Workplace harassment has been an issue for generations, and people continue to face obstacles when it comes to complying with current laws designed to prevent workplace harassment. These obstacles include adapting older rules to modern workplaces and ensuring everyone has the relevant information.
Recent updates to New York State’s “Sexual Harassment Model Policy” aims to remove these obstacles.
Sexual Harassment Model Policy
State laws require all New York employers to have a sexual harassment policy. The policy must either adopt New York State’s “Sexual Harassment Model Policy” or another one that meets or exceeds the minimum standards included in the model policy.
Recently, lawmakers announced an update to the state’s Sexual Harassment Model Policy to strengthen worker protections and employers’ guidance.
Updates to the model policy create and improve:
- Access to modern policies on sexual harassment
- Online resources
- Case studies
- Examples of sexual harassment in a remote environment
- Wider examples of how gender discrimination constitutes harassment
- Training videos
The agencies updating the model policy utilized community feedback to ensure the model policy was clear and used plain language, further improving its accessibility.
How to use this information
Whether you are an employer or an employee, you can use this information to protect yourself.
As an employee, reviewing the policy can be crucial to understanding your rights and identifying harassment. Should you experience or witness misconduct, whether it occurs in a physical or virtual workplace, you have access to the information you need to identify and report it.
If you are an employer, you should review the document closely and update your policies accordingly. Failing to do so can leave you open to legal claims and violations. Further, you should familiarize yourself with the new resources and trainings so that you and your employees are on the same page.
Sexual harassment is not a new issue. Fortunately, there is continued effort to improve the protections and guidance on preventing or stopping it. Staying updated on these efforts has valuable benefits for employers and employees alike.