On April 12, 2018, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo enacted several new state laws concerning sexual harassment in the workplace. New laws affecting both public and private employers include the following:
- Prohibition of mandatory arbitration clauses regarding sexual harassment complaints (effective July 11, 2018);
- Ban on mandatory nondisclosure agreements for sexual harassment claims (effective July 11, 2018);
- Required distribution of written sexual harassment policies to all employees (effective October 9, 2018);
- Mandatory annual sexual harassment prevention training for all employees (effective October 9, 2018); and
- Expansion of liability for sexual harassment claims to certain non-employees such as contractors, subcontractors, vendors, consultants, or other non-employees providing services to the employer. (effective as of April 12, 2018).
New York State Labor Law requires that the NY State Department of Labor “shall consult with the Division of Human Rights to create and publish a model sexual harassment prevention guidance document and sexual harassment prevention policy that employers may utilize in their adoption of a sexual harassment prevention policy required by this section.”
Things to do now:
- Review, the model policies and training programs on sexual harassment in the workplace once they are available from the state.
- Review and revise sexual harassment policies and consider including references to non-harassment of non-employees as applicable.
- Prepare annual sexual harassment training for employees and managers.
- Review arbitration documents or programs requiring the arbitration of sexual harassment claims to determine whether revisions are required going forward.
- Revise separation and settlement agreements that include nondisclosure provisions regarding sexual harassment claims
- Train human resources professionals and internal legal counsel about nondisclosure provisions in settlement agreements and other documents regarding sexual harassment claims
- Train human resources professionals and managers on the enacted New York State requirements regarding sexual harassment and certain non-employees.
ConnectPay offers HR Services through Enquiron, including an online harrassment training program that allows New York state employers to fulfill the requirements for training their employees. Please contact your Client Services rep for more information, or