NYC Enacts New Sexual Harassment Training, Poster, and Information Sheet Requirements

New York City has enacted new sexual harassment trainingposter, and notice requirements for employers. Starting April 1, 2019, employers with 15 or more employees will be required to annually conduct anti-sexual harassment interactive training for all employees, including supervisors and managers. In addition, starting September 6, 2018, all employers will be required to:

  • Post an anti-sexual harassment rights and responsibilities poster in employee breakrooms or other common areas where employees gather; and
  • Distribute an information sheet on sexual harassment to employees at the time of hire and in the employee handbook.

The city is expected to release a model poster and information sheet soon.

Additional requirements applyClick here for more on the training requirement. Click here for more on the poster and information sheet requirements.

Posted by HR360

Maine Sexual Harassment Training Guide Now Available

Maine has released a sexual harassment training checklist, which certain employers must use to develop a sexual harassment training program.

Checklist
In accordance with a previous law, Maine has developed a compliance checklist covering the sexual harassment training requirements noted below in the “Background” section. Covered employers must use the checklist to develop a sexual harassment training program, and must keep a record of the training (including a record of employees who have received the required training) for at least 3 years. These requirements are currently in effect.

Background
In workplaces with 15 or more employees, employers must conduct a sexual harassment education and training program for all new employees within one year of commencement of employment that includes certain information. Employers must also conduct additional training for supervisory and managerial employees within one year of commencement of employment that includes specific information. Click here (§ 3) for more details.

Originally posted by HR360

New York To Develop Its Own Sexual Harassment Policy and Poster by Oct 2018

California for a long time has had its own Sexual Harassment Policy Training and Posting Requirement. This was discussed in a previous article. New York State and New York City is now following suit.

Background

In response to the tsunami of sexual harassment allegations that have swept the nation in late 2017, Senator Murphy has partnered with Senator Catherine Young and Senator Elaine Phillips to help pass milestone legislation to combat all forms of sexual harassment. The Sexual Harassment Accountability and Protection Act will ban confidential sexual harassment settlements, prohibit mandatory arbitration of sexual harassment complaints, and expand protections for independent contractors. For the first time, this legislation would also write a definition of sexual harassment in state law.

The state legislature also passed The state budget bill for the 2019 fiscal year approved by the New York State Legislature on March 31 and signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo on April 12 contains a host of significant provisions to strengthen the state’s sexual harassment laws.

The budget bill contains significant new obligations for private and public employers, aimed at curtailing sexual harassment in the workplace. Specifically, the bill requires employers in New York to adopt a sexual harassment policy and training program that meet certain standards. Details of the new requirements are presented below.

Model Policy
The state is expected to create and publish a model sexual harassment prevention guidance document and sexual harassment prevention policy. A basic outline of the model policy is available by clicking here (§ 201-g(1)(a)).

The model sexual harassment prevention policy must include the following:

  • a statement prohibiting sexual harassment;
  • examples of prohibited conduct that would constitute sexual harassment;
  • information concerning the federal and state statutory provisions concerning sexual harassment and remedies available to victims, along with a statement that there may be additional applicable local laws;
  • a standard complaint form;
  • the procedure for the timely and confidential investigation of complaints;
  • a statement informing employees of their rights of redress and all available forums for adjudicating sexual harassment complaints administratively and judicially;
  • a statement that sexual harassment is a form of employee misconduct, and that sanctions will be enforced against individuals engaging in sexual harassment and managers and supervisory personnel who knowingly allow such behavior to continue; and
  • a statement that retaliation against individuals reporting sexual harassment or who testify or assist in any proceeding is unlawful.

Every employer must adopt the model sexual harassment prevention policy or establish a policy that equals or exceeds the minimum standards provided by the state’s policy. The policy must be provided to all employees in writing.

Training Program
The state is also expected to produce a model sexual harassment prevention training program. The program will be interactive and will contain certain required content (§ 201-g(2)).

Basically, the model sexual harassment prevention training must be interactive and include the following:

  • an explanation of sexual harassment;
  • examples of conduct that would constitute unlawful sexual harassment;
  • information concerning the federal and state statutory provisions concerning sexual harassment and remedies available to victims; and
  • information concerning employees’ rights of redress and all available forums for adjudicating complaints.

The model training must also include information addressing conduct by supervisors and additional responsibilities for supervisory personnel.

Every employer must utilize the state’s model sexual harassment prevention training program or establish a training program that equals or exceeds the minimum standards provided by the state’s model training. The training must be provided annually to all employees.

These new requirements take effect October 9, 2018. The law also contains provisions on sexual harassment relating to non-employees (e.g., contractors). Click here (Subparts E and F) to read the law.

Following this, the New York City Council passed a package of bills this week aimed at addressing sexual harassment at work. The new training rule will apply to any private employer with more than 15 people on its payroll. Managers and supervisors will also be required to complete training, according to the bill’s text. The legislation, called the Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act, taps the city’s commission on human rights to develop an “online interactive” program that can be used to satisfy the training requirement.

Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act Takes Effect April 1, 2018

The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act amends the current statute prohibiting discrimination in employment, G.L. c. 151B, §4, enforced by the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD).

The Act, effective on April 1, 2018, expressly prohibits employment discrimination on the
basis of pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, such as lactation or the need to express breast milk for a nursing child. It also describes employers’ obligations to employees that are pregnant or lactating and the protections these employees are entitled to receive. Generally, employers may not treat employees or job applicants less favorably than other employees based on pregnancy or pregnancy-related conditions and have an obligation to accommodate pregnant workers.

Under the Act:

  • Upon request for an accommodation, the employer has an obligation to communicate with the employee in order to determine a reasonable accommodation for the pregnancy or pregnancy-related condition. This is called an “interactive process,” and it must be done in good faith. A reasonable accommodation is a modification or adjustment that allows the employee or job applicant to perform the essential functions of the job while pregnant or experiencing a pregnancy-related condition, without undue hardship to the employer.
  • An employer must accommodate conditions related to pregnancy, including post-pregnancy conditions such as the need to express breast milk for a nursing child, unless doing so would pose an undue hardship on the employer. “Undue hardship” means that providing the accommodation would cause the employer significant difficulty or expense.
  • An employer cannot require a pregnant employee to accept a particular accommodation, or to begin disability or parental leave if another reasonable accommodation would enable the employee to perform the essential functions of the job without undue hardship to the employer.
  • An employer cannot refuse to hire a pregnant job applicant or applicant with a pregnancy-related condition, because of the pregnancy or the pregnancy-related condition, if an applicant is capable of performing the essential functions of the position with a reasonable accommodation.
  • An employer cannot deny an employment opportunity or take adverse action against an employee because of the employee’s request for or use of a reasonable accommodation for a pregnancy or pregnancy-related condition.
  • An employer cannot require medical documentation about the need for an accommodation if the accommodation requested is for: (i) more frequent restroom, food or water breaks; (ii) seating; (iii) limits on lifting no more than 20 pounds; and (iv) private, non-bathroom space for expressing breast milk. An employer, may, owever, request medical documentation for other accommodations.
  • Employers must provide written notice to employees of the right to be free from discrimination due to pregnancy or a condition related to pregnancy, including the right to reasonable accommodations for conditions related to pregnancy, in a handbook, pamphlet, or other means of notice no later than April 1, 2018.
  • Employers must also provide written notice of employees’ rights under the Act: (1) to new employees at or prior to the start of employment; and (2) to an employee who notifies the employer of a pregnancy or a pregnancy-related condition, no more than 10 days after such notification.

As of today, there has not been any mandatory posters associated with this update that will be included in our posters. All in One Poster Company will continued to monitor this labor law update.

The foregoing is a synopsis of the requirements under the Act, and both employees and employers are encouraged to read the full text of the law available on the General Court’s website here:
https://malegislature.gov/Laws/SessionLaws/Acts/2017/Chapter54.

If you believe you have been discriminated against on the basis of pregnancy or a pregnancy-related condition, you may file a formal complaint with the MCAD. You may also have the right to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission if the conduct violates the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, which amended Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Both agencies require the formal complaint to be filed within 300 days of the discriminatory act.

Originally published by MCAD

California Transgender Rights Included In Our 2018 All In One Labor Law Posters

California Law Effective January 1, 2018

A new law in California adds posting and sexual harassment training requirements for certain employers. A summary of the law is listed below.

New Posting Requirement
Under the new law, every employer must post a notice (developed by the state) regarding transgender rights in a prominent and accessible location in the workplace.

General topics covered by this poster include:

  • Definitions of certain terms such as transgender, gender identity, gender expression and gender transition.
  • The importance of allowing an employee to dress in accordance with the employee’s gender identity and expression.
  • A discussion on the right of employees to use restrooms, locker rooms and other similar facilities corresponding to their gender identity.

“We expect this posting requirement to increase understanding of the law and assist California employers in providing safe and inclusive work environments,”
– Kevin Kish, Director of DFEH.

New Sexual Harassment Training Requirements
Under current law, employers with 50 or more employees must provide at least 2 hours of classroom or other effective interactive training and education regarding sexual harassment to all supervisory employees in California within 6 months of their assumption of a supervisory position. A covered employer must provide sexual harassment training and education to each supervisory employee in California once every 2 yearsClick here (§ 12950.1) for more details.

Under the new law, covered employers must also provide training inclusive of harassment based on gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation as a component of the training and education specified above. The training and education must include practical examples inclusive of harassment based on gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation, and must be presented by trainers or educators with knowledge and expertise in those areas.

Additional provisions are contained in the text of the new law. The law is effective January 1, 2018.

These notices can be obtained free of charge from the California Department of Industrial Relations.

  • For the convenience of our customers, we will be including the new Transgender Rights In The Workplace notice in our 2018 California & Federal Combination Posters.
  • Also, to aid in sexual harassment training, we are also offering the newly updated California Sexual Harassment Notice as a laminated poster available in 3 different sizes. Displaying a poster signifies compliance and is evidence for the training provided.
  • The newly updated California Industrial Welfare Commission (IWC) Wage Order Posters are also available as a 24″ x 39″ laminated poster. This poster that contains updates for January 2017 and January 2018 is what regulates the working conditions as well the hours and wages of a particular industry or occupation group. It is required by California Labor Code 1183 (d) and enforced by the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE).