Joseph A. Gawlowicz, partner at Trevett Cristo P.C., was featured on WHAM's Ask the Experts on October 20th, 2018.

Gawlowicz discussed the new policies and laws that have been added to the sexual harassment laws in New York State. He went on to explain that New York State has a long history of leading the country when it comes to enacting anti-discrimination laws and here again New York is the first state to add new training requirements regarding sexual harassment. He details how in response to the Me Too movement, it became a requirement of every employer regardless of size or industry to provide training on what sexual harassment is, how to address it in the workplace and employees rights.

Gawlowicz continued to define the two types of sexual harassment: hostile work environment, where a fellow co-worker is approaching, touching, or bothering you in a sexual manner and quid pro quo, which means trade and would involve using sexual favors as a tool for workplace advancement. He also discussed the timeline associated with the changes. Employers have until October 9th, 2019 to complete the mandated training. Each employer is free to decide when training is complete, but the state requires that each training be interactive.

He frequently expressed that no matter the situation, it is good practice to document everything. From an employee standpoint making notes can help keep an accurate record of events, and for employers documentation of completed training helps track progress and confirm employee understanding. In closing, he mentioned that new materials to assist both employers and employees will be added to throughout the year.

Listen to his full segment on Ask the Experts now.