Sexual harassment in the workplace can be any unwelcome behavior that results in intimidating, humiliating, offending, degrading, or violating an individual’s dignity. It not only dents the company culture, but also creates a sense of insecurity in the mind of an employee. As an employer, it is one of your primary duties to ensure a safe and harassment free workplace for employees.
Many companies understand the importance of a comprehensive training program to combat sexual harassment cases at work and were early adopters of such training programs. However, according to latest developments, New York companies that employ a minimum of 15 employees are required to conduct annual sexual harassment prevention training starting April 1, 2019 and are required to train all current employees by October 9, 2019.
New York has also circulated an Employer Toolkit that is a guide for the employer to build a culture of transparency that will help prevent sexual harassment cases.
Measures also need to be implemented to build an independent committee that will enable a victim of sexual harassment to report such crimes and take suitable action. In addition, the state has also issued a model sexual harassment prevention policy and a standard complaint form. The employer is free to adopt the model issued by the state or implement a policy of their own within the due date. If the employer decides to draft a company policy, it has to fulfill the minimum criteria developed by the state.
The minimum criteria are as follows:
- Prohibit sexual harassment in compliance with guidance issued by the Department-of-Labor in consultation with the Division of Human-Rights
- Provide suitable examples of forbidden behavior that would amount to sexual harassment at the workplace;
- Include information concerning statutory provisions by state and federal laws concerning sexual harassment; give remedies available to a victim of sexual harassment;
- Include a complaint form that would be submitted to concerned authority;
- Describe procedures for a prompt and confidential investigation of complaints by suitable agencies or law-enforcing bodies
- Create awareness among employees about their rights and privileges and methods adopted to treating cases of sexual harassment with proper administrative and judicial procedures;
- Clearly communicate that sexual harassment is treated as employee misconduct and that convicted individuals will have to go through unbiased trails and if found guilty shall be punished with prevailing laws.
Any supervisor or manager who deliberately allows such misconduct to continue is also considered guilty and punishable by law. Also, any form of retaliation or trying to harm the complainant of sexual harassment or manipulating evidence or use of power and privileges to affect the investigation in any way is unlawful and punishable.
The most effective method to extinguish sexual misconduct at work is through a proper training regime for employees. Enforcing mandatory sexual harassment training in New York is a welcome move by the government and needs to be applauded and encouraged.
Our sexual harassment online training course is an easy, fast and effective way to complete mandatory sexual harassment training. Compliance Training Solutions condemns sexual harassment at work and believe that through proper law enforcement and by treating sexual harassment charges with top priority and transparent investigations, we can combat this misconduct in the workplace.
Our online sexual harassment training module is focused on educating employees about sexual harassment, proper process of reporting such cases and precautionary measures to be taken by employer to minimize sexual harassment charges at work.
It is only through happy and safe employees that you can truly grow your business to greater heights. In addition to a sexual-harassment training-course, Compliance Learning Solutions provides many other compliance training programs. Check us out at www.compliancetrainingsolutions.com.