Sexual Harassment Training - New York State Training Requirements
This Sexual Harassment Compliance Training course teaches you how to recognize and understand sexual harassment so that you can help to maintain a happy work environment, free from hostility and discomfort.
- Each employee must receive training on an annual basis, starting October 9th, 2018.
- There is no duration specified for the training.
- Those in a supervisory position must receive additional training. See New York City Requirements.
Our engaging, interactive, New York State Sexual Harassment Compliance Training course combines relevant videos, scenarios, and quizzes that your employees will be able to identify with and apply to their roles.
What Is Harassment?
Video: Definition of harassment. Examples of real-life stories that illustrate the impact of harassment.
Interactive Screen: What harassment includes and when harassment becomes actionable.
Scenario: Jokes based on an individual’s nationality.
Key Learning: Even if someone doesn’t intend any harm, if the target of the jokes is hurt by the jokes and this is happening on a regular basis, this could create a hostile work environment.
Scenario: Risqué emails that sometimes contain jokes on religion and sexuality.
Key Learning: Jokes that offend some colleagues could contribute to an offensive, hostile work environment.
Scenario: Friendly conversation offering dating advice.
Key Learning: Intent and perception are key to determining if a statement could be considered harassment.
Interactive Screen: Definition of sexual harassment. It doesn’t have to be sexual in nature – could include offensive remarks about a person’s sex.
Interactive Screen: What constitutes sexual harassment? Verbal harassment, nonverbal (visual) harassment, physical harassment, teasing and offhand comments.
Interactive Screen: Does it have to be sexual? Who’s impacted? What does the law say? What is a hostile environment? What is quid pro quo? Are there specific laws to protect transgender people?
Scenario: A drunken proposal while at a work conference.
Key Learning: Just because an employee is not at work, they may not engage in inappropriate conduct that would otherwise be impermissible in the workplace itself.
Scenario: Spreading rumors about a colleague’s sexuality.
Key Learning: Offensive comments about a person’s sexuality are harassment, even if the victim doesn’t hear.
Scenario: Personal history interfering in a promotion decision.
Key Learning: Must have solid reasons for reaching a hiring decision.
Scenario: Same-sex harassment – one colleague sending another flirty emails and sticky notes.
Key Learning: Conduct constitutes harassment because the conduct is unwelcome and it has unreasonably interfered with his colleague’s work.
Scenario: Inappropriate physical touching.
Key Learning: Conduct may be considered harassment if it is unwelcomed and it makes the victim uncomfortable.
Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity Harassment
Video: Define gender identity. Discrimination against an individual because that person is transgender is discrimination because of sex.
Scenario: Hiring a new team member who is in a same-sex relationship.
Key Learning: You cannot treat individuals differently because of their sexual orientation or preference.
Scenario: Whispers about gender reassignment.
Key Learning: When someone at work goes through a gender transition, it’s important to have in-person sexual harassment training with the employee’s managers and the colleagues who work directly with the transitioning employee.
Impacts of Harassment & Discrimination
Interactive Screen: Outline the impact that harassment has on the victim, the workforce, the company brand and reputation, productivity and profitability, and on management.
Scenario: Overhearing two colleagues mocking another colleague about religious dress.
Key Learning: In some cases, the perpetrators of inappropriate behavior don’t believe they’re doing anything wrong. If you feel comfortable, speak to the perpetrators and ask them to stop.
Scenario: Mocking over religious dress continues.
Key Learning: When the perpetrator doesn’t change their behavior, it’s best to report the incident before the situation escalates.
Scenario: Wider impact that discrimination has in the workplace.
Key Learning: Discrimination may cause a colleague to become withdrawn and less engaged in the workplace. This could have an adverse effect on the workforce, as it may make other colleagues uncomfortable and could cause a divide in working teams and groups.
Laws, Protected Groups & Types of Harassment
Interactive Screen: Federal discrimination laws. Who’s protected? What’s included?
Interactive Screen: State laws. Examples: California, New York, Washington D.C., Massachusetts, New Jersey.
Interactive Learning: What do we mean by protected groups? Examples of protected groups. Types of discrimination.
Interactive Screen: Types of harassment. Quid pro quo. Hostile work environment.
Interactive Screen: Affirmative defense – under federal law, an employer can avoid liability for discrimination if it can show three things.
Scenario: Drafting a job advertisement without discriminating against any protected groups.
Key Learning: Discriminatory conduct is prohibited in all aspects of the employment process, including recruitment.
Scenario: Candidate for an interview is in a wheelchair.
Key Learning: Unless it causes an employer undue hardship, refusing to accommodate an applicant or employee with a disability is discrimination.
Scenario: Consequences of rejecting a candidate because they might become pregnant.
Key Learning: Pregnancy is a class that is protected under both federal and state law. Marital status is a class that is protected under certain state anti-discrimination laws.
Every employer in New York State is required to provide employees with sexual harassment prevention training. Each employee must receive training on an annual basis, starting October 9th, 2018. There is no duration specified for the training. Those in a supervisory position must receive additional training on conduct by supervisors and any additional responsibilities for such supervisors.
Every employer in the State of New York is required to provide employees with sexual harassment prevention training pursuant to Section 201-g of the Labor Law. An employer that does not use the model training developed by the State Department of Labor and Division of Human Rights must ensure that the training that they use meets or exceeds the following minimum standards.
The training must:
- be interactive;
- include an explanation of sexual harassment consistent with guidance issued by the Department of Labor in consultation with the Division of Human Rights;
- include examples of conduct that would constitute unlawful sexual harassment;
- include information concerning the federal and state statutory provisions concerning sexual harassment and remedies available to victims of sexual harassment;
- include information concerning employees’ rights of redress and all available forums for adjudicating complaints; and
- include information addressing conduct by supervisors and any additional responsibilities for such supervisors.
- As of Oct. 9, 2018, each employee must receive training on an annual basis.
- Employers should provide employees with training in the language spoken by their employees.
As an employee, you are responsible for meeting the requirements for sexual harassment training in New York State. This means providing the right training to the right people, at the right time, and making sure every employee completes the training and demonstrates understanding of the rules and regulations that apply to them.
Training should be interactive, with a focus on behavior change and real-life scenarios. Do more than tick the box! Let your employees explore the difficult situations that can arise in the modern workplace, and teach them to make value-based judgements that uphold your policies around ethics and compliance. Make sure you capture their engagement and ensure they’ve understood the core content.
Ensure you are profiling your employee base and providing a tailored learning experience based on a person’s role. Some content will apply to all employees, but (for example) managers may need content that individual contributors do not, and workers in a factory environment may experience different compliance risk situations to workers in an office. Remember, nothing kills learner engagement faster that being asked to take content that is irrelevant to your role.
As you can see in the requirements above, New York State laws on sexual harassment training stipulate the frequency and duration of training required. Create a program that delivers training to your workforce as part of a thoughtful campaign, delivering just enough content, just often enough, to keep the topic fresh in the employee’s mind, and meet the legal requirements.
In addition, take this excellent opportunity to strengthen the culture of compliance and ethical behavior within your organization. There are several behaviors that can be considered sexual harassment including physical and verbal activities. It is important that employees understand each of these types of behaviors and can recognize the situations where they might arise. By providing a targeted, relevant and thoughtful learning experience to your workforce, you help create an environment in which everyone can recognize what constitutes sexual harassment in the workplace.
Smart companies create ethics-based training programs that ensure business practices that will protect the brand. Our Sexual Harassment Compliance Training course teaches you how to recognize and understand sexual harassment, so that you can help to maintain a happy work environment, free from hostility and discomfort. The engaging, interactive course for New York State combines relevant videos, scenarios, and quizzes that your employees will be able to identify with and apply to their roles.
Ultimately, good compliance training doesn’t just mean your employees are ticking an “I have read the policy” box. It means that they understand the correct behaviors and values expected of them, and are actively working to adhere to them, and not just within the confines of the office. They recognize that they are representing the company at all times and are upholding the values and standards of the organization both privately and publicly.
MINIMUM STANDARDS FOR SEXUAL HARASSMENT PREVENTION TRAINING:
- Training Guide for NY and CA Sexual Harassment Compliance
- Unpacking New York Anti-Sexual Harassment Training Needs
- Are You Ready for California’s New Sexual Harassment Training Requirements?