On April 12, 2018 New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law several bills that were included in the 2018-2019 New York State budget. The bills address workplace sexual harassment. Some of the major areas the new laws addressed are:
- Requiring all employers to implement and issue a written sexual harassment prevention policy to all employees;
- Extending the New York Human Rights Law against sexual harassment to include “nonemployee” service providers (vendors, consultants, contractors, subcontractors, and others) who provide a service in conjunction with a contract;
- Prohibiting nondisclosure statements in a sexual harassment settlement or agreement, unless the complainant wants to include the clause;
- Disallowing arbitration clauses for sexual harassment claims in the workplace;
- Requiring state contractors who bid on contracts that require competitive bidding to certify that they have a sexual harassment policy and provide annual employee training for sexual harassment; and
- Requiring public sector employees who are found liable for a claim of sexual harassment to reimburse the public for his or her proportionate share of the total award paid by any state or public entity.
The new law requires New York employers to adopt and distribute a sexual harassment policy and training program. The new requirements take effect October 9, 2018. The law also requires the New York State Department of Labor (DOL) and the New York State Division of Human Rights (DHR) to develop a model policy and training program for employers.
Employers can read the new laws in their entirety (Part KK of S7507-C) by clicking here.
HR Works Virtual HR Helpline clients will receive the required sexual harassment prevention policy and the required components of the sexual harassment training program prior to the October 9, 2018 effective date. Helpline clients should contact the helpline at (585)381-3840 x 1 or firstname.lastname@example.org if they have any questions.
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