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New New York City Law Mandates Anti-Sexual Harassment Training For Private Employers

Recent developments have resulted in increased worldwide attention on sexual harassment in the workplace. To help combat this problem, in May 2018, New York City adopted the Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act.  Among other things, the Act requires that by April 1, 2019, all private employers in New York City with 15 or more employees must conduct annual interactive anti-sexual harassment prevention training for all employees.  This mandatory training must cover the definition and examples of sexual harassment in the workplace, and explain the process for employees’ filing of internal complaints of sexual harassment and for filing complaints with the City, State, and Federal anti-discrimination authorities.  The training is also dedicated to educating supervisors and managers on their responsibilities in preventing sexual harassment and retaliation and how to appropriately handle complaints of sexual harassment.  Newly hired employees must attend a training session within 90 days of hiring.

Effective September 6, 2018, employers will be required to conspicuously display anti-sexual harassment rights and responsibilities posters in common areas and will also be required to distribute a sexual harassment information sheet to new employees at the time of hire.  In addition, sexual harassment at work now violates the New York City Human Rights Law regardless of the size of the employer, and the statute of limitations on these claims has been extended from one year to three years. All employers in New York City should familiarize themselves with this new legislation and work with their legal counsel and human resource professionals to ensure that they are in compliance with the new and existing requirements.