In an article published in the “Legal Corner” of November/December 2018 issue of The Volunteer Firefighter, FASNY Attorney Tim Hannigan outlined changes to the New York State Labor Law that went into effect on October 9, 2018. Section 201-g mandates: 1) the adoption of a sexual harassment policy and 2) an interactive training program for employees.
Attorney Hannigan also makes clear that the statute creates no distinction between “volunteer” and “paid” employees. The law also has no “minimum employee” threshold. He advises that this new law is applicable to the volunteer fire service.
FASNY has heard from a number of departments that they do not believe that this law applies to their volunteer department. Based on the information from FASNY’s attorney, we firmly believe that it does and that all volunteer departments must comply and provide annual sexual harassment training the same way that each volunteer fire department required to provide annual OSHA training.
We encourage you to read Attorney Tim Hannigan’s article here.
In an effort to assist FASNY members, FASNY is providing you with all of the information necessary to provide and meet the mandated sexual harassment policy and training requirement. Included in the training links are all of the materials that any employer (department) will need to conduct this training.
The BASIC Training Requirements
Every employer in New York State is required to provide employees with sexual harassment prevention training. An employer that does not use the model training developed by the Department of Labor and Division of Human Rights must ensure that the training that they use meets or exceeds the following minimum standards. Model training materials are available to employers to download.
The training must:
- be interactive
- include an explanation of sexual harassment consistent with guidance issued by the Department of Labor in consultation with the Division of Human Rights
- include examples of conduct that would constitute unlawful sexual harassment
- include information concerning the federal and state statutory provisions concerning sexual harassment and remedies available to victims of sexual harassment
- include information concerning employees’ rights of redress and all available forums for adjudicating complaints
- include information addressing conduct by supervisors and any additional responsibilities for such supervisors
In addition, we are also providing you with this link to the NYS Department of labor Sexual Harassment Training Tool Kit, where you will be able to access any updated information on this issue.