Return to NY Offices Underscores Importance of Conducting Mandatory Annual Anti-Harassment Training

Cooley Alert

The gradual reopening of society has created increased hopes of an imminent return to normalcy, including returning to the office. Meanwhile, as New York employers begin rolling out their return-to-office plans, there will be a foreseeable and significant uptick in employee social interactions inside and outside of the office, such as at company-sponsored happy hours and holiday events.

We remind New York employers of all sizes to not overlook their legal obligations to, among other things, conduct annual anti-harassment training in accordance with the requirements set forth by New York state (and, if applicable, New York City). Employers should ensure their anti-harassment policy is up to date and provided to employees during trainings as well as during employee orientation.

In addition, employers also have an obligation to post notices related to anti-harassment (among other topics) and should ensure theses notices are posted conspicuously and in accordance with local law. For example, under the Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act, employers must post the prescribed notice in both English and Spanish. Compliance with these and all other requirements concerning the prevention of sexual and other forms of harassment will not only reduce legal exposure but also create a safer and more comfortable work environment for all returning employees.

To learn more about this and other return to work issues, please join us on May 13 for our webinar on Reimagining a Post-Pandemic Workplace.

Related Contacts
Frederick Baron  Senior Counsel Palo Alto
Ann Bevitt  Partner London
Wendy Brenner  Partner Palo Alto, Los Angeles – Santa Monica
Leslie Cancel  Special Counsel San Francisco
Helenanne Connolly  Partner Reston
Jane Jeong  Associate New York
Elizabeth Lewis  Senior Counsel Washington, DC, Reston
Joseph Lockinger  Associate Washington, DC
Joshua Mates  Partner San Francisco
Gerard O'Shea  Partner New York
Bronwyn L. Roberts  Special Counsel Boston
Lois Voelz  Senior Counsel Palo Alto
Summer Wynn  Partner San Diego, Los Angeles – Santa Monica
Steven A. Zuckerman  Associate New York
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Employment & Labor