Today is the day that New York employers have all been waiting for. That is correct. Today is the day that the New York State law mandating sexual harassment training and maintenance of a sexual harassment policy becomes effective. As you all are aware, New York State originally was requiring that the sexual harassment training be conducted by January 1, 2019 but luckily for New York employers in New York’s final guidance they revised that deadline and gave New York employers one year to ensure compliance until October 9, 2019. That date will be here before you know it so New York employers should make plans as soon as possible to present the mandatory sexual harassment training to all their employees and managers. In addition, the New York FAQ’s make clear that New York employers also have to provide the sexual harassment training to full-time and part-time employees, seasonal workers and temporary employees.
In addition to the sexual harassment training requirement, New York employers are required to ensure they have a sexual harassment policy that is legally compliant with the new law and that they have a complaint form for employees to use to file a complaint of sexual or unlawful harassment. Both the policy and the training should be in the language that your employees usually speak.
The sexual harassment training must be interactive. New York has made clear that this means:
If the training is web-based, it must have 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;
Web-based or in-person trainings that provide a Feedback Survey for employees to turn in after they have completed the training
New York has made it clear what does not meet the definition of interactive training. “An individual watching a training video or reading a document only, with no feedback mechanism or interaction, would NOT be considered interactive.” Employers must provide this sexual harassment training annually and all training must be completed by October 9, 2019 for the initial year of the training.
We at HR Learning Center LLC can assist employers with compliance with the recently-enacted New York law that is effective today, October 9, 2018. Feel free to contact us at 914-417-1715 or firstname.lastname@example.org.