New York shares its final model sexual harassment policy

New York State HomeThe state Division of Human Rights shared its final model sexual harassment policy, training materials and guidance documents as it relates to the New York’s new sexual harassment legislation that will go into effect on Oct. 9.

Below is a complimentary recorded webinar from Oct. 2 hosted by John Bagyi, an attorney for the law firm Bond, Schoeneck & King.

There are several changes to the original draft guidance previously issued in August. Most notably, the initial mandatory employee training requirement has been extended from Jan.1, 2019, to Oct. 9, 2019, and annually thereafter.

The training guidelines also indicate that new employees simply need to be trained “as soon as possible” after they begin employment—rather than within 30 days as originally proposed—and revisions have been made to the definition of the “interactive” training requirement. Examples of interactive training provided by the NYSDHR include the following:

  • if the training is web-based, it has questions at the end of a section and the employee must select the right answer;
  • if the training is web-based, the employees have an option to submit a question online and receive an answer immediately or in a timely manner;
  • in an in-person or live training, the presenter asks the employees questions or gives them time throughout the presentation to ask questions; and
  • web-based or in-person trainings that provide a feedback survey for employees to turn in after they have completed the training.

Lastly, as was previously outlined, all employers are required to have an updated, compliant sexual harassment policy in place by Oct. 9, 2018.  The policy must meet the following requirements:

  • prohibit sexual harassment consistent with guidance issued by the Department of Labor in consultation with the NYSDHR;
  • provide examples of prohibited conduct that would constitute unlawful sexual harassment;
  • include information on the federal and state statutory provisions concerning sexual harassment, remedies available to victims of sexual harassment, and a statement that there may be applicable local laws; include a complaint form;
  • include a procedure for the timely and confidential investigation of complaints that ensures due process for all parties;
  • inform employees of their rights of re-dress and all available forums for adjudicating sexual harassment complaints administratively and judicially;
  • clearly state that sexual harassment is considered a form of employee misconduct and that sanctions will be enforced against individuals engaging in sexual harassment and against supervisory and managerial personnel who knowingly allow such behavior to continue; and
  • clearly state that retaliation against individuals who complain of sexual harassment or who testify or assist in any investigation or proceeding involving sexual harassment is unlawful.

Guidance materials, including a model sexual harassment policy, model training materials and a list of frequently asked questions can be found on the state’s website.

Individuals with questions concerning the state’s new sexual harassment law can be directed to the Association’s Human Resources Consultant, Chris Pajak at (800) 342-9835 ext. 8188 or via email at

To contact Bagyi, email

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