New York City Enacts Sexual Harassment Prevention Requirements

by Fox Rothschild LLP
Contact

Fox Rothschild LLP

On April 11, 2018, the New York City Council enacted a package of legislation referred to as the “Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act,” described by the City Council as critical to creating safe workplaces in New York City. The law mandates sexual harassment prevention programs for all New York City employers and is awaiting Mayor Bill de Blasio’s signature, which is expected to occur within the next few days.
 

The Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act passed one day after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the Budget Bill, which contains a new state law (detailed in our April 5, 2018 article) requiring employers to conduct annual anti-sexual harassment training. New York City employers must comply with both state and city training requirements.

The chart below compares the training requirements under state and city laws.

The Act expands the scope and period for bringing sexual harassment claims under the New York City Human Rights Law and places notice and prevention requirements on employers.

Laws Affecting New York City Employers

Whereas the NYCHRL generally covers employers with four (4) or more employees, all New York City employers, regardless of the number of individuals they employ, will be subject to the NYCHRL with respect to only sexual harassment. Thus, for sexual harassment claims only, the law expands the definition of “employer” to include all New York City businesses and entities that employ at least one individual within New York City.

The Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act also expands the statute of limitations period for sexual harassment claims. Under the NYCHRL, aggrieved individuals have one year from the alleged discriminatory practice to file a complaint with the New York City Commission on Human Rights and three (3) years from the alleged incident to file a claim in court. Effective immediately, the new law allows individuals up to three (3) years to file sexual harassment claims with either the City Commission or in court; the statute of limitations period for all other discrimination or harassment claims remains unchanged.

In addition, within 120-days after the Mayor signs the Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act into law, the City Commission must create anti-sexual harassment posters in both English and Spanish. New York City employers will be required to post both the English and Spanish versions of the posters with other workplace postings.

Finally, as of April 1, 2019, all private employers with fifteen (15) or more employees in New York City will be required to conduct annual anti-sexual harassment interactive training. The City Commission is charged with creating interactive training programs. Employers can use the model training programs created by the City Commission to satisfy the training requirements set forth in the Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act, or they can implement their own policies and training programs provided that such policies and programs equal or exceed the minimum standards set by City Commission. A chart below details the training requirements of the City’s Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act and the New York State training requirements that were enacted as part of the recent budget bill:

New York Anti-Sexual Harassment Training Requirements

  State Human Rights Law Requirements City Human Rights Law Requirements
Timing/Frequency Beginning Oct. 7, 2018, annual training required; no mention of timing for new employees. Beginning April 1, 2019, annual training required; new hires must be trained within ninety (90) of their hire date, unless the employee received training within the same annual cycle from a prior employer.
Record-keeping No record-keeping requirement Signed employee anti-sexual harassment training acknowledgement forms must be kept for three (3) years.
Type of Training Interactive training, but no definition of interactive provided. Interactive training; defined as trainer-trainee interaction, use of audio-visuals, computer or online training program or other participatory forms of training (live/in-person not required).
Training Requirements (1) An explanation of sexual harassment consistent with guidance issued by the department in consultation with the New York State Division of Human Rights. (1) An explanation of sexual harassment as a form of unlawful discrimination under New York City Human Rights Law.
  (2) Information concerning the federal and state statutory provisions concerning sexual harassment and remedies available to victims of sexual harassment. (2) A statement that sexual harassment is also a form of unlawful discrimination under state and federal law.
  (3) Examples of conduct that would constitute unlawful sexual harassment. (3) A description of what sexual harassment is, using examples.
  (4) Information concerning employees’ rights of redress and all available forums for adjudicating complaints. (4) Any internal complaint process available to employees through their employer to address sexual harassment claims.
  (5) See nos. 2 and 4 above, similar requirement to inform of remedies under the law. (5) The complaint process available through the commission, the New York State Division of Human Rights and the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, including contact information.
  (6) State law requires employers to maintain a sexual harassment prevention policy that clearly states retaliation is prohibited; but there is no specific training requirement on this issue. (6) The prohibition of retaliation, pursuant to subdivision 7 of section 8-107, and examples of protected activity under the law (e.g. opposing discrimination, filing a complaint, testifying on behalf of someone complaining about discrimination, and assisting in an investigation).
  (7) No requirement to address bystander intervention, a sexual harassment prevention technique where a third person interrupts a potentially harmful situation or conversation. (7) Information concerning bystander intervention, including but not limited to any resources that explain how to engage in bystander intervention.
  (8) Information addressing conduct by supervisors and any additional responsibilities of such supervisors. (8) The specific responsibilities of supervisory and managerial employees in the prevention of sexual harassment and retaliation, and measures that such employees may take to appropriately address sexual harassment complaints.


Further, all employees, both part-time and full-time employees, who work more than 80 hours in a calendar year, will be required to receive training 90 days after being hired. For at least three (3) years, employers are required to keep records of the training they conduct including signed employee acknowledgments of such training.

In light of the Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act, as with the budget bill, New York City employers should be prepared to implement sexual harassment prevention training programs and should periodically consult the City Commission’s website to learn about model training programs they can use as well as the posters that they will need to post in the workplace.

Employers that already have anti-harassment training programs should review their training programs to ensure they comply with the new requirements discussed above and that they meet the minimum standards established by the City Commission.

[View source.]

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Fox Rothschild LLP | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Fox Rothschild LLP
Contact
more
less

Fox Rothschild LLP on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):
hide

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.

Security

JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at info@jdsupra.com. In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at: info@jdsupra.com.

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.