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NYC Employers Must Post Sexual Harassment Notice and Distribute Information Sheet by September 6

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Volume 41 | Issue 58

The Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act, a package of 11 bills targeting gender-based harassment in the workplace, was signed into law by Mayor Bill de Blasio on May 9. Among other things, the new law requires NYC employers to conspicuously display an anti-sexual harassment poster in their workplaces and distribute an information sheet to employees. Employers must display the city-approved poster and begin disseminating an information sheet to all new hires or incorporate it into their handbooks no later than September 6.

Background

On May 9, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed into law the Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act, a package of 11 bills aimed at addressing and preventing gender-based harassment in the workplace. The Act amended the policy statement of the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) to include sexual harassment as a form of discrimination that the New York City Commission on Human Rights (Commission) has the power to eliminate and prevent. It also amended the NYCHRL to expand its coverage with respect to sexual harassment cases to all NYC employers regardless of size, and to extend the statute of limitations for filing a claim of gender-based harassment from one to three years after the conduct occurs.

The new law requires employers with 15 or more employees to conduct annual, interactive sexual harassment training for all of its employees in NYC, starting in 2019. It also requires all employers in the city to provide written notice of employees’ rights under the NYCHRL both in the form of a workplace poster and as an information sheet to be distributed to employees at the time of hire.

Approaching Deadline

The Commission has now issued an anti-sexual harassment poster for use by NYC employers to satisfy the Act’s posting requirement. The poster explains that sexual harassment is a form of unlawful discrimination under federal, state and local law, provides examples of such conduct, and describes the complaint process and the prohibition against retaliation. The new law requires the poster to be displayed in both English and Spanish. Employers must conspicuously display the poster in their employee breakrooms or other common areas by September 6.

The Commission has also released an English-version fact sheet, which is intended to satisfy the individual notice requirement under the new law. While the new law also requires the Commission to issue a Spanish-language version, it is not yet available. Beginning September 6, employers must distribute the fact sheet to new employees at the time of hire. Alternatively, employers may incorporate the same information into their employee handbooks by that date.

In Closing

The Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act requires NYC employers to provide written notice of employees’ rights under the NYCHRL, both in the form of a workplace poster and as an information sheet distributed to new hires. Employers must conspicuously display the city-approved poster and begin disseminating an information sheet to all new hires or incorporate it into their handbooks no later than September 6.

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