Attention New York City employers, under a new law (Int. 879-A and Int. 905-A), which takes effect on March 18, 2019, employers with 4 or more employees will be required to provide “lactation rooms” for breastfeeding employees to express milk in the workplace. In addition, employers must develop a written policy relating to lactation accommodation that must be provided to all employees and all new employees upon hire.
The City Commission on Human Rights will be developing a model policy that employers can use.
As all New York employers are aware, earlier this year, New York enacted an expansive set of laws relating to sexual harassment, which went into effect earlier this month.
Earlier this month, the New York State Department of Labor released English versions of a Model Sexual Harassment Policy, Model Complaint Form, Training Requirements, and FAQs, which are available here.
On October 17, 2018, the New York State Department of Labor released translated versions of these documents in the following languages: Chinese, Haitian-Creole, Korean, Italian, Polish, Russian, and Spanish, which are available here.
One of the requirements under these new laws is the requirement that employers provide sexual harassment training materials and policies to their employees in the employee’s primary language. If the New York State Department of Labor has not translated a document into the language spoken by an employee, an employer is considered in compliance by providing the employee English language documents.
On October 1, 2018, the New York State Division of Human Rights and Department of Labor published the final versions of the model anti-harassment training program and a model sexual harassment policy. See our previous article (NEW GUIDANCE: New York State Final Sexual Harassment Model Policy & Sexual Harassment Training Programs Released) for information about the final materials.
Employers are required to adopt and provide a copy of their sexual harassment prevention policy to all employees by October 9, 2018. In addition, employers are required to display the new sexual harassment prevention policy poster in a prominent location in the workplace no later than October 9, 2018.
It is recommended that New York employers take immediate steps to comply with these new requirements.
The good news for employers, the deadlines to provide sexual harassment training have changed.
With respect to providing sexual harassment training to new hires, the final guidance materials remove the proposed 30-day deadline by which newly-hired employees must complete their first mandatory anti-harassment training. Instead, there is not any set deadline and the State “encourages training of of new hires as soon as possible.” (NOTE: New York City employers will be required to train new hires in New York City within the first 90 days of employment).
With respect to providing sexual harassment training to existing employees, the final guidance materials postpone the deadline by which all employees in New York State must complete their first annual mandatory anti-harassment training to October 9, 2019.
As reported earlier (NEW GUIDANCE: New York State Publishes DRAFT Model Sexual Harassment Policy and Training), in late August, the New York State Division of Human Rights and Department of Labor published draft versions of model anti-harassment training program and a model sexual harassment policy. The publication of these materials was in compliance with these agencies’ obligations under New York State’s new anti-harassment law. As a reminder, this law:
- Prohibits employers from using a mandatory arbitration provision in an employment contract in relation to sexual harassment;
- Requires that nondisclosure agreements can only be used when the condition of confidentiality is the explicit preference of the victim; and
- Amends the Human Rights Law to protect contractors, subcontractors, vendors, consultants, or others providing services in the workplace from sexual harassment in the workplace.
- Establishes minimum standards for sexual harassment prevention policies and sexual harassment training. All employers operating in New York State must either adopt and use the State’s model policy and training as-is or use the models as a basis to establish their own policy and training.
Continue reading NEW GUIDANCE: New York State Final Sexual Harassment Model Policy & Sexual Harassment Training Programs Released
New York State hotel operators are you ready for the new posting requirement?
Starting October 14, 2018, all hotels in New York with at least five rooms will be required to post human trafficking “informational cards” throughout each hotel’s premises.
There are three options for the type of card that can be posted:
- The hotel can create its own informational card
- The hotel can use a card created by the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) in conjunction with the New York State Interagency Task Force on Human Trafficking (which is not yet available)
- Use a card created by the United States Department of Homeland Security
Should a hotel operator choose to create its own card, it must contain the following:
- the National Human Trafficking Hotline number (1-888-373-7888) and
- only information regarding services for human trafficking victims.
There are no other specific requirements for the content of these cards. In addition, there are not any specific size requirements for the cards.
Hotel operators are required to place the cards in the hotel
- in plain view and in a conspicuous location in public rest rooms,
- in guest rooms, and
- near the public entrance to the hotel (or another conspicuous location in clear view of the public and its employees where similar information is customarily displayed)
Aside from the above location requirement, there is no requirement that the cards to be affixed in any particular location; therefore, a hotel may choose to stack informational cards in the required locations.
The new New York City sexual harassment law (Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act — Local Law 95 of 2018 and Local Law 96 of 2018) requires all New York City employers distribute the New York City Commission on Human Rights’ mandatory fact sheet on the “Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act” to all new employees starting September 6, 2018.
In addition, starting September 6, 2018, all New York City employers are required to post information in the workplace regarding the Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act. The required poster is available in both English and Spanish and must be published in other languages.
Finally, while not required, we strongly recommend that all all New York City employers distribute the New York City Commission on Human Rights’ mandatory fact sheet on the “Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act” to all existing employees.
As reported in a previous article (New York State and New York City Amend Sexual Harassment Laws), earlier this year, New York State passed a stringent new sexual harassment law.
As a part of this law, the New York State Division of Human Rights and Department of Labor were required to publish a model anti-harassment training program and a model sexual harassment policy. Once available, employers can choose whether to adopt the models prepared by the state or develop their own, so long as their policies and training meet or exceed the standards contained in the models.
On August 23, 2018, New York State released the following new materials designed to help New York employers comply with the new law:
Continue reading NEW GUIDANCE: New York State Publishes DRAFT Model Sexual Harassment Policy and Training
Earlier this year, New York City enacted new laws requiring NYC employers to educate their employees about workplace harassment and sexual harassment.
Under the new law, the NYC Commission on Human Rights is required to provide employers with certain tools to help NYC employers comply with the new law. These tools include:
- Creating a workplace poster addressing the new law (in both English and Spanish)
- Develop a model anti-harassment policy
- Develop a model standard complaint form
- Develop a model anti-harassment training program.
The NYC Commission on Human Rights recently published the English version of the new workplace poster (the Spanish version is still forthcoming). Starting September 6, 2018, all NYC employers are required to display this poster (and the Spanish version) in a prominent location in the workplace.
We recommend that employers post this poster as soon as possible.
In addition to the poster, the NYC Commission on Human Rights has also released a “Stop Sexual Harassment Act Factsheet”. This factsheet is intended to help employers meet the requirement of providing all employees (and new hires) with notice of the anti-harassment law. Employers may either distribute this factsheet to all existing employees and new hires and/or they can incorporate the information in the factsheet into an anti-harassment policy in the employee handbook or a free-standing policy.
We recommend that employers provide this factsheet to all current employees and new hires. Continue reading NEW POSTER: NYC Publishes New Sexual Harassment Poster
In a strong response to the #MeToo movement, New York State and New York City recently enacted significant amendments to the state and city human rights laws to add detailed requirements for the adoption of a sexual harassment prevention program, including mandatory sexual harassment policies, posters, and training programs.
New York State Law
Sexual Harassment Prevention Policy
Continue reading New York State and New York City Amend Sexual Harassment Laws
Starting May 5, 2018, New York City employers must permit employees to take paid sick leave when they or their family members are victims of family offense matters, sexual offenses, stalking, and human trafficking. These changes come through an amendment of New York City’s Earned Sick Time Act which will now be known as the Earned Sick and Safe Time Act (Act). Thus, employers should modify their sick leave policies accordingly.
Added Uses for Sick Time
The amendments to the Act expand the reasons an employee may request time off (paid or unpaid) under the sick leave law, but not the amount of leave that must be provided. Under the amendments, an employee may request leave if the employee or an employee’s family members has been the victim of a family offense (including domestic violence and disorderly conduct), sexual offense, stalking or human trafficking and needs time off to do any of the following:
- Obtain services from a domestic violence shelter, rape crisis center, or other shelter or services program;
- Participate in safety planning, temporarily or permanently relocate, or take other action to increase safety to the employee or employee’s family members from future family offense matters;
- Meet with a civil attorney or other social service provider to obtain information and advice on, and prepare for or participate in any criminal or civil proceedings;
- File a complaint or domestic incident report with law enforcement;
- Enroll children in a new school; or
- Take other action necessary to maintain, improve, or restore the physical, psychological, or economic health or safety of the employee or the employee’s family members, or to protect those who associate or work with the employee.
Expanded Definition of Family Member
The Act also expands the definition of family member under the sick leave law for both sick and safe time purposes. This term will include:
- Any individual related by blood to the employee; and
- Individuals whose close association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship.
Same Rules for Absences and Supporting Evidence Continue reading New York City Adds Safe Time to Existing Sick Leave Law