As we previously reported here and here, New York State significantly amended its antidiscrimination laws, with many of the changes effective as of October 11, 2019. The state issued updated FAQ guidance regarding these new requirements on October 29, 2019. While the guidance leaves unanswered many questions about the amended law, it provides valuable information regarding the new requirements. Below are highlights from the amended guidance.
The state’s updated guidance recommends that “at the time of hiring” means that employers should provide “this notice prior to or at the beginning of their first day of work.”
The guidance further clarifies that the “notice must be delivered in writing, which includes in print or digitally (for example, via email). The notice must link to or include, as an attachment or printed copy, the policy and training materials.” The training materials “include any printed materials, scripts, Q+As, outlines, handouts, PowerPoint slides, etc.” If employers are using training providers, the employer and training provider “should make reasonable efforts to provide [employees with] the information, including providing print-outs or links to training materials, scripts or PowerPoint slides, etc.”
The updated guidance also states that training materials must include the employer’s anti-harassment policy. According to the updated guidance, “[t]his may be done in print or electronically (for example via email). If a copy is made available on a work computer, workers must be able to print a copy for their own records.”
As expected, the state’s guidance clarifies that employers must follow the same steps (previously outlined here for sexual harassment claims) for claims involving discrimination. Specifically, for such a nondisclosure agreement to be effective, the guidance provides the parties must enter into two separate agreements: (1) a first agreement that “memorializes the preference of the person who complained” in compliance with the 21-day waiting and 7-day rescission periods; and (2) a second agreement that contains the nondisclosure provision and any other terms and conditions of the parties’ agreement.
The amended guidance further explains that these requirements apply to sexual harassment claims as of July 11, 2018, and discrimination claims as of October 11, 2019.