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Legal Update Article

New York State Issues Revised Model Sexual Harassment Policy and Training Materials

New York has released an updated model sexual harassment prevention policy and updated model training materials. The revised model policy increases the emphasis on gender discrimination in the workplace, with a particular focus on discrimination and harassment based on gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation.

In addition, the revised model policy addresses issues related to remote work environments, contains more detailed examples of retaliation and information on bystander intervention, and a reference to the New York State Division of Human Rights’ sexual harassment hotline.

The state’s model sexual harassment prevention training materials have also been updated to reflect these same points of emphasis.

In 2018, New York became one of the first states in the nation to pass legislation requiring that employers provide all managers and employees sexual harassment prevention training on an annual basis. In addition, all employers must maintain and publish a sexual harassment prevention policy that meets or exceeds the state’s minimum standards. 

While the underlying statutory requirements (section 201-g of the Labor Law) have not changed, nor have there been any changes to the “minimum standards” for a lawful sexual harassment prevention policy, the latest actions show that the Department of Labor, Division of Human Rights, and the governor’s office are placing an increased emphasis on sexual harassment in the workplace and particularly on disparate treatment based on gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation.

New York employers should consider potential updates to their current sexual harassment prevention policies and training materials. Please contact a Jackson Lewis attorney with any questions on updating policies and procedures to comply with the latest guidance.

© Jackson Lewis P.C. This material is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice nor does it create a client-lawyer relationship between Jackson Lewis and any recipient. Recipients should consult with counsel before taking any actions based on the information contained within this material. This material may be considered attorney advertising in some jurisdictions. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. 

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