What’s Required for Sexual Harassment Prevention Training in 2020?

Now that you have satisfied the first-year requirement to provide sexual harassment training to all your employees, we want to make sure you are prepared for the 2020 training requirements. As you know, employees must receive sexual harassment prevention training at least once every year. Employers may choose to do this based upon the calendar year, the anniversary of an employee’s start date, or any other date the employer chooses. So, for 2020 you can train your employees at any time during the year, but you should be consistent with that time period each year going forward.

New for 2020, employers are now required to provide a sexual harassment training notice to all employees that contains the company’s sexual harassment prevention policy and the training materials used during the employer’s training program. This notice must be provided at every annual sexual harassment prevention training and at the time of hire. These materials must be given to employees in English and in the employee’s primary language if it is different from English.

New York City employers with fifteen (15) or more employees must also include the following in their training programs:

  • explanation of sexual harassment as a form of unlawful discrimination under local law;
  • innocent bystander intervention; and
  • the complaint process available through the NYC Commission of Human Rights, the NYS Division of Human Rights and the EEOC, including contact information for each.

New York City employers are also required to provide annual sexual harassment prevention training to independent contractors. For more information regarding new requirements for independent contractors, please check out our previous blog posting.

Please call us to discuss the new required notice and the content of your 2020 training should you have any questions. For any additional information, please take a look at our FAQs found here.


Written by Julie Sitler and Desiree Saad

FAQs for Sexual Harassment Prevention Training in 2020

What constitutes training materials as part of the notice? Training materials include any printed materials, scripts, Q+As, outlines, handouts, PowerPoint slides, etc.

How soon do new employees need to be trained? As employers may be liable for the actions of employees immediately upon hire, all employers are encouraged to complete training as soon as possible. Employers must distribute the notice to employees at the time of hiring, which also includes the training materials. New York City employers should train employees as soon as possible and must train all employees after they work more than eighty (80) hours and at least ninety (90) days in a calendar year.

I am an employer based in New York but also have employees who only work in other states. Do they need to be trained as well? Only employees who work or will work in New York need to be trained. However, if an individual works a portion of their time in New York, even if they’re based in another state, they must be trained.

What happens if some employees fail to take the training despite an employer’s best efforts to make it available, and to require everyone to take it? Employers are required to ensure that all employees receive training on an annual basis. Employers may take appropriate disciplinary action with employees to ensure compliance.