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Harassment Prevention in New York: Key Requirements for All Employers

August 21, 2019
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New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed the Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act into law on May 9, 2018. This act amended the New York City Human Rights Law to ensure that employers provided more information on sexual harassment and victims held more rights. The result is that employers may need to adjust certain aspects of their internal policies to comply with the new law. Here are some of the key requirements of which all New York City employers should be aware.

Applies to All Employers

Under the New York City Human Rights Law, sexual harassment requirements applied to any business that employed more than four people. The new law has expanded to include all businesses, regardless of how many employees work for them. This means that some small businesses that may not have had to worry about the law will now be subject to it. Those that employ four or fewer people need to familiarize themselves with the law and its requirements to ensure that they’re complying with all aspects of it. They may need to take certain necessary steps to ensure that they entirely comply with the law.

Extended Claim Period

Under the previous law, a victim of sexual harassment in the workplace had one year to file a complaint with the New York City Commission on Human Rights. If one year had passed since the incident occurred, there was nothing they could do. The new law has extended that time period by two additional years. A victim of sexual harassment now has three years following the incident in which they can file a sexual harassment claim. Taking these steps can be difficult for a victim, and this ensures that they have ample time to file a claim.

Rights and Responsibilities Poster

Part of the new act includes the New York City Commission on Human Rights, creating a new poster for employers that states the rights and responsibilities of employers and employees. This poster must be displayed in the workplace where it is visible to everyone. Additionally, a copy of the information sheet describing the rights and responsibilities must be supplied to all new employees. The purpose of this is to ensure that all new employees are well aware of the requirements of the law. It will protect the employees of the company as well as the employer.

Coworkers

Mandatory Training

The new law provides a new set of regulations when it comes to the training of staff on sexual harassment. Under the new law, most employers with 15 or more employees must provide sexual harassment training to all employees, supervisors, and managers. The training must be provided annually. There are a number of things this training must include. It should explain that sexual harassment is discrimination under local, state, and federal law. It mandates that a description of sexual harassment and examples are included. All employees should be educated about the company’s internal complaint policies and procedures. Employees should be notified that the local law prohibits retaliation. New hires should be trained within ninety days and training records should be maintained for at least three years. It should also stress the importance of bystander intervention.

In May of 2018, the Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act was made into law by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. This made amendments to the previous law that protects both businesses and employees that might be victims of sexual harassment. It’s important for all employers to understand the changes so that they can ensure they comply with the new law. Contact Impact Compliance Training today to learn more.

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