New York’s Anti-Sexual Harassment Training Requirements

New York state is leading the way in combating and preventing workplace sexual harassment with its sweeping Human Rights Law that went into effect in October 2018. This important legislation requires all employers to provide sexual harassment training to their employees by October 2019. Training requirements are specific and strict, and compliance is mandatory. If you’re an employer in New York, read on to learn what you need to know about the new law.

What Are the Important Dates?

The final legislation states that all employees in the state must complete sexual harassment prevention training by no later than October 9, 2019. The training you provide must meet or exceed minimum state requirements and must be repeated on an annual basis. New employees must be trained as soon as reasonably possible after they begin their employment as employers can be liable for their behavior as soon as they begin work.

What Are the Minimum Requirements?

Sexual harassment training in New York must meet the following minimum requirements to comply with the Human Rights Law:

  1. The training must be interactive. Some form of employee participation is required. This participation can take a number of forms. For example, if you offer online sexual harassment training, employees can be asked to answer questions correctly at the end of each section and be given a chance to submit their own questions and receive timely answers. If you choose to offer live training, instructors should ask employees to participate and provide time for questions. While a live trainer isn’t required, simply asking your employees to watch an online video or slide presentation with no mechanism for questions or feedback wouldn’t meet the requirements of the law.
  2. The training should include remedies and options for redress that are available to victims. All employees must be aware of what they can do if they experience workplace sexual harassment.
  3. The training should make clear local, state, and federal laws regarding sexual harassment.
  4. The training should make supervisors aware of additional responsibilities and conduct guidelines.


What Else Do You Need to Know about Training?

As an employer in New York, you can choose to use training materials provided by the state or use other materials of your choice that satisfy the minimum requirements. The state’s training package includes model training and a script, presentation slides, and a number of case studies. Some of the material in the state’s training package isn’t actually required by the law and is merely strongly recommended; you can choose to include these extras or to leave them out with no impact on your compliance. It’s also important to know that there is no time requirement for training sessions under the new law.

Why Train?

First, you provide training because it’s the law. Beyond that, though, you train to protect yourself and your employees; the new Human Rights Law protects everyone. Effective training fosters a sense of inclusivity, respect, and safety to all participants, all of which will make your workplace more effective and more secure. Impact Compliance Training provides flexible, cost-effective, and scalable online sexual harassment training solutions that are designed to help you comply with the new law and to help you create a workplace where everyone can do their best work free from the distraction of harassment. Visit us today at