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Accordingly, this blog is Part IV of the new series, “Key Workplace Policies and Employee Handbooks.” In Part III, we reviewed what New York law says about including anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policies, particularly concerning sexual harassment, in employee handbooks. Regarding this, we mentioned that as codified under N.Y. Lab. Law § 201-g(1), employers in New York are required to adopt a policy on the prevention of sexual harassment in compliance with guidelines provided by the New York Department of Labor. We also added that pursuant to this statute, the policy should give examples of acts that constitute sexual harassment, indicate that it is unlawful to retaliate against individuals who file complaints, include a complaint form, establish investigation and reporting procedures, and expressly state that sexual harassment is a form of employee misconduct.

To move this discussion forward, this blog is titled “Sexual Harassment Training Compliance in Employee Handbooks” and is Part IV of the series in which we have reviewed the requirements of New York law when it comes to sexual harassment training for employees.

Sexual Harassment Training Compliance in Employee Handbooks

As codified under N.Y. Lab. Law § 201-g(2), employers in the state of New York are mandated to provide their employees with training on how to prevent sexual harassment. Pursuant to this statute, the training must (1) include information concerning options for remedies, (2) explain sexual harassment in detail, (3) include examples of unlawful conduct, and (4) be interactive.

Indeed, in our blog titled “Harassment Claims under the New York City Human Rights Law” and accessible through, we emphasized the need for New York City employers to remain compliant with the anti-sexual harassment requirements mandated under the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) in their workplaces. One of the key steps towards compliance discussed in this blog entailed conducting anti-sexual harassment interactive training.

Accordingly, we mentioned that as required by the NYCHRL, private employers should provide annual anti-sexual harassment interactive training to all employees, including freelancers, independent contractors, interns, and managerial or supervisory employees, if such employers have 15 or more employees. In addition, if an employee interacts with New York employees, even if not physically present in the city but based elsewhere, they should also be trained. We also learned that in line with the NYCHRL, for employees who, engaged either in a part-time or full-time plan, work more than 80 hours in a calendar year, training should be held after 90 days of the initial hire.

Notably, the NYCHRL provides a list of things that should be included in the training, including (1) a statement that to both state and federal law, sexual harassment encompasses unlawful discrimination, (2) a description and examples of sexual harassment, (3) an explanation that pursuant to the NYCHRL, sexual harassment encompasses unlawful discrimination, (4) specific responsibilities of managerial or supervisory employees in preventing sexual harassment and retaliation, including measures that may be taken by employees to address sexual harassment allegations appropriately, (5) the prohibition of retaliation, including examples, (6) information about bystander intervention, including how to engage in bystander intervention, (7) the complaint process available from the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), New York State’s division of human rights, and New York City’s human rights commission, and (8) any internal complaint process through which employees can address their sexual harassment claims.

Additionally, while training on sexual harassment prevention should be conducted for all employers with 15 or more employees pursuant to N.Y.C. Admin. Code § 8-107, subd. 29-30, employers in New York State are required, under New York City’s Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act, to post a notice of responsibilities and rights concerning anti-sexual harassment. Notably, training on sexual harassment prevention in New York City should be conducted annually and exceed the requirements of the state law, such as by incorporating bystander intervention training, as highlighted earlier and explained in the blog accessible through the link provided above.

Be on the lookout for Part V of this series and our blog titled “Inclusion of a Disability Policy in Employee Handbooks,” in which we will review what New York law says about including a disability policy in employee handbooks.

As usual, stay tuned for more legal guidance, training, and education. In the interim, if there are any questions or comments, please let us know at the Contact Us page!

Always Rising Above the Bar,

Isaac T.,

Legal Writer, Author, and Publisher.