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Employers of any size working within New York state boundaries are subject to New York’s sexual harassment laws. This includes both full-time and part-time employees.
All employers in New York State are required to offer their workers sexual harassment prevention training. Employers may access free resources for training at the www.ny.gov website. If an employer uses a model training program that is not created by the Department of Labor or Division of Human Rights, then he or she must ensure that the training used meets or exceeds these minimum requirements.
To comply with the state requirements, the harassment prevention training must:
- Be in an interactive format
- Include explanations of sexual harassment consistent with guidance issued by the Department of Labor
- Include scenario examples exemplifying harassment
- Include a summary of the federal and state statutory provisions concerning harassment and resources available to victims of harassment
- Include a summary of employees’ rights of redress and related resources
- Include information specific to the conduct and responsibilities of employees in supervisory roles
The state also mandates that employees are to receive harassment prevention training annually.
All employees in New York State must be provided with a sexual harassment prevention notice upon hire (either before or at the start of their first day of employment), and they must complete an annual sexual harassment prevention course every year. This notice must include both the employer’s official harassment policy as well as the information that is presented during the harassment prevention training.
Additional details and requirements regarding the New York State harassment prevention training requirements can be found on the state website.
New York City Harassment Training Requirements
In addition to complying with state mandates, all employers within New York City (NYC) limits must comply with a number of additional harassment prevention requirements.
While the state statute applies to businesses of any size, New York City’s ordinance applies to all businesses with 15 or more employees. The requirements also extend to any employer bidding on New York State contracts, even if that employer does not operate within the boundaries of New York State.
All employers within NYC must “conspicuously display” an anti-sexual harassment rights and responsibilities poster in a common area of the business which is highly visible to all employees. City employers must post the harassment rights and responsibilities poster in both English and Spanish. Employers who operate within city limits must also provide their workers with sexual harassment fact sheets when they’re hired.
City regulations require that harassment prevention training must explicitly state that sexual harassment is unlawful under city, state, and federal law. The city requirements also specify that a clear explanation of employees’ rights of redress are laid out, including the specific process to report within the workplace and to file a claim with the New York State Division of Human Rights, the EEOC, and the New York City Commission on Human Rights.
Additionally, NYC policy also requires that harassment prevention training must instruct employees on the practice of bystander intervention. This instruction must include resources explaining how to engage in bystander intervention, in the event they witness harassment in the workplace.
Resources for New York State and New York City Harassment Prevention Training
Both the New York State and New York City provide harassment prevention training resources to help employers meet the relevant training requirements.