Jason Habinsky in Law360: 4 Tips for NY Employers Navigating New Sex Harassment Law

10/11/2018

Haynes and Boone, LLP Partner Jason Habinsky was featured in a Law360 article about New York state's new standards for how businesses should structure anti-sexual harassment policies and conduct newly mandated training sessions.
Here is an excerpt:

As of Oct. 9, 2019, businesses in New York must provide such training to employees at least once per year, as well as make sure the training is interactive and offers examples of unlawful conduct, among other required elements. Businesses will also have to train new hires “as soon as possible" under New York's new sexual harassment requirements.

Haynes and Boone, LLP partner Jason Habinsky noted that the October 2019 deadline for employers to make sure all their employees are trained was about nine months after the initial deadline that New York had set, a change that occurred after businesses raised concerns about the tight time frame to comply.

“This is a really important opportunity for employers who haven’t been doing training to now implement a training program, and for those who have been doing training to either do it more regularly … or improve [their] training,” Habinsky said.

Although New York’s new mandates deal specifically with sexual harassment in the workplace, Habinsky noted that employers should take a broader view and not forget that other forms of harassment and discrimination exist and can also pose problems for businesses.

Since many employers will have to review their workplace practices surrounding sexual harassment anyway to make sure they are compliant with New York’s new requirements, it behooves them to also consider updating the policies with respect to other forms of harassment and discrimination.

“It’s important to not only focus on sexual harassment, which is of course very important, but also to focus on all of the other prohibitions under the law based on other protected categories,” Habinsky said.

“It’s a perfect opportunity for those who have no policy to implement a fulsome policy protecting against all kinds of discrimination and harassment in the workplace,” he added. “But even for employers who currently have policies in place, it’s a great opportunity to review, improve and bolster the policies that are already in effect to include some of these new additional requirements under the law.”

To read the full Law360 article, click here.

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