NYC and NYS Harassment Prevention Law FAQ

March 15, 2019
March 15, 2019 Associated HCM

NYC and NYS Harassment Prevention Law FAQ


When does training need to be completed for New York State and New York City employers?

NYS: employers with one or more employees must complete training by October 9, 2019 and complete compliant training annually thereafter. Training for new hires must be completed as soon as possible.

NYC: Effective April 2019, employers with 15 or more employees have one year to implement the training for all employees and must ensure all employees are trained annually thereafter.

In order to determine whether an employer has at least 15 employees, the employer must look back at the number of employees it employed at any point within the prior calendar year. If the employer determines it has or had at least 15 employees at any point during that time, it will be subject to the annual sexual harassment training requirements. The guidance does not specify if this count is limited to New York City employees.

Who needs to be trained?

    1. All employees regardless of immigration status, full-time and part-time employees, seasonal employees and temporary employees must receive training.
    2. Employees who work a portion of their time in New York State, even if they’re based in another state.
    3. NYC: All employees, including short-term or part-time employees, as well as independent contractors, are subject to the training requirements if they:
      1. Work more than 80 hours in a calendar year and
      2. Work for at least 90 days

What are the requirements for training?

NYS final guidance states that training may be in-person or online, so long as it is “interactive.” Interactivity requires employee participation. Training offered must meet minimum standards as outlined by the state and the city. The learning management system (LMS) we offer to deliver training exceeds the standards outlined by NYS and NYC.

Are employers in NYC and NYS required to provide the policy and training in languages other than English?

Employers should provide employees with training in the language spoken by their employees. When a template training is not available from the State (or other source) in an employee’s primary language, the employer may provide that employee an English-language version. However, employers may be held liable for the conduct of all of their employees, employers are strongly encouraged to provide a policy and training in the language spoken by the employee. Our LMS solution offers training in English and in Spanish and closed captioning.

What is the record keeping requirement?

NYS: Employers are encouraged (not required) to keep a signed acknowledgement and to keep a copy of training records. These records may be helpful in addressing any future complaints or lawsuits.

NYC: Employers must keep a record of all trainings, including a signed employee policy acknowledgement. These may be kept electronically.

The LMS will keep records of employee training that should be downloaded and saved to the employers training files.

What are the posting requirements?

NYS: The state offers a poster, which is an optional tool, as one way to direct both employees and non-employees to the Sexual Harassment Prevention Policy and should be displayed in a highly visible place.

NYC: Effective September 8, 2018 all employers in the city are required to conspicuously display anti-sexual harassment rights and responsibilities notices in both English and Spanish and distribute a factsheet (English, Spanish) to individual employees at the time of hire which may be included in an employee handbook.

The posters should be located in breakrooms or other common areas accessible to all employees. Virtual postings, such as on electronic bulletin boards, are permitted only in lieu of physical postings if a convenient physical location is not available or if electronic posting is the most effective method of reaching employees.

What are the policy requirements?

Every employer in NYS was required to adopt a sexual harassment prevention policy and complaint form by October 9, 2018. The policy must meet or exceed the minimum standards outlined by the state. Click here for a model policy provided by New York State. Employers must provide employees with their policy in writing or electronically. If a copy is made available on a work computer, workers must be able to print a copy for their own records.

What is the complaint form the State has required?

NYS Law requires all employers to adopt a sexual harassment policy that includes a complaint form for employees to report alleged incidents of sexual harassment.

Does the complaint form need to be included, in full, in the policy?

No. Employers should, however, be clear about where the form may be found, for example, on a company’s internal website.



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