New York City Enacts Another Expansion of its Human Rights Law
On the heels of New York State expanding its sexual harassment laws, New York City has enacted its own expansion of the City's Human Rights Law (NYCHRL). The City's new legislation significantly expands the obligations of New York City employers to prevent sexual harassment.
Mandatory Anti-Sexual Harassment Training
Similar to the State's law, New York City will require that employers provide annual interactive anti-sexual harassment training for all employees. This obligation becomes effective April 1, 2019 and applies to all private employers in New York City with 15 or more employees.
Training must be conducted after 90 days for new employees. However, if a new employee received anti-sexual harassment training at a prior employer within the required training period, they are not required to receive additional training until the next annual training cycle.
The training required by New York City is broader than the training that will be required under the upcoming New York State law. Specifically, in addition to what the State law requires, New York City will require that the training educate employees on "bystander" intervention, explain the responsibilities of supervisors and managers, and define and provide examples of retaliation.
Effective September 6, 2018, employers in New York City, regardless of size, must post a sexual harassment rights and responsibilities poster. In addition, new hires must be provided with an informational sheet on sexual harassment, which will be prepared by New York City Commission on Human Rights (the "Commission").
Expansion of Statute of Limitations
Effective immediately, the statute of limitations for filing of an administrative claim with the Commission has been extended from one year to three years from the date of the alleged harassment.
Expanded Coverage of Employers
Previously, the NYCHRL applied only to employers with four or more employees. Now, with regard gender-based harassment claims, the NYCHRL applies to all employers in New York City. Other types of harassment and discrimination remain subject to the four employee threshold.
Due to the recently enacted legislation at the state and local level, employers in New York, and particularly New York City, should review and update their policies and training, as needed, to comply with the new legal requirements. If you have any questions about your business's anti-harassment policies or prevention obligations, please contact me at 646-503-5358 or firstname.lastname@example.org.