A Simple Breakdown of the NY State Sexual Harassment Laws

ny state sexual harassment laws #metoo sign
The NY State Sexual Harassment Laws have been implemented to protect more employees than before.

Update: As of October 1st, 2018, the New York State Government has revised its sexual harassment training requirement deadlines. Each existing employee must have their initial training completed by October 9th, 2019, not January 1st. New employees hired after October 9th, 2018 must be trained “as soon as possible”  – meaning within a reasonable amount of time from their hiring date. Learn more about the updated requirements by visiting the ny.gov FAQ.

Both New York City and New York State have passed new sexual harassment training requirements for all employers and employees, making it the most expansive in the nation.

Employers will have to abide by these new rules starting next month and beginning of next year.

We’ll go over all the dates, details, and requirements below.

What are the New York State Sexual Harassment Training Requirements?

The governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, signed the FY 2019 budget on April 12th.

It includes provisions for a variety of programs, including new sexual harassment training requirements for every single employer in the State of New York.

By October 9th, employers must implement an annual sexual harassment training initiative.

Here’s a brief overview of requirements under the new law:

  • Sexual harassment guidelines that conform to State standards.
  • A detailed outline that shows precisely what constitutes sexual harassment.
  • A list of provisions and remedies available to victims of sexual harassment through federal and state agencies.
  • A display of employee rights under the law as well as access to the proper legal forms to file a complaint.

The policies you implement must conform to Section 201-g of the new labor laws.

Thankfully, the state of New York has released an initial draft of a model sexual harassment training manual that you can implement. These are the minimum requirements, so if you create your own manual, you have to meet or exceed these requirements.

Your training initiative must also be participatory, which could include interactive web-based training that:

  • Asks employees questions as part of the training.
  • Facilitates answering questions asked by employees.
  • Requires feedback from employees about the training and its materials.

Here are a few additional points New York employers should know:

  • Your employees should complete their sexual harassment training before Jan. 1st, 2019.
  • Every year at any time during the year, each of your employees must complete sexual harassment training again.
  • New employees should complete their sexual harassment training within 30 days of starting work.
  • You should teach sexual harassment training classes in the language of the employees taking the training.

What Is the Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act and Its Requirements?

Only a month after Governor Cuomo signed the NY state sexual harassment laws, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio signed the Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act on May 9th, 2018.

Any employer with 15 or more employees (which includes interns) is now required to provide them with sexual harassment training by April 1st, 2019.

Similar to the New York state sexual harassment laws, under this bill, employers will be required to conduct training for their employees every year.

While the law only requires training for employers with 15 or more employees, it allows employees working for any-sized business to file a sexual harassment complaint and be protected under this law.

Here’s what the training must cover:

  • A description of sexual harassment that explicitly refers to it as “a form of unlawful discrimination under city, state, and federal law.”
  • A list of sexual harassment examples.
  • A description of your process for handling sexual harassment claims.
  • A description of the sexual harassment claims process available to employees through the NYC Commission on Human Rights, the New York State of Human Rights, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
  • A list of what constitutes employer retaliation against an employee who files a sexual harassment complaint, and how retaliation is prohibited under the law.
  • A description of how bystanders can intervene if they see or suspect sexual harassment happening to others.

It’s not just employees who must undergo this training, supervisors and managers must be trained as well, especially on their responsibilities when a sexual harassment complaint is filed.

New employees must be trained within 90 days of being hired, unless they received training at their last job.

All employees must undergo sexual harassment training each year, any time of the year.

Use This to Help Conform to the NY State Sexual Harassment Laws

Using the model manual New York provides is a great start to designing and implementing sexual harassment policies that conform to the law.

But if you want to go above and beyond the minimum requirements, or if you want a way to implement training quickly, we can help.

We’ve created NY State compliant courses on preventing sexual harassment for both management and employees.

These courses live in a full service learning management system (LMS) that provides assignment due date configuration, chasing email reminders, and full course completion status reporting on demand.

Check out a course sample below:

And if you want to find out more about these resources and many others, get your free consultation with Enterprise Training below.

Experience the proven, easy-to-use, and cost-effective benefits of online training by scheduling your free online training consultation today!

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NYC Local Law 196: How to Comply (Without Getting Hit with $5,000 Fines)

NYC local law 196 job site safety
Local law 196 was created in order to protect workers through additional safety training

New Yorkers, are you prepared for unannounced safety checks at your construction site?

If not, you could be hit with a $5,000 fine or more.

This according to bill Intro 1447-C, otherwise known as Local Law 196, which was signed into law by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on October 16, 2017.

Later in this post, we’ll explain what Local Law 196 requires, who it affects, and how to comply with it so you don’t get hit with any fines.

But first, let’s see exactly what it is.

What is Local Law 196?

Falling-related fatalities for construction workers reached an all-time high in 2017, totaling 10 deaths according to New York’s Department of Buildings (DOB).

Local Law 196 was introduced to prevent that number from climbing in 2018 and beyond.

It mandates that workers at certain job sites receive 40 hours of safety training, while supervisors at certain job sites receive 62 hours of safety training.

What are the Local Law 196 Requirements and Who Needs to Be Trained?

These are the people on your job site who must be trained:

  • New entrants to construction.
  • Supervisors such as construction superintendents, concrete safety managers, site safety coordinators, site safety managers, and competent persons.
  • Workers at job sites with a Site Safety Plan as well as job sites with a superintendent, site safety coordinator or site safety manager.

There are 3 phases of Local Law 196. We’ll cover each and explain exactly what is required of your workers and supervisors.

Phase 1

Phase 1 of Local Law 196 has already been initiated. It started on March 1, 2018.

That means all workers and supervisors at this point must have received a minimum of 10 hours of training. New entrants to your construction site are required to complete this training prior to working.

Phase 2

Phase 2 of Local Law 196 begins on December 1, 2018. All workers at this point will be required to carry at least a Limited Site Safety Training (SST) Card.

To obtain a Limited SST Card, you have to do ONE of the following:

  • Complete OSHA 10 and undergo 20 additional hours of training specified by New York’s DOB. This includes 8 hours of training about preventing falling-related fatalities.
  • Complete OSHA 30
  • Complete a 100-hour program approved by the DOB.

All supervisors at this point must complete site safety training to obtain their requisite SST Supervisor Card.

Phase 3

Phase 3 of Local Law 196 begins on May 1, 2019.

At this point, all workers are expected to have their training complete, which could be any of the following:

  • OSHA 10 in addition to 30-45 hours of training approved by the DOB, which of course includes those 8 hours on the dangers of falling workers and objects.
  • OSHA 30 in addition to 10-25 hours of training approved by the DOB, including 8 hours of preventing falling-related accidents.
  • A 100-hour training program approved by the DOB.

And again, supervisors will have to complete site safety training to get their SST supervisor card.

How Can You Meet the Local Law 196 Requirements?

If you completed any of this training online before October 16, 2017, it will be recognized and accepted as valid.

However, any training you take after that date will have to be in-person training or actively proctored online training – meaning, a person oversees your online training to ensure you’re present for the entirety of the training course.

Once you complete the course, you should receive a wallet-sized Site Safety Training Card that must include specific information and security features, such as:

  • Unique identification card number.
  • Photographs of the person to whom it was issued.
  • Date of course completion.
  • Expiration date.
  • Name and address of provider of issuance.

Who is Exempt from Local Law 196?

Not everyone needs to undergo additional training or obtain a Site Safety Training Card.

Here’s a list of everyone exempt from Local Law 196:

  • Delivery persons
  • Flag persons
  • Professional engineers
  • Registered architects
  • Department-licensees and Department-registrants (excluding safety professionals)
  • Workers at job sites that only involve minor alterations or the construction of a new 1-, 2-, or 3-family home

What Happens if You Violate Local Law 196 Requirements?

As we alluded to earlier in this post, owners of job sites with workers who don’t meet Local Law 196 requirements will face stiff fines.

If the DOB discovers an untrained worker on a construction site, the owner of the site, the permit holder, and the employer of the untrained worker will each be given a $5,000 civil penalty.

And if the permit holder hasn’t kept a detailed log that demonstrates all the workers on-site are trained, they’ll be hit with a $2,500 penalty.

Recap of Local Law 196

Just to make sure you understand what you need and when you need it to comply with Local Law 196, here’s a quick recap.

  • March 1, 2018 is when all workers are required to have at least 10 hours of training to be able to work
  • December 1, 2018 is when all workers (old and new) need to at least have a Limited SST Card and all supervisors need to have an SST Supervisor Card
  • May 1, 2019 or September 1, 2020 is when all workers must have an SST Card

And so it’s crystal clear on how to get an SST Card, here are the requirements again:

How Workers Obtain an SST Card

  • 10-hour OSHA training plus 30 additional SST training hours
  • 30-hour OSHA training plus 10 additional SST training hours
  • 100-hour DOB sponsored training

By the way, if you have 40 hours of SST training before December 1, 2018 you can simply obtain a full SST Card without getting the Limited SST Card.

How Supervisors Obtain an SST Card

  • 30-Hour OSHA
  • 8-Hour Fall Protection Course
  • 8-Hour Site Safety Manager Refresher Training
  • 4-Hour Supported Scaffold User Training
  • 2 hours of each of the following topics:
    • Site safety plans
    • Toolbox talks
    • Pre-task meetings
    • General electives,
    • Specialized electives,
    • Drug & Alcohol Awareness

This card will be valid for a 5-year period and will require 16-hours of SST training to renew.

And there you have it.

Everything New York construction workers, supervisors, and site owners need to know about Local Law 196.

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