Legal Analysts

Showing posts with label #sexualharassment #disciminationlaw #attorneyandrewlieb #compliance #employmentlaw #departmentoflabor #proposedsexualharassmentpreventionmodelpolicy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #sexualharassment #disciminationlaw #attorneyandrewlieb #compliance #employmentlaw #departmentoflabor #proposedsexualharassmentpreventionmodelpolicy. Show all posts

Friday, January 20, 2023

Progressive 2023 Sexual Harassment Prevention Model Policy Changes Coming to NYS

The New York State Department of Labor (“DOL”) is once again raising the bar on workplace protections against sexual harassment and discrimination. In its Proposed Sexual Harassment Prevention Model Policy important issues such as remote work, gender identity, and bystander prevention techniques take center stage.

Back in October of 2018, the DOL required all employers in New York State to adopt written sexual harassment prevention policies and provide employees with annual anti-harassment training in satisfaction of Labor Law 201-g.To assist employers with compliance, it also issued the first model sexual harassment policy, which set a minimum required standard, and required that it be reviewed and updated every 4 years. The model policy released on January 12, 2023 is the product of this first review, and it incorporates feedback received from workers in various career fields throughout the state.

The proposed revisions are largely aimed at helping workers understand their rights and how to take action when they are violated. It does this in a few notable ways.

First, it clarifies certain aspects of the New York State Human Rights Law. For example, one key provision explains that sexual harassment need not be severe and pervasive to be illegal in New York State. Another makes clear that harassing conduct is assessed from the perspective of a "reasonable victim of discrimination with the same protected characteristics."

Next, gender diversity features heavily. Definitions are provided for certain identities including cisgender, nonbinary, and transgender as well as how such identities can intersect and affect one's experience in the workplace. This revision seems to recognize the reality that promoting a safe workplace necessarily involves awareness and sensitivity to the diverse identities and experiences of those we work with.

Other key aspects of the proposed policy include a new section devoted to bystander intervention, emphasis on supervisor sensitivity to victims, and how sexual harassment and discrimination can occur in the context of remote work.

Through February 11, 2023, the DOL is accepting public comments on the proposed revisions. After that, a final version will be adopted.

If you run a business in NYS or with NYS employees - you better be paying attention to this as your exposure is through the roof if you ignore it.