NYC Releases FAQs Relating to the Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act

As we previously reported, in addition to the new legislation passed in New York State relating to Sexual Harassment Prevention in the workplace, New York City passed similar legislation earlier this year, under the Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act (the “Act”). The Act requires New York City employers with 15 or more employees to conduct annual sexual harassment training, effective April 1, 2019. Recently, the New York City Commission of Human Rights (the “Commission”) issued guidance on the new legislation on its website with a set of Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQs”).

According to the FAQs, all employers with 15 or more employees must provide a sexual harassment training to employees every calendar year.  To determine whether an employer has 15 or more employees, employers must consider the number of employees they have employed at any point within the prior calendar year. Independent contractors are counted as “employees” for the purposes of calculating the 15-employee minimum that triggers an employer’s obligation to provide annual sexual harassment training (regardless of the number of days or hours they work).

Employers are required to train employees who work more than 80 hours in a calendar year and work for at least 90 days. If an employee has worked less than 90 days or less than 80 hours in a calendar year, they do not need to be trained. An employer is required to train independent contractors who have performed work in the furtherance of the business for more than 90 days and more than 80 hours in a calendar year. Employers are not required to re-train independent contractors who have already received the mandated annual training elsewhere.

The Commission is developing an online training program that employers may use to comply with the requirements of the new law. The Commission is partnering with the New York State Division of Human Rights and the New York State Department of Labor so that NYC-based employers can meet compliance with both the New York State and New York City training requirements by utilizing the forthcoming online training provided by the New York City Commission on Human Rights. The online training will be available on or before April 1, 2019.

Every employer must conspicuously post the City’s notice of employee rights in the workplace in both English and Spanish. In addition, all new employees must receive a fact sheet at the time of hire. The FAQs state that this can be provided on or about the employee’s first few days of work, but no later than the end of the employee’s first week of work.

We will continue to keep you updated should there be any further information released.