Differences Between The New York State And New York City Sexual Harassment Mandates

In an effort to end unacceptable behavior in the workplace, New York State and New York City are enforcing new interactive compliance training requirements for employers. However, the state and city have some fundamental similarities and differences. Plus, as sweeping changes are made across the country in response to the #MeToo movement, employers question what specific requirements need to be met in order to meet the new sexual harassment mandates.

The Similarities In The NYS And NYC Mandates

To start, let’s consider the similarities of New York State and New York City’s mandates. A common thread among both laws is a requirement to provide an interactive training. NYC considers “interactive training” to include audio-visuals, case studies, and quizzes.

Likewise, the overall goal of both the New York State and New York City sexual harassment mandates are also the same: to stop harassment in the workplace.

NYS Specific Requirements

The New York State mandates goes into effect on October 9, 2018. By October 9, 2019, all current employees, regardless of your business’s size, must receive annual sexual harassment training. All employees hired in 2019 will have 30 calendar days from their start date to complete the interactive modules.

Any new employee that has previously received training at another job in New York may not need to repeat the course. If the same curriculum was used, there’s generally no need to retrain. However, if a different course was used, completing a new training will ensure the new employee is up to New York State’s standards. Ultimately, it’s the employer’s responsibility to ensure that the requirements were met sufficiently.

A significant difference between the New York State and New York City mandates is that NYS requires all employees to be trained, including nonemployees, such as the vendors or contractors. Previously legislation only required employers to prepare and monitor their own employees. However, now any individual who may be completing a job in an office or a work site is considered the employer’s responsibility.

Although somewhat overlapping with New York City’s topics, the sexual harassment training content in New York State much include:

  • Consequences for retaliation
  • Duties & conduct expectations for supervisors
  • Examples of harassment
  • Explanations of harassment
  • Laws by the state & federal government
  • Remedies available
  • Rights of redress for employees

New York State Requires Bid Provisions

Does your organization plan to bid on a New York State or New York City contract? Then ensure your continued eligibility by implementing an up-to-date harassment training that addresses the new content requirements.

Beginning January 1, 2019, companies and any other private-sector employers that bid on State (or any public departments or agencies) contracts need to electronically submit an affirmation with their bid that certifies, under penalty of perjury, that their organization has complied with the state’s annual sexual-harassment training and written policy requirements.

New York State decision makers will not consider any government contract that does not include this certified statement. The law also imposes immediately effective requirements for state contractors and state employees or employees of public entities (i.e., cities, towns, and schools).

New York employers should reevaluate their policies to ensure that they do not contain clauses that require mandatory arbitration of sexual harassment claims or include non-disclosure provisions that would prevent employees from disclosing the facts and circumstances of their sexual harassment claims.

It’s More Than A Mandate

When your business is looking for an interactive training that complies with all of New York State’s requirements, you also want to ensure that your employees aren’t just going through the motions to meet for the mandate. You want them to digest the curriculum in a way that makes them more knowledgeable about workplace discrimination behavior and helps them to contribute to a safer, more collaborative work environment.

Impact Compliance Training’s (ICT) program is engaging, impactful, and versioned to meet New York training requirements, which helps to ensure employees and supervisors are poised and ready to address harassment in the workplace if it should appear.

NYC Specific Requirements

By April 1, 2019, New York City employers with 15 or more employees must have completed interactive sexual harassment coursework as part of the “Stop Sexual Harassment In NYC Act.” The training includes interns and any other employee who works at least 80 hours within a calendar year. Additionally, all new hires must complete training within 90 days of the start date.

The interactive sexual harassment training must be completed annually. New York City’s training must cover topics including:

  • Examples of harassment
  • Examples of retaliation
  • Explanations of harassment
  • Duties & conduct expectations for supervisors
  • Laws for state & federal government
  • Processes for internal complaints
  • Responsibilities of a bystander

For at least three years after the annual sexual harassment training is complete, employers are required to maintain records of those who attended the interactive course, including a signed employee acknowledgment form. Upon request, authorities are able to ask for the documents during an inspection.

By choosing ICT Learning Management System (LMS) you and your organization will have the capabilities to track and report training progress, gather electronic policy acknowledgments, and send automatic email reminders for upcoming training deadlines.

Meet All Of The New York Sexual Harassment Mandates

Yes, it’s about meeting New York annual mandates, but it’s also about fostering a safe, respectful, and inclusive work environment for your employees, customers, contractors, and vendors. By combining real-world examples with compelling and engaging content, ICT’s programs will help create a workplace where each individual can excel. If you’re are looking for a compliance training solution that is tailored to New York law and your industry, click here to contact us for a free course trial today.


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