State Updates Sexual Harassment Materials and Compliance Guidance

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The state has released updated sexual harassment materials and compliance guidance for a law enacted this past April that mandates sexual harassment training for all employees. The updated guidance resets the completion date for this training to Oct. 9, 2019, from Jan. 1, 2019.

The law:

  • Prohibits employers from using a mandatory arbitration provision in an employment contract in relation to sexual harassment;
  • Requires officers and employees of the state or of any public entity to reimburse the state for any state or public payment made upon a judgment of intentional wrongdoing related to sexual harassment;
  • Ensures that nondisclosure agreements can only be used when the condition of confidentiality is the explicit preference of the victim; and
  • Amends the Human Rights Law to protect contractors, subcontractors, vendors, consultants or others providing services in the workplace from sexual harassment in the workplace.
  • Establishes minimum standards for sexual harassment prevention policies and training.  All employers operating in New York State are required to either adopt and use the State’s model policy and training as-is, or to use the models as a basis to establish their own policy and training. All employees working in New York State must receive sexual harassment training by or before Oct. 9, 2019.