How to Comply with the New Sexual Harassment Laws.

Author:Demaria, Alfred T.
Position:[HR UPDATE]

* Both New York State and New York City, in response to the #MeToo movement, have passed a series of complicated laws which have made it difficult for insurance industry executives to follow. Neighboring states have, or will soon have, similar laws. This article addresses what needs to be done to comply with BOTH New York State and New York City laws. Here is an outline that will make it easier to comply.

WHO?

All employees must be trained. (If an employer is located in New York City and has fifteen or more employees, there are some additional requirements in terms of what must be covered. See "WHAT" below.)

WHAT?

The training must meet the following minimum standards:

* Include an explanation of sexual harassment consistent with applicable state and local law and guidance;

* Include examples of conduct that would constitute unlawful sexual harassment;

* Include information concerning the federal and state statutory provisions concerning sexual harassment and remedies available to victims of sexual harassment;

* Include information concerning employees' rights of redress (i.e., the employer's internal complaint process) and all available forums for adjudicating complaints (i.e., the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the New York State Division of Human Rights and the New York City Commission on Human Rights), including contact information; and,

* Include information addressing the specific responsibilities of supervisory and managerial employees in the prevention of sexual harassment and retaliation (as well as their own conduct), and measures that such employees may take to appropriately address sexual harassment complaints.

In addition, for New York City employers with fifteen or more employees, the training must include:

* An explanation of sexual harassment as a form of unlawful discrimination under local law;

* A statement that sexual harassment is also a form of unlawful discrimination under state and federal law;

* The prohibition of retaliation including examples; and,

* Information concerning bystander intervention, including but not limited to, any resources that explain how to engage in bystander intervention.

* As a best practice, employers should consider meeting the additional New York City standards even if the standards do not apply to their business.

WHEN?

The state training must be conducted by October 9, 2019. The city training must be conducted by March 31...

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