Extends the Statute of Limitations for claims of gender-based harassment from 1 to 3 years after the harassing conduct

b. Increased coverage. The law now covers all employers in New York City. Previously only employers with 4 or more employees were covered.

c. Mandatory Sexual Harassment Poster and Information Sheet

  • The Act requires employers to display conspicuously an anti-sexual harassment rights and responsibilities poster in employee break rooms or other common areas. Employers will also be required to distribute a sexual harassment information sheet to new employees at the time of hire. The poster and information sheets are attached for your use.

d. Mandatory Anti-Sexual Harassment Training -- Effective April 1, 2019

  • The Act requires employers with 15 or more employees to conduct annual, interactive anti-sexual harassment training for all employees employed in New York City, including supervisory and managerial employees. The New York City Commission on Human Rights will be creating and posting on its website an online, interactive training module, for employers to use.

For more information regarding other employer’s liability or to request a free consultation, click here.


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