Mandatory Training, and Important Information On Changes to New York’s Anti-discrimination Laws

Every New York employer is required to provide all employees performing work in New York with sexual harassment prevention training. By law, all employees must be trained by October 9, 2019, and at least once a year thereafter. New hires must receive the mandatory training as soon as possible. The training must:

  • be interactive; simply watching a video is not enough;
  • include an explanation of sexual harassment consistent with guidance issued by the Department of Labor in consultation with the Division of Human Rights;
  • include examples of conduct that would constitute unlawful sexual harassment;
  • include information regarding the federal and state statutory provisions concerning sexual harassment and remedies available to victims;
  • include information regarding employees’ rights of redress and all available forums for adjudicating complaints; and
  • include information addressing conduct by supervisors and additional reporting responsibilities for such supervisors.

Best Practices

  • Talk to your attorney and insurance broker, and get Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) in place;
  • Take every complaint seriously, even if it’s verbal, said in passing, or no one objects to the conduct;
  • Use caution when drafting releases, settlement agreements, severance agreements, NDAs, and arbitration agreements;
  • Investigate and document everything when a complaint is raised; and
  • Be prepared to take prompt remedial action.

If you have not yet trained your employees, now is the time to act; we can help. Contact Matt Miller (chair of our Employment Law Practice Group) or Jim O’Connor to set up your company’s mandatory training today.