SEXUAL HARASSMENT PREVENTION TRAINING AND INVESTIGATIONS

Sexual Harassment Prevention Training and Investigation Claims in New York

Federal and New York state laws, as well as the New York City Human Rights law, provide varying levels of protection against sexual harassment in the workplace. Generally speaking, a person subjected to offensive conduct of a sexual nature that creates emotional distress and intimidation on the job may have cause for legal action.

Such legal action may be directed toward an end to conditions that created a hostile work environment and restoration of employment status, as well as recovery of financial and other damages, depending on specific circumstances. At Jacobowitz and Gubits, LLP, experienced attorneys investigate sexual harassment and gender discrimination allegations, provide insightful analysis, and stand ready to prosecute or defend these complex employment claims.  We provide the New York State Sexual Harassment Prevention Training at your place of business.

SEXUAL HARASSMENT POLICY AND TRAINING REQUIRED BY NEW YORK STATE 

Pursuant to a new State statute that takes effect October 9, 2018, all employers are required to immediately establish a sexual harassment policy and provide the policy in writing to all employees in their primary language, and continue to provide employees such policy on a yearly basis.  This applies to public and private employers, regardless of the number of employees.

If an employer already has a policy, then it must be updated to meet or exceed the policy recently required by the State of New York.  If a policy does not exist, the model policy issued by the State of New York is available online and may be adopted by the employer.

At a minimum, the policy must:

  • Prohibit sexual harassment;
  • Provide examples of prohibited sexual harassment;
  • Cite applicable federal and state statutes and provide information on where further information may be obtained;
  • Identify remedies that are available to victims;
  • Include a standard complaint form;
  • Establish a complaint and investigation procedure;
  • Inform employees of their rights;
  • Identify forums for employees to exercise their rights;
  • Clearly state: “Sexual harassment is considered a form of employee misconduct.  Sanctions will be enforced against individuals engaging in sexual harassment and against supervisory and managerial personnel who knowingly allow such behavior to continue.”; and
  • Clearly state: “Retaliation against individuals who complain of sexual harassment or who testify or assist in any investigation or proceeding involving sexual harassment is unlawful.”

Employers are advised to post the policy where it is easily accessible by employees, and are encouraged to have employees sign to acknowledge receipt of the policy.  Employers should post the notice here in the employee breakroom or other area where it is likely to be seen by employees and non-employees such as contractors, subcontractors, vendors, and consultants.  Note that employers may be held liable for failing to take corrective action against sexual harassment by or of non-employees.

Employers have until October 9, 2019, to provide State-approved sexual harassment training to all employees in their primary language.  Re-training of all employees must be undertaken at least once a year every year thereafter.  New employees must be trained as soon as possible after hiring (preferably within 30 days of hire).

Please contact us if assistance is needed to tailor the model notices, forms and training materials to your business.  In addition, we are available to provide the required training and investigative services should you need a third-party to investigate sexual harassment claims.

Balanced, Informed Counsel and Productive Action in Employment Disputes

A New York sexual harassment claims attorney at our respected firm can provide counsel for you as a victim or as an employer facing allegations by a current or former employee. Our knowledge and experience extends to cases involving:

  • Unwanted sexual advances and subjection to lewd, offensive behavior of a sexual nature in the workplace
  • Quid pro quo demands for sexual favors or attention in return for keeping a job, getting a promotion or earning vacation time, for example
  • Complex harassment and discrimination claims involving other alleged employer misconduct such as wrongful termination or wage and hour violations

Whether you have been subjected to sexual harassment or need to respond to and defend against an employee claim, an attorney at our firm can thoroughly assess your situation. We will thoroughly address critical issues including which laws apply, potential remedies, the potential value of financial damages, and projected costs of various paths to resolution.

Contact a Workplace Harassment Lawyer

To discuss your employment concerns or dispute with an attorney who has experience achieving resolution through settlement negotiations and at trial, call us at 845-764-9656 (toll free at 866-303-9595).