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New York’s Model Sexual Harassment Prevention Policy to be Updated

Yesterday, Governor Kathy Hochul announced that the New York State Department of Labor will be updating New York State’s Model Sexual Harassment Prevention Policy.  The current policy, which was adopted in 2018, must be reviewed every four years.

Now through September 20, 2022, all New Yorkers can submit feedback on the model policy through this secure form.

Why is this important?  Every employer in New York State is required to adopt a sexual harassment prevention policy.  An employer that does not adopt the New York State Department of Labor’s model policy must ensure that their policy:

  • Prohibits sexual harassment consistent with guidance issued by New York State Department of Labor in consultation with the New York State Division of Human Rights.
  • Provides examples of prohibited conduct that would constitute unlawful sexual harassment.
  • Includes information concerning the federal and state statutory provisions concerning sexual harassment, remedies available to victims of sexual harassment, and a statement that there may be applicable local laws.
  • Includes a complaint form.
  • Includes a procedure for the timely and confidential investigation of complaints that ensures due process for all parties.
  • Informs employees of their rights of redress and all available forums for adjudicating sexual harassment complaints administratively and judicially.
  • Clearly states 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.
  • Clearly states that retaliation against individuals who complain of sexual harassment or who testify or assist in any investigation or proceeding involving sexual harassment is unlawful.

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