On May 9, 2018, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed into law the Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act (also the “Act”). This legislation — enacted in tandem with comparable legislation at the New York State Level — seeks to address sexual harassment in the workplace, by mandating all private employers with 15 or more employees to provide all their workers with annual sexual harassment prevention training starting on April 1, 2019.
As such, the NYC Council training requirements are poised to become among the most expansive in the country. In perspective, California (where AB1825 state legislation has been the gold standard for sexual harassment prevention to date), requires employers with 50 or more employees to train (only) supervisors and managers every two years. On the other hand, New York State will be stricter than the City. Governor Andrew Cuomo recently signed a law that will begin to mandate employers to train all employees starting October 9, 2018
Another peculiarity of the Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act is that it provides great detail on the type of training that needs be provided, and its scope, as summarized below.
The Act provides that the training shall be:
- Interactive— which is defined to clarify that it need not be “live” nor facilitated by an in-person instructor;
- Conducted within 90 days of initial hire of employees;
- Not repeated if a given employee has already received NYC compliant training from another employer in the same training cycle (i.e. within the past year);
- Considered compliant if the employee already received mandated training in another jurisdiction, as long as that training fulfills the Act’s specific requirements.
The Act also further provides that the training shall:
- Explain sexual harassment as a form of unlawful discrimination under city, state and federal legislation;
- Provide examples of conduct that constitutes sexual harassment;
- Description of the employer’s internal complaint process for sexual harassment claims;
- Include the complaint processes available to victims through the NYC Commission on Human Rights, the NYS Division of Human Rights and the EEOC, including the relevant contact info;
- Include the prohibition of retaliation under city law and provide examples of it;
- Provide information on bystander intervention and how to engage in it;
- Educate supervisors and managers on their specific responsibilities in the prevention of sexual harassment AND retaliation, and how to appropriately handle complaints of sexual harassment by other employees.
Hence, the Act provides specific indications on the type and scope of training New York employers will need to provide starting on April 1, 2019.
EVERFI has been developing online training solutions that meet and exceed statutory corporate compliance mandates, by building upon its 10+ years experience helping California businesses comply with AB 1825 legislation and expanding its educational reach far beyond the strict requirements of the law. As such, we are now perfectly positioned to provide New York employers with a training suite that is both comprehensive and expansive with respect the new mandate soon to be enforced city-wide in New York.
In fact, corporate compliance mandates always present unique challenges for employers, who need to provide training that is not only legally complaint, but also effectively engaging and enriching for employees. As such, the training suite needs to both be constantly updated for ongoing compliance with the law and thoroughly designed to deliver a quality educational experience to the learner (download our free whitepaper here).
Combining primary legal subject matter expertise, award winning educational design and the power of technology, EVERFI is able to provide the most effective training solution in the market.
In this regard, we’ve recently hosted a webinar to provide a thorough legal overview of the New York City Council’s Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act and the homologous provisions set forth by the New York State Assembly in the in the New York State Budget Bill (details here ). You can review the full webinar recording here.