New York Requires Employers to Adopt Sexual Harassment Prevention Policy

A new statute, New York Labor Law § 201-g (effective October 9, 2018), requires every employer to adopt a “sexual harassment prevention policy” that meets certain minimum requirements.

The statute provides, inter alia:

Such model sexual harassment prevention policy shall: (i) prohibit sexual harassment consistent with guidance issued by the department in consultation with the division of human rights and provide examples of prohibited conduct that would constitute unlawful sexual harassment; (ii) include but not be limited to information concerning the federal and state statutory provisions concerning sexual harassment and remedies available to victims of sexual harassment and a statement that there may be applicable local laws; (iii) include a standard complaint form; (iv) include a procedure for the timely and confidential investigation of complaints and ensure due process for all parties; (v) inform employees of their rights of redress and all available forums for adjudicating sexual harassment complaints administratively and judicially; (vi) clearly state that sexual harassment is considered a form of employee misconduct and that sanctions will be enforced against individuals engaging in sexual harassment and against supervisory and managerial personnel who knowingly allow such behavior to continue; and (vii) clearly state that retaliation against individuals who complain of sexual harassment or who testify or assist in any proceeding under the law is unlawful.