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

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.

NYC Releases Guidance on Pregnancy Discrimination

Guidance Clarifies Violations and Accommodations Under the Law

New York City has released guidance that clarifies violations of pregnancy protections under the New York City Human Rights Law, and provides examples of when and how covered employers should make accommodations for employees based on pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition.

Background
The New York City Human Rights Law, generally applicable to employers with 4 or more employees, prohibits unlawful discrimination in employment on the basis of (among other things) pregnancy or perceived pregnancy, through its prohibitions on discrimination based on gender. It also requires employers to reasonably accommodate the needs of an employee for her pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical condition.

Guidance
Among other things, the guidance:NYC-Pregnancy-11x17.gif

  • Outlines specific violations of pregnancy protections under the law in employment, including firing or refusing to hire or promote employees because they are pregnant;
  • Requires employers to accommodate reasonable requests from employees related to pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition (e.g., allowing employees to eat at their desks, providing seating, arranging for light duty or desk duty assignment, transferring workers to other available positions, and allowing for unpaid leave to recover from childbirth);
  • Specifies what an employer must prove in order to deny an accommodation, such as undue hardship or that an employee would not be able to satisfy the essential requisites of a job even with a reasonable accommodation;
  • Clarifies that employees undergoing fertility treatment, who have had abortions or miscarriages, or who are breastfeeding are entitled to reasonable accommodations under the law;
  • Requires employers to initiate and engage in a “cooperative dialogue” with employees when the employer is on notice that an employee is in need of an accommodation based on pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition; and
  • Discusses an employer’s obligation to provide notice regarding pregnancy protections.

The guidance was issued on May 6, 2016. Click here to read the guidance.

ORIGINALLY POSTED BY WWW.HR360.COM

NYC: Local Law Grants Caregivers Protections Under Nondiscrimination Law

Legislation Effective May 4, 2016

Under a new local law, the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) prohibits employment discrimination based on an individual’s actual or perceived status as a caregiver. Under the NYCHRL, employers with 4 or more employees are prohibited from discriminating against individuals on the basis of age, race, creed, color, national origin, gender, disability, pregnancy, or marital status, among other protected classes.

Under the local law, “caregiver” means a person who provides direct and ongoing care for a minor child or a care recipient.

A “care recipient” is a person with a disability who:

  • Is a covered relative, or a person who resides in the caregiver’s household; and
  • Relies on the caregiver for medical care or to meet the needs of daily living.

The local law contains additional definitions, and takes effect May 4, 2016.

Click here to read the text of the local law.

HR360 Editorial Team http://www.hr360.com

New York Enacts Several Civil Rights Measures Affecting the Workplace

Changes Take Effect January 19, 2016

New York has enacted a series of changes to its workplace nondiscrimination laws. The changes take effect on January 19, 2016. A summary of the key changes is presented below:

  • Expanded Coverage for Sexual Harassment Actions. A new lawprovides that the state nondiscrimination law’s prohibitions againstsexual harassment apply to all employers—regardless of size. (Prior to January 19, 2016, the provisions regarding sexual harassment are applicable to employers with 4 or more employees.)
  • Pay Equity and Sharing of Wage Information. An amended lawprovides that (among other things) an employer cannot prohibit an employee from inquiring about, discussing, or disclosing his or her wages or the wages of another employee. However, an employer may—in a written policy provided to all employees—establish reasonable workplace and workday limitations on the time, place, and manner for such inquiries, discussions, or disclosures.
  • Discrimination Based on Family Status Prohibited. An amended law (applicable to employers with 4 or more employees) prohibits discrimination in employment based on familial status.
  • Clarification Regarding Pregnancy-Related Conditions. A new measure clarifies that employers with 4 or more employees are generally prohibited from refusing to provide reasonable accommodations to the known disabilities—or pregnancy-related conditions—of an employee/applicant in connection with a job or occupation sought or held. Additionally, pregnancy-related conditions must be treated as temporary disabilities under the law.

The governor’s office has issued a press release regarding the new legislation. Additional information regarding New York workplace nondiscrimination law is available from the New York State Division of Human Rights.

To review other state laws specific to New York, visit the State Lawssection, click on New York, and choose your topic of interest from the left-hand navigation menu.

ORIGINALLY POSTED BY http://www.HR360.com

New York City Enacts Ban-the-Box Legislation

New York City has adopted an ordinance restricting when employer inquiries about applicants’ criminal histories may be made during the application process and imposing significant obligations on employers who intend to take action based on such information.

The Fair Chance Act ordinance will become effective on October 27, 2015, 120 days after Mayor Bill de Blasio signed the bill on June 29.

Similar to other ban-the-box laws, the ordinance generally prohibits an employer with at least four employees from making an inquiry about an applicant’s pending arrest or criminal conviction record until after a conditional offer of employment has been extended. Limited exceptions are provided.

Under the ordinance’s definition of inquiry, employers are prohibited not only from asking an applicant prohibited questions — verbally or in writing — but also are prohibited from searching publicly available sources to obtain information about an applicant’s criminal history.

Exceptions

The main exception applies when an employer, under applicable federal, state, or local law, is required to conduct criminal background checks for employment purposes or to bar employment in a particular position based on criminal history.

Other exceptions remove prospective police officers, peace officers, and law enforcement agency and other law-enforcement-related employees from coverage. Therefore, these are unlikely to affect positions and employers in the private sector.

Notification Process

Employers who make inquiries into an applicant’s criminal history after a conditional offer of employment has been extended and determine that the information warrants an adverse employment action must follow a rigorous process. Specifically, employers must:

  1. Provide the applicant with a “written copy of the inquiry” which complies with the City’s Commission on Human Rights’s required (but not-yet-issued) format;

  2. Perform the analysis required by Article 23(a) of the New York Correction Law, “Licensure and Employment of Persons Previously Convicted of One or More Criminal Offenses”;

  3. Provide the applicant with a copy of its analysis, also in a manner which complies with the Commission’s required format, which includes supporting documents and an explanation of the employer’s decision to take an adverse employment action; and

  4. Allow the applicant at least three business days to respond to the written analysis by holding the position open during this time.

Of course, for employers who conduct background checks through consumer reporting agencies, if such information is obtained from a background check, the above process must be integrated with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) pre-adverse action requirements.

Originally posted by The National Law Review