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Combating Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

by NYSCA Membership Committee | 10/9/2018 8:50:48 AM

Government-Mandated Sexual Harassment Policies for Employers go into effect October 9, 2018.

Governor Cuomo and New York State are leading the nation with new laws to combat sexual harassment in the workplace as part of his 2018 Women's Agenda for New York: Equal Rights, Equal Opportunity. The State’s new sexual harassment laws were signed by the governor on 4/12/2018. Beginning on October 9, 2018 all employers must adopt a sexual harassment prevention policy with training to follow. The 2019 New York State Budget includes the nation's strongest and most comprehensive sexual harassment package, including new resources and requirements for employers.  Unfortunately, the State did not release its final guidance on the April 2018 legislation until last week . . . October 1, 2018.

Complying With the Law

The information below can help field doctors who happen to be employers achieve compliance relatively quickly. There are basically three components that employers need to be aware of: (1) employers must adopt a written sexual harassment policy; (2) this includes a sexual harassment complaint form; and (3) there must be a training module that needs to be completed for all employees.

There are two ways to approach compliance.  Employers can either adopt the Model employer policies, complaint form and training modules tendered by the State, or employer can adopt their own policies provided that employer-created policies meet the minimum state standards.  The State created, modifiable model policy, complaint form and training modules can be found and downloaded in PDF or MSWord form from www.ny.gov.

Act quickly.

The written policy deadline is October 9, 2018.  Use this compliant FREE link for an editable PDF/MSWord documents that can be customized fairly painlessly for your office practice. Distribute this sexual harassment prevention policy to each of your employees; it may be emailed or printed.

The sexual harassment prevention training portion of the State program must be completed by October 9, 2019 of next year. You and all employees must attend training. You can do this yourself or have a third party administer the training. Employees should sign an acknowledgment that training was performed. After the initial training everyone will be required to repeat this program on an annual basis. All forms and materials are reusable (as long as the law remains the same from year to year). (https://www.ny.gov/sites/ny.gov/files/atoms/files/SexualHarassmentPreventionModelTraining.pdf.)

For a short, complete, downloadable PDF NYS guideline, click here or for the main web site, click here.

If you have any questions, or need more information contact the NYSCA at [email protected]

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