In an effort to prevent sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace, the State of New York released a draft policy that all employers must either choose to adopt or use as guidance when creating their own policies. The model was built as part of legislation that was passed earlier this year and outlines specific provisions that have to be included in any workplace policy. The deadline to train employees has been moved from January 1, 2019 until October 9, 2019. And while all employees who work in NYS must be trained, employees who work part of their time in NYS must also be trained.
The legislation also outlines specific responsibilities that fall on the shoulders of employers. If you are wondering what your organization’s role in sexual harassment prevention is now, here’s what you need to know.
Strong Policies Against Sexual Harassment
Every employer in New York must have a strong and clear policy regarding sexual harassment in the workplace. Not only must organizations assert that such conduct is prohibited, but relevant examples of unacceptable conduct must also be included.
Additionally, a defined procedure for addressing complaints in a timely and confidential matter is mandatory, as well as the creation of an appropriate complaint form and the identification of suitable channels for making a complaint. Similarly, the policy must outline any repercussions for applicable employee misconduct clearly, as well as assert that retaliation against the individual who filed a complaint or anyone who is assisting with the investigation is prohibited and punishable.
Employees must also be made aware of their rights of redress as well as all available forms of addressing sexual harassment complaints, including administrative and judicial options. Further, information regarding federal and local laws regarding such conduct as well as remedies that are available to victims must be included in the policy.
Sexual Harassment Prevention Training
Under the new legislation, sexual harassment prevention training for every employee is mandatory. Plus, the training must be interactive while also explaining each part of the policy clearly.
Each worker must complete the training by January 1, 2019, and new hires who come on board after the fact will need to finish it in a timely manner, ideally during the onboarding process.
If you would like to learn more about your organization’s role in sexual harassment prevention, the professionals at CPS Recruitment can provide you with valuable guidance on the matter. Contact us to speak with one of our knowledgeable team members today and see how our workplace expertise can benefit you.
Failing to Adhere to the Legislation
If an organization fails to meet the requirements of the legislation, including by not properly enforcing sexual harassment prevention policies in the workplace, they can be found liable. This can come with a variety of legal ramifications, though they may vary depending on the nature of the incident.
Ultimately, ensuring your organization meets the standards should be viewed as essential, as it provides a critical level of protection to your workforce.
If you would like to learn more about how the new legislation impacts your company, the professionals at CPS Recruitment can help. Contact us to speak with a member of our knowledgeable team today and see how our workplace policy expertise can benefit you.