• Ali Frischman

New Yorkers: The Laws on Sexual Harassment Have Changed. Are You in the Know?

Updated: May 31, 2019

More than ever, sexual harassment is in the headlines. Victims are empowered to speak up—and New York is listening. Whereas in the past, sexual harassment training was to the discretion of employers, now, providing such education to all employees—annually—is the law. If you are in New York City, new mandates are even firmer as a part of the Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act, one of the strictest anti-sexual harassment laws in the United States.

So what does this mean for you and your organization? For employers, even if there’s a sexual harassment prevention policy in place, it may not be compliant under new laws. Engaging and educating employees about these new policies will support a healthy, respectful culture that will empower them to make good decisions and uphold policies. If you’re an employee, you too can champion sexual harassment awareness and prevention by speaking to HR about scheduling a workshop to get up to date on the new policies.

Among the new mandates, it is required that sexual harassment training be a full 90 minutes with all employees, including interns, present for the full-time period. More importantly, sessions need to be interactive. Of course, you can find an online course for employees to take: they’ll log in online, hear a talking head for a bit, answer some quiz questions, and be compliant. Easy enough, right? Not quite. Research shows that we can make learning more impactful for adult learners. They want to share their experiences and engage in discussion rather than be lectured. An online course does not necessarily address unconscious bias or speak to your company’s values of respect, diversity, and inclusion. In order for the importance of recognizing and knowing how to report sexual harassment to truly resonate with employees, the course should encompass all of the above and be a discussion as opposed to a lecture.

Cheer Partners can help you get compliant in an interactive and thoughtful way. How do we do it? Our unique approach to such a sensitive topic will help your organization be compliant and support a culture of respect and inclusion.

“You made it a very engaging session/discussion. We’re very much looking forward to our other upcoming sessions!” said one client. Another remarked, “I feel like these trainings are usually awkward and uncomfortable, but you made this educational and informative, driving behavior change quickly and effectively.”

Together, we can create a safe and comfortable work environment that will have set a solid foundation for a harassment-free workplace. Strengthen your company culture in this crucial time with training that is not only meaningful but impactful.