The NYC Human Rights Law protects all individuals against discrimination based on gender, which includes sexual harassment in the workplace, in housing, and in public accommodations like stores and restaurants. Under Local Law 95 of 2018, all employers in the City are required to conspicuously display anti-sexual harassment rights and responsibilities notices in both English and Spanish. Bystander education and training can help individuals better understand sexual harassment in the workplace and how to recognize, speak out, and report it. Standing up is an important role to make the work environment safer. It is important to understand that violators can be held accountable with civil penalties of up to $250,000 in the case of a willful violation.
Additional obligations for employers include:
- Under Local Law 96 of 2018, employers with 15 or more employees are required to conduct annual anti-sexual harassment training for all employees. Effective April 2019, employers must ensure all employees are trained annually, beginning with Calendar Year 2019, and every year thereafter. The Commission will develop and share an online training to be available on its website that will satisfy this requirement on or before April 1, 2019. Employers may also choose to provide their own annual anti-sexual harassment training for employees provided that it includes the following elements:
- An explanation of sexual harassment as a form of unlawful discrimination under local law;
- A statement that sexual harassment is also a form of unlawful discrimination under state and federal law;
- A description of what sexual harassment is, using examples;
- Any internal complaint process available to employees through their employer to address sexual harassment claims;
- The complaint process available through the Commission, the New York State Division of Human Rights and the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, including contact information;
- The prohibition of retaliation including examples;
- Information concerning bystander intervention, including but not limited to any resources that explain how to engage in bystander intervention; and
- The specific responsibilities of supervisory and managerial employees in the prevention of sexual harassment and retaliation, and measures that such employees may take to appropriately address sexual harassment complaints.
Employers shall keep a record of all trainings, including a signed employee acknowledgement. These may be kept electronically.
- Under Local Law 95 of 2018, all employers in the City are required to conspicuously display anti-sexual harassment rights and responsibilities notices in both English (Legal size, Letter size) and Spanish (Legal size, Letter size) and distribute a factsheet (English, Spanish) to individual employees at the time of hire which may be included in an employee handbook.
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The New York City Commission on Human Rights is charged with the enforcement of the Human Rights Law and with educating the public and encouraging positive community relations.
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