New York State Sexual Harassment Training Must Be Completed By October 9, 2019

September 30, 2019 | By Thomas T. Hearn

Are you an employer in New York State or New York City?  Did you comply with the new sexual harassment training law yet?  As previously covered by HRLegalist, on October 9, 2018, the State of New York imposed on both public and private employers, regardless of size, new training requirements for all employees concerning sexual harassment.

At a minimum, the training must:

  • Be completed as soon as reasonable after each employee is hired;
  • Happen at least once per year;
  • Be interactive;
  • Explain what sexual harassment is;
  • Give examples of unlawful sexual harassment conduct;
  • Describe state and federal remedies for the victims of sexual harassment;
  • Explain employees’ rights and where and how they can assert these rights;
  • Address how to respond to unlawful conduct by superiors; and
  • Lay out the additional responsibilities for supervisors.

Originally, the new State sexual harassment training requirements were scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2019.  However, after receiving public comment, the Department of Labor and Division of Human Rights pushed back the deadline.  Now, all New York employees must complete sexual harassment training no later than October 9, 2019.

New York City also has its own sexual harassment training law.   The NYC law, entitled the “Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act,” applies to all employers with 15 or more employees, and requires annual sexual harassment training for all employees, beginning on April 1, 2019.  NYC’s law contains training requirements beyond what the State requires.  For example, the training provided to employees in New York City must:

  • Address bystander intervention; and
  • Describe the complaint process available through the NYC Commission on Human Rights, the New York State Division of Human Rights, and the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and provide employees with those agencies’ contact information.

The deadline by which all NYC employers must train their employees is April 1, 2020.

Employers should contact labor & employment counsel with any questions related to harassment policies, training programs, and other preventive practices.  Obermayer attorneys have experience guiding employers with harassment policies and training, and are happy to assist with these time-sensitive requirements.


About the Authors

Thomas Hearn

Thomas T. Hearn


Thomas concentrates his practice in labor and management relations, employment discrimination and employee contracts.

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