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Businesses legally bound to train workers in sexual harassment prevention.

As of Monday, April 1, 2019, New York City employers with 15 or more employees must start providing annual sexual harassment training for all employees and maintain records proving that they are in compliance.

This is the most recent in a series of laws passed last year that also included the requirement that all employers distribute and post the City's Sexual Harassment Information poster last October.

ACCORDING TO THE LAW FIRM OF Abrams, Fensterman, Fensterman, Eisman, Formato, Ferrara, Wolf, & Carone, LLP The City law imposes a fine of $250,000 for failure to comply.

This is in addition to the State Law which requires that ALL EMPLOYERS provide training and that a policy meeting certain specifications be adopted and circulated to all workers.

Only one training is required--and most programs will cover both requirements--but the record-keeping is just for the City.

All New York employers have until October 9, 2019 to meet the State training requirement, and then must comply every calendar year thereafter. EXCERPTS, NEW YORK CITY Human Rights Law NYC

Retaliation Is Prohibited Under the Law

It is a violation of the law for an employer to take action against you because you oppose or speak out against sexual harassment in the workplace.

The NYC Human Rights Law prohibits employers from retaliating or discriminating "in any manner against any person" because that person opposed an unlawful discriminatory practice.

Retaliation can manifest through direct actions, such as demotions or terminations, or more subtle behavior, such as an increased work load or being transferred to a less desirable location. The NYC Human Rights Law protects individuals against retaliation who have a good faith belief that their employer's conduct is illegal; even if it turns out that they were mistaken.

Report Sexual Harassment

If you have witnessed or experienced sexual harassment inform a manager, the equal employment opportunity officer at your workplace, or human resources as soon as possible.

THE TRAINING MUST INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING ELEMENTS:

* An explanation of sexual harassment as a form of unlawful discrimination under local law;

* A statement that sexual harassment is also a form of unlawful discrimination under state and federal law;

* A description of what sexual harassment is, using examples;

* The prohibition of retaliation including examples;

* Any internal complaint process available to employees through their employer to address sexual harassment claims;

* The complaint process available through the Commission, the NYS Division of Human Rights and the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, including contact information;

* Information concerning bystander intervention, including but not limited to any resources that explain how to engage in bystander intervention; and

* The specific responsibilities of supervisory and managerial employees in the prevention of sexual harassment and retaliation, and measures that such employees may take to appropriately address sexual harassment complaints.

It is required that employers keep a record of all trainings, including a signed employee acknowledgement for at least three years and such records must be made available for Commission inspection upon request. The signed acknowledgment may be electronic.

SOME EXAMPLES OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT

* Unwelcome or inappropriate touching of employees or customers;

* Conditioning promotions or other opportunities on sexual favors;

* Threatening or engaging in adverse action after someone refuses a sexual advance;

* Making lewd or sexual comments about an individual's appearance;

EXCERPTS, NEW YORK STATE

Suggested Minimum Employer Policy NYS

Retaliation Prohibition

No person covered by this Policy shall be subject to adverse action because the employee reports an incident of sexual harassment, provides information, or otherwise assists in any investigation of a sexual harassment complaint.

[Employer Name] will not tolerate such retaliation against anyone who, in good faith, reports or provides information about suspected sexual harassment.

Any employee of [Employer Name] who retaliates against anyone involved in a sexual harassment investigation will be subjected to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

All employees, paid or unpaid interns, or non-employees working in the workplace who believe they have been subject to such retaliation should inform a supervisor, manager, or [name of appropriate person].

All employees, paid or unpaid interns or non-employees who believe they have been a target of such retaliation may also seek relief in other available forums, as explained below in the section on Legal Protections.

Supervisory Responsibilities

All supervisors and managers who receive a complaint or information about suspected sexual harassment, observe what may be sexually harassing behavior or for any reason suspect that sexual harassment is occurring, are required to report such suspected sexual harassment to [person or office designated].

In addition to being subject to discipline if they engaged in sexually harassing conduct themselves, supervisors and managers will be subject to discipline for failing to report suspected sexual harassment or otherwise knowingly allowing sexual harassment to continue.

Supervisors and managers will also be subject to discipline for engaging in any retaliation.

BY MARGIE RUSSELL, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NYARM
COPYRIGHT 2019 Hagedorn Publishing
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2019 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:BuildingsNY
Comment:Businesses legally bound to train workers in sexual harassment prevention.(BuildingsNY)
Author:Russell, Margie
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Geographic Code:1U2NY
Date:Mar 27, 2019
Words:801
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