New York Harassment Training Requirements

New York

Harassment Training Requirements

In 2018, New York (NY) Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed two mandatory sexual harassment training requirements for most businesses statewide. This sweeping act of employment legislation requires employers to meet New York State (NYS) harassment training requirements by providing sexual harassment training to every employee every year. The New York State training law applies to all employers in the state, and the New York City law applies to employers that employ more than 15 workers, including interns.

The check marks in the table below indicate which training topics are required by state law.

Topic Required by Law   |   Topic Not Required by Law

  • Topics
  • Regulations
  • Legislation
  • Section 201-g
    NYC Local Law 96
  • Who needs to be trained?
  • Managers and employees
  • Time requirements
  • None
  • Frequency
  • Annually
  • Interactivity / Ability to ask questions and get trainer's answers

    Where the employee learner can ask questions about the concepts in a safe, anonymous way and get answers and guidance from subject matter experts.

  • Definition of protected characteristics

    A description of the personal characteristics that are protected by law in each state.

  • Types of sexual harassment (quid pro quo and hostile work environment)

    A description of the actions or situations that would create either quid pro quo harassment (this for that) or hostile work environment harassment.

  • Parties to harassment

    A lesson about different people who can be involved in harassment, such as co-workers, clients, interns, a person of any gender.

  • Remedies available

    A lesson about what a person can recover in a lawsuit for harassment, such as money for economic harm, emotional harm, etc.

  • Strategies to prevent harassment

    A description about the different personal and organizational behaviors to promote respect and minimize harassment.

  • Practical examples from case law, news, and media

    Real stories to illustrate the concepts.

  • Limited confidentiality of the complaint process

    A lesson about the logistics of filing a harassment complaint and how there is no legal right to confidentiality.

  • Resources for victims and complainants

    A description of the employer's resources that are designed to help people complaining of harassment.

  • Duty to investigate

    A lesson on the legal duty of the employer to investigate all claims of harassment and the minimum requirements of the investigation.

  • What to do if supervisor is personally accused

    A lesson on how a supervisor or manager should respond if accused by a subordinate employee of harassment.

  • Personal liability of harasser / Criminal liability

    Information about if and when an employee can be sued personally for harassment (as opposed to just named in the lawsuit) and if an accused faces criminal liability.

  • Supervisor's obligation to report harassment

    A lesson for supervisors to teach them to promptly report any claims of harassment, even if it doesn't appear like a formal complaint.

  • Elements of the employer's harassment policy

    A lesson outlining and covering all the components of the employer's harassment policy and complaint procedure.

  • Review of the elements of abusive conduct

    Information about when conduct is considered abusive and, whether abusive conduct is illegal in that region. For example, abusive conduct is not illegal in any state in the United States but it is illegal in different provinces in Canada.

  • Bystander intervention

    A lesson on how people who witness harassing or disrespectful conduct can and should intervene to protect the employee and stop the conduct.

  • Retaliation

    A lesson on when actions meet the criteria of retaliation and an explanation that retaliation is illegal.

  • Protected Characteristics in New York

    • Race
    • Color
    • National Origin
    • Religion
    • Sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions)
    • Disability (physical or mental)
    • Age (18 and older)
    • Genetic Characteristics
    • Marital Status
    • Familial Status (being pregnant, caring for a child under 18, or seeking to adopt a child under 18)
    • Sexual Orientation (includes perceived sexual orientation)
    • Gender Identity
    • Lawful Use of Any Product or Lawful Recreational Activities When Not at Work
    • Military Status or Service
    • Observance of Sabbath
    • Political Activities
    • Use of Service Dog
    • Prior Arrests or Criminal Accusation
    • Prior Convictions (unless certain requirements have been met)
    • Domestic Violence Victim Status

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