Whether your watching the news, Hollywood award shows or your Twitter feed, we’ve all see and heard about the the #metoo and #timesup movements. This raises a conversation that all businesses need to have and now there are new laws to make sure everyone is getting the information they need.
- “Non-employees,” such as contractors, subcontractors, vendors, consultants, and others will have protections against sexual harassment.
Effective July 11, 2018
- New York State will prohibit the use of mandatory arbitration clauses to resolve sexual harassment claims.
- Nondisclosure provisions and agreements related to sexual harassment claims will also be prohibited.
Effective October 9, 2018
- All New York employers, regardless of their size, will need to provide interactive sexual harassment training to all employees every year and issue a written non-harassment policy to employees.
- The New York State Department of Labor and the State Division of Human Rights will develop a sample non-harassment policy and a model training program.
- Employers must develop a standard complaint form that employees can use to make sexual harassment claims.
- Either as part of employers’ policy or separately, they will need to inform employees in writing of “all available forums for adjudicating sexual harassment complaints administratively and judicially.”
Effective January 1, 2019
- Where competitive bids are required for state or public contracts, bids must contain a statement affirming that the bidder implemented a written policy addressing sexual harassment prevention and that it provides annual sexual harassment prevention training.
As a law abiding business you may wonder, how do businesses protect themselves from the cost associated with a harassment violation? Where do you get the appropriate training for your staff to meet the requirements of these new laws? Contact our Benefit Consulting Team to discuss how we can help. At HF&C we can assist with training and compliance. As a client of HF&C you have access to a multitude of training materials for your management team as well as your staff.
Additionally, our Risk Management Advisors can help with Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI), which generally adds a layer of protection against claims made by employees based on employment-related misconduct of their superiors or co-workers. EPLI is coverage that will help with the costs associated with claims and legal fees from employees who believe that they were in some way wronged during or at the end of their employment with your business. Some examples of claim types are: sexual harassment, wrongful termination, discrimination, breach of contract, violation of the Family Medical Leave Act or FMLA, violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and so many more. Typically, EPLI does not cover unemployment benefits, criminal activity or wage/hour laws. There are a variety of insurance policies that are recommended for businesses, regardless of size, to cover all aspects that may become problematic down the road.
Joseph Peplinski, TRS, Vice President
Risk Management Advisor 315-703-1389
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