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May, 2018
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With summer in the rear view mirror (despite the 90 degree temperatures), it is time to pay attention to the details regarding the new sexual harassment laws in NYC and NYS. We want to make you aware of the more important details which are listed below.  Should you have any questions, please give us a call.
With Rosh Hashanah a few days away, all of us at Moskowitz & Book would like to wish all of our friends, colleagues and clients a happy and healthy New Year filled with much success, joy and blessing.

New York Sexual Harassment Laws Go into Effect
Starting in September, employers in New York must begin taking steps to comply with the expansive sexual harassment legislation that was passed by both the City and the State earlier this year.

Poster Requirement for NYC Employers

The NYC Commission on Human Rights published a poster about the law which must be displayed in the workplace starting on September 6, 2018. The poster can be found here: https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/cchr/downloads/pdf/materials/SexHarass_Notice-8.5x11.pdf

Employee Notice for NYC Employers

Also starting on September 6, 2018, in addition to displaying the poster in the workplace, employers in NYC must begin providing a "fact sheet" about the sexual harassment law to new hires. The NYC Commission on Human Rights has published a fact sheet, which can be found here: https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/cchr/downloads/pdf/materials/SexHarass_Factsheet.pdf

Training Requirements for NYS and NYC Employers

Beginning October 9, 2018, the State of New York will require annual training of all employees that:
  1. Explains sexual harassment;
  2. Provides examples of prohibited conduct;
  3. Includes information concerning federal and state law related to sexual harassment and the remedies available under such laws; and
  4. Informs employees of their rights of redress and all available administrative and judicial forums for adjudicating sexual harassment claims
The law requires that training begin in October 2018 with the goal of having all employees trained by October 2019. The State Division of Human Rights has published a model training program, which can be found here:
New York City has also implemented training requirements, which go into effect on April 1, 2019, for employers with 15 or more employees. The New York City Commission on Human rights will develop model training modules for employers to use. The required training must include the same content as that required by the state, as well as the following information:
  1. A description of the internal complaint process available to employees to address sexual harassment claims;
  2. A description of the complaint process available through the EEOC, the State Division of Human Rights and the City Commission on Human Rights, including contact information for all three agencies;
  3. An explanation of retaliation and examples of prohibited retaliatory conduct;
  4. Information concerning bystander intervention, including resources that explain how to engage in it; and
  5. The specific responsibilities of supervisory and managerial employees in preventing sexual harassment and retaliation. 
Sexual Harassment Policy Requirements

Also starting on October 9, 2018, New York employees must create a written anti-harassment policy, which includes a standard complaint form. The State Division of Human Rights and the Department of Labor will publish a model policy and complaint form. The policy must include the following:
  1. A clear prohibition of sexual harassment and examples of conduct that constitutes unlawful sexual harassment;
  2. Information concerning federal, state, and local anti-harassment laws, including the remedies that are available to victims of sexual harassment;
  3. A standard complaint form;
  4. A procedure for the investigation of complaints;
  5. Information concerning employees' rights of redress and all available forums for adjudicating sexual harassment complaints administratively and judicially;
  6. A statement that sexual harassment is a form of employee misconduct and that sanctions will be enforced against individuals who engage in sexual harassment as well as against supervisory and managerial personnel who knowingly allow such behavior to continue; and
  7. A statement that retaliation against individuals who complain of sexual harassment or who testify or assist in any proceeding is unlawful.
M&B is available to assist employers with creating sexual harassment policies and providing anti-harassment training. Please contact Chaim Book, cbook@mb-llp.com or Brita Zacek, bzacek@mb-llp.com to learn more about the services we offer.

Moskowitz & Book, LLP  | cbook@mb-llp.com  | http://mb-llp.com/

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