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New York, other states mandating sexual harassment training

Bringing awareness to a serious issue can often help find a resolution to the problem. Just over a year ago, the #MeToo movement began, and now, several states are addressing the issue of sexual harassment by mandating workplace training regarding the issue. At this point, however, states do not seem to be working together to create a cohesive training program, and some states have not mandated such training at all.

New York is one of several states that are now requiring sexual harassment training. Under state law, all employers must ensure that annual training takes place, and in New York City, employers with 15 or more employees have an obligation to provide annual training. The initial training must be completed by Oct. 2019 statewide and by April 2020 in New York City.

Specifically, the training in this state must include examples of sexual harassment, what constitutes harassing behaviors, how to file complaints and other components. Some steps that can also help during this training is having real-life scenarios included and to help others understand issues that can stem from sexual harassment and complaints, such as retaliation or bullying, and how to prevent those negative reactions. It is also important that the applicable individuals, like managers, understand how to properly handle complaints.

Though sexual harassment prevention training may help in bringing awareness to the issue and hopefully decrease the number of instances that occur in the workplace, training may not completely erase the possibility of such actions. If New York workers have been the victims of such harassment or become victims in the future, it is important to understand that they have legal rights. Filing legal claims may allow them to seek the justice for which they strive.

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