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Recently Passed Anti-Harassment Law Imposes Additional Obligations on NYC Employers

In our previous H&A LEGAL UPDATE, we discussed New York State’s recently passed sexual harassment legislation applicable to New York State employers. Just after that legislation was signed, New York City enacted the Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act (“SSHA”). The SSHA contains additional regulations for NYC employers directed at preventing sexual harassment in the workplace. Below is a summary of the key requirements of the SSHA and the dates such requirements become effective.

Additional Time to File a Complaint—Effective Immediately—The SSHA extends the statute of limitations for filing gender-based harassment claims under the New York City Human Rights Law (“NYCHRL”) from one year to three years after the alleged harassing conduct occurred.

Expanded Coverage for Gender-Based Harassment Claims—Effective Immediately—The SSHA expands coverage of gender-based harassment claims to all employers, regardless of the number of employees.

Sexual Harassment Poster—Effective September 6, 2018— The SSHA requires that all employers conspicuously display an anti-sexual harassment rights and responsibilities poster in employee breakrooms or other common areas employees gather in both English and Spanish. This poster was designed by the New York City Commission on Human Rights (“NYCCHR”) and is available in English here for employer reproduction. A Spanish-language poster is forthcoming.

Sexual Harassment Information Sheet—Effective September 6, 2018—The SSHA requires that an information sheet on sexual harassment be distributed to employees at the time of hire, which may be included in the employee handbook. This information sheet was created by the NYCCHR and is available here for employer reproduction.

Mandatory Sexual Harassment Training—Effective April 1, 2019—The SSHA mandates that all private employers with 15 or more employees provide anti-sexual harassment training to new employees after 90 days of employment, continue to provide training to all employees on an annual basis, and keep records of such training for 3 years. The NYCCHR is developing an online interactive training module that may be used by an employer as an option to satisfy this requirement, but employers may develop their own training program that satisfies the requirements specified in the SSHA.

We encourage New York City employers to review their anti-harassment policies to ensure they comply with the new law, and prepare to implement training programs to comply with the new requirements. Please contact us if you would like assistance in implementing practical solutions to ensure compliance with these requirements.