Provided by:  Jennifer Kirschenbaum, Esq.
February 20, 2020
 
 
Question:

Jennifer,

Since the new law came into effect in NY, I've been using the free training forms online.  Am I doing Sexual Harassment training right?
 

Thanks in advance.
Sue (practice manager) 




Answer:

I'm glad to hear you are training and are aware of the NYS requirements.  We can mark "Step 1" as complete.  To answer directly - yes, if you are using the free forms provided by NYS DOL, you are doing it "right".  In this instance, "right" means in compliance with NY law.   The issue I have is as follows: Step 1 complete has you in compliance with the law, however, it does not tick off a second box of properly protecting you, the employer/manager from perpetrators of sexual harassment or false accusers/abusers of sexual harassment laws.  

In order to take your practices to Step 2, I recommend integrating acknowledgement forms (available here) for each training, and also ensuring your employees are indemnifying you from and against any claims of sexual harassment.  Training is only as good as its implementation and discipline for failure to adhere.   In addition to employees acknowledging training, and also recognizing prohibited conduct is outside the scope of their employment, as the employer you can also require by contract/policy that employees indemnify the practice through a properly drafted acknowledgement with indemnification for any exposure created by their conduct outside of scope of employment.

Another benefit of customizing your training can be adopting a complaint form (which you are required to have on file) that does not also create a roadmap of employer exposure, as the free one seems to imply...