Close X
  • Our Focus
  • Home
  • About
  • Ministries
  • Missions
  • Events
  • News
  • Resources
  • X



    United Methodists of Upper New YorkLiving the Gospel. Being God's Love.

    news article

    New York releases revised Sexual Harassment Prevention Model policy and training

    May 15, 2023 / By Tracy Rickett, Human Resources Generalist

    The New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL), in consultation with the New York State Division of Human Rights, recently released a revised sexual harassment model policy. At the same time, the DOL released a revised model sexual harassment prevention training, which includes changes similar to those made to the policy.

    The Model Policy

    The updated model policy follows NYSDOL’s quadrennial obligation to evaluate the impact of the state’s model sexual harassment policy. Under a law that went into effect on October 9, 2018, employers in New York State are required to either implement written sexual harassment policies that meet or exceed the minimum standards set forth in Section 201-g of the New York Labor Law OR adopt the model policy published by the NYSDOL.

    There are substantial differences between the new model policy and the policy released in 2018.

    • Emphasis on gender identity discrimination as a type of sexual harassment claim
    • New sections on bystander intervention and the way sexual harassment can impact the remote workplace. The bystander section encourages witnesses to report observed harassment and reminds supervisors that they are required to do so.
    • Includes that employees working remotely can be harassed over virtual platforms and messaging apps
    • Addresses New York’s broader definition of harassment
    • Includes more examples of retaliatory behavior
    • Includes stronger emphasis on external remedies for employees

    As a reminder, New York State Labor Law requires all employers to adopt a sexual harassment policy that includes a complaint form for employees to report alleged incidents of sexual harassment.

    The Training

    The release of the new model policy was accompanied by new training materials designed to meet the state’s annual training requirement. The training materials include a 54-minute video containing eight case studies with answers, as well as the slide deck and script from the video. DOL also provides a form for employees to answer the true/false questions in the case studies, which can be completed by attendees and submitted to the employer to meet the requirement that the training be interactive. The content of the training mirrors the new model policy and includes case studies addressing topics such as the State’s broadened definition of harassment, gender identity and remote work.

    As a reminder, New York State Law requires that employers of one or more employees must conduct sexual harassment prevention training for all employees on an annual basis. The employer can decide the timing of the annual training (calendar year, anniversary date, or any other date) as long as it is completed annually. Employers are encouraged to track completion of training through attendance sheets, certificates of completion, or some other manner for audit purposes.


    The New York City Commission on Human Rights has developed a free online training that will satisfy both the New York State and New York City anti-sexual harassment training requirements.

    During the annual training, employers must also provide employees a notice that contains the employer’s sexual harassment policy. 

    Important:  Safe Sanctuaries training does not exempt churches from the New York State sexual harassment prevention training requirements.

    Action Items

    Churches should review and update their sexual harassment policies and ensure that they meet the minimum standards outlined in the updated model policy or adopt the model policy provided by the NYSDOL. NYS has not provided a specific date for employers to update their sexual harassment prevention policy but it is recommended it be updated within a reasonable amount of time.

    Churches should conduct annual training for all employees using the updated training materials. 

    If you have questions on this topic, please contact Tracy Rickett, Human Resources Generalist, at or (315) 898-2017.

    TAGGED / Benefits and Administrative Services

    With more than 100,000 members, United Methodists of Upper New York comprises of more than 675 local churches and New Faith Communities in 12 districts, covering 48,000 square miles in 49 of the 62 counties in New York state. Our vision is to “live the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to be God’s love with our neighbors in all places."