The New York City Council has passed the Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act (the “Act”) on May 9, 2018. This included a package of bills aimed at addressing and preventing sexual harassment in the workplace.
Sexual Harassment Training
- Effective April 1, 2019, private employers with more than 15 employees (including interns) must provide annual anti-sexual harassment ‘interactive’ training to all employees who work more than 80 hours per year. This training is required to be completed by all employees, including supervisory and managerial employees.
- First training must be conducted within 90 days of initial hire but employees who received training from a prior employer, within the calendar year, are exempt.
- New York City Commission on Human Rights will post a model training which employers can use, as long as employers include specific information about their internal compliant process for address sexual harassment complaints.
- In addition to requirements under state law, the training must also include information concerning bystander intervention, including any resources explaining how to engage in bystander intervention.
- The enacted bill requires employers to obtain from each employee a signed acknowledgment that he or she attended the training, which may be electronic, and must be maintained for at least 3 years and available for inspection by the NYCCHR.
Sexual Harassment Poster/Information Sheet
- Effective September 6, 2018 every employer must conspicuously display (in breakrooms or other common areas employees gather) an anti-sexual harassment rights and responsibilities poster designed by the New York City Commission on Human Rights.
- Employers must post both an English and Spanish version of the poster and should consider additional languages based on the employee population.
- A Spanish version of the Sexual Harassment Poster must be posted even if no employees speak the Spanish language.
- Employers must also distribute, to all new employees, an information sheet (i.e., notice) addressing the same information as the poster and which may be incorporated in an employee handbook.
- The law also requires the City Commission to post resources about sexual harassment on its website, including an explanation about sexual harassment as a form of unlawful discrimination, specific examples of sexual harassment and retaliation, information on bystander intervention, and information about filing a complaint through the City Commission and other government agencies. If signed, this bill would take effect 90 days after signing.
Additional NYC Changes
- Effective May 9, 2018:
- Statute of limitations for gender-based harassment complaints made to the NYCCHR is increased from 1 year to 3 years.
- Employers with less than 4 employees are now subject to gender-based harassment complaints under the New York City Administrative Code.
- By August 7, 2018, NYCCHR shall post resources on its website about sexual harassment and an interactive tool describing the complain process available through NYCCHR.
- Additional reporting and training requirements for employees of New York City agencies.