As we previously reported, on October 9, 2018, two landmark New York State laws concerning sexual harassment prevention take effect. These laws require that all Empire State employers:
- Implement a written sexual harassment prevention policy that meets or exceeds the content of a model sexual harassment prevention policy prepared by State regulators, and
- Provide employees with annual sexual harassment prevention training that meets or exceeds the content of a model sexual harassment prevention training module prepared by State regulators
To that end, earlier today, the State published finalized versions of the aforementioned model sexual harassment prevention policy and training module. The finalized policy and training program, along with other pertinent information about the new laws (including a helpful series of FAQ’s), can be accessed here.
It is therefore imperative that every Empire State employer take immediate action to update their employee handbook/manual to reflect the State’s model sexual harassment prevention policy. Employers should also begin scheduling the requisite training for existing employees, and likely begin preparing to include such training in their onboarding protocol for new hires. In light of these developments – and the very short time-frame in which to achieve compliance – please contact your Reed Smith attorney if you have any questions about, or would like to discuss, the changes will need to be made with respect to your employee handbook/manual, how to properly comply with the annual training requirement, as well as any other questions concerning the ever-changing employment law landscape in New York State and City.