New Law: Employers Must Provide Sexual Harassment Training

November 15th, 2018 • by Paul Leone
Paul Leone

Paul Leone

Paul Leone is the Executive Director of the New York State Brewers Association.

The Department of Labor has set forth new sexual harassment prevention requirements for every employer in New York State. This requirement is meant to be a tool to protect employers in the event of a sexual harassment claim or lawsuit against the person or business.

DOL has released an informational video on YouTube called Sexual Harassment Prevention Training Requirements: Policy and Training Overview for Employers.

Stefan Fleming, Director of Industry Development with Empire State Development, has prepared the following summary points for your convenience but should not take the place of watching the video.

  • Every NYS employer was required to provide all of their employees with a policy on sexual harassment prevention by October 9, 2018 (last month).
  • Every employer must train all of their employees in sexual harassment prevention by October 9, 2019.
  • Every employer must train all of their employees in sexual harassment prevention annually.
  • There is no requirement that this be done by a law firm or human resources-type agency. Employers must simply have a policy in place for their employees, a process by which complaints can be made, a process for handling those complaints, and an annual training session for every employee.
  • The one thing currently missing from the below links is how to record successful completion of this training. It is recommended that employers create a sign-in sheet that is attached to their company’s sexual harassment policy. The language should reflect that the undersigned acknowledges receipt of a copy of the company’s policy and has participated in the annual training. The sign-in sheet should include space for employees to print their name, sign their signature and date the day they received the training.
  • In New York State, the statute of limitation for filing a claim of sexual harassment is three years. Employers should keep a record of trainings for at least that long.

For More Information:

Refer to the Sexual Harassment Prevention Employer Toolkit

Refer to the website Combating Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Direct questions to Stefan Fleming – stefan.fleming [at] esd.ny.gov