New York State Funeral Directors Association

Issued October 1, 2018

Model Sexual Harassment Policy/Training FINAL GUIDANCE Released by the Department of Labor - Division of Human Rights

The NYS Department of Labor and Division of Human Rights released the long-awaited final guidance regarding a model sexual harassment policy, complaint form, and model sexual harassment training program, which were mandated by statutory changes included in the state budget adopted in March 2018. 

  • These documents are available on the Combating Sexual Harassment in the Workplace website and can be found HERE

Model Sexual Harassment Policy - Amendments to the state’s labor law provides that every employer in the State of New York is required to adopt a sexual harassment prevention policy pursuant to new Section 201-g of the Labor Law. An employer that does not adopt the state’s model policy must ensure that the policy that they adopt meets or exceeds the minimum standards in the model policy.

Employers are encouraged to adopt the model policy provided on the website or a similar policy that meets the minimum standards of the guidance as soon as possible.  The law requires that employers have a policy in place by October 9, 2018 that meets or exceeds the minimum standards outlined in the final guidance. 

The State’s website provides a model Complaint Form and strongly encourages employees to use the form when making harassment complaints.  It also provides a poster notifying employees of the existence of their employer’s policy.  While not mandated by State statute, displaying this poster will show your commitment to eliminating unlawful workplace harassment and contribute to your affirmative defense.

Model Sexual Harassment Training - Every employer in the State of New York is required to provide employees with sexual harassment prevention training pursuant to recently adopted Section 201-g of the state Labor Law. An employer that does not use the model training developed by the State Department of Labor and Division of Human Rights must ensure that the training that they use meets or exceeds the minimum standards in the model training program.

The final guidance requires that all employees be trained on an annual basis and that the first round of training be completed prior to October 9, 2019.  This will provide employers the opportunity to develop and deliver effective and worthwhile training for its employees.

The NYSFDA is in the process of developing a NYS-compliant web-based training product for its members. More information on this product will be coming soon.

The final guidance also includes a model training PowerPoint presentation for use by employers.  The NYS Department of Labor will soon be providing all of these documents in various languages.


ATTENTION NEW YORK CITY FIRMS

On May 9, 2018, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed the Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act, a comprehensive legislative package aimed at addressing and preventing sexual harassment in the workplace, into law.

Obligations for employers include:

Under Local Law 96 of 2018employers with 15 or more employees are required to conduct annual anti-sexual harassment training for all employees. Effective April 2019, employers have one year to implement the training for all employees and must ensure all employees are trained annually thereafter. Employers shall keep a record of all trainings, including a signed employee acknowledgement. These may be kept electronically.

Under Local Law 95 of 2018all employers in the City are required to conspicuously display anti-sexual harassment rights and responsibilities notices in both English and Spanish and distribute a factsheet to individual employees at the time of hire which may be included in an employee handbook. NOTE: The legal notice is required to be posted by NYC employers in both English and Spanish. Effective September 6, 2018.

Local Law 95 of 2018 requires the New York City Commission on Human Rights to conspicuously post on its website resources about sexual harassment, including an explanation that sexual harassment is a form of unlawful discrimination under local law. Download the required legal notice in English (Legal size, Letter size), Spanish (Legal size, Letter size) and fact sheet (English, Spanish) for distribution to employees. NOTE: The legal notice is required to be posted by NYC employers in both English and Spanish.