NYS DOL Releases Model Sexual Harassment Prevention Training Guidelines
On August 24, the New York State Department of Labor released their promised model guidance for mandatory sexual harassment training. NY employers must have updated sexual harassment policies in place by October 9 of 2018, and must have all employees complete mandatory sexual harassment training by January 1, 2019.
The model program guidelines expand upon and refine initial requirements outlined in the state’s annual budget. The legislation establishes new standards for employer sexual harassment policies, bidding requirements for government contracts, and annual training requirements for all NYS employers. The training requirements extend beyond full and part-time employees into contractors, subcontractors, interns, and other non-employees in the workplace.
NYS Model Sexual Harassment Training Program Guidelines
In short, the DOL’s model training guidelines aim at making programs effective while discouraging employers to approach the requirement as a box to check. Employer instructions state that trainings:
- should be specific to the needs of the organization
- ideally would use industry-specific examples
- must include details on internal processes, to include contact information and specific names(s) and office(s) with which employees alleging sexual harassment should file their complaints
- should be modified to reflect the work of the organization with industry specific examples
- should be delivered consistently across the organization
Employers need to develop a process for ensuring new hires and required non-employees receive their initial training within 30 days of hiring.
Minimum Training Requirements for NYS Sexual Harassment Training
Minimum training requirements outlined in the DOL’s Model Sexual Harassment Prevention Training guidebook didn’t deviate from initial guidance prescribed in April of 2018. Requirements state training must:
- be interactive;
- include an explanation of sexual harassment consistent with guidance issued by the DOL in consultation with the Division of Human Rights;
- include examples of unlawful sexual harassment;
- include information concerning the federal and state statutory provisions concerning sexual harassment and remedies available to victims of sexual harassment;
- include information concerning employee’s rights of redress and all available forums for adjudication complaints; and
- include information addressing conduct by supervisors and additional responsibilities for supervisors
For a printable checklist mapping your steps to complying with the New York's new anti-harassment requirements, download Benetech's free Workplace Harassment Compliance Checklist.