As of October 9, 2018, every employer in the state of New York must provide sexual harassment prevention training to employees. Proactive sexual harassment training protects both employees and the workplace. While sexual harassment prevention training is now a state requirement, it has always been a smart way to ensure the safety and comfort of all employees in the workplace. When done correctly, these trainings safeguard against abuse and offer legal protection to organizations. ProKnowledge, in partnership with KnowledgeWave, offers online workplace sexual harassment training that is fully compliant and extremely convenient.
What’s Changed for New York Employers
Under New York state law employers must:
- Adopt a sexual harassment policy with the minimum standards established by the state model policy
- Provide a copy of the sexual harassment policy to all employees
- Provide training regarding the policy as soon as possible, meeting the minimum standards established by the state
ProKnowledge workplace sexual harassment training meets or exceeds all of New York state’s standards. In about 30-45 minutes, your employees and managers can go online and engage with the training, earning a printable certificate upon completion.
Why Is Sexual Harassment Training Important for Employees?
First and foremost, the purpose of ProKnowledge workplace sexual harassment training is to ensure no employee feels unsafe at work. Proper education not only helps to safeguard against inappropriate behavior and unwanted advances by clearly defining violations, but also empowers those who may encounter sexual harassment to recognize and report these cases to management.
When approached correctly, sexual harassment training should convey that employers truly care about the work environment and ensure that all are aware of the proper steps to take in the event harassment occurs. Additionally, training builds community and allows employees to work together toward a common goal. Overall, this feeling of safety in the workplace, coupled with the reassurance that all other employees know what is considered unacceptable, can provide long-lasting confidence in a workplace, as employees remain confident that their fellow team members will stand behind them if an incident does occur.
It should be noted that the benefits of sexual harassment training can extend outside the workplace, as well. Often, people don’t have the knowledge or resources to combat sexual harassment in their own lives. After completing the ProKnowledge online sexual harassment training, individuals are better equipped to identify and respond to harassment – wherever it occurs. Conversely, some individuals may be unaware that their own behavior is inappropriate. Training can similarly help curb this behavior beyond the office, improving the personal quality of life of everyone involved.
Why Is Sexual Harassment Training Important for Managers?
It’s essential for managers to educate all members of the workforce, ensuring they are all on the same page with what is appropriate behavior and what constitutes sexual harassment. New York state regulations require each employer to establish a policy, give each employee a copy of that policy, and provide training on the contents. This is the first step in preventing and eliminating sexual harassment in the workplace.
Often, managers are the first to know when inappropriate behavior occurs. Furthermore, managers are in a position of influence, which means they need to be particularly aware of the different types of sexual harassment and how their own behaviors and actions may be perceived.
Training provides managers with a standard to which they can refer when a sexual harassment complaint is made. With ProKnowledge training, managers can feel confident they know which behaviors are unacceptable and provide a timely and thorough response as dictated by company policy.
Why Is Sexual Harassment Training Important for Businesses?
Most immediately, ProKnowledge workplace sexual harassment training protects businesses from state penalties by ensuring organizations are compliant and all New York state standards are met. Long-term, however, ProKnowledge training helps to prevent businesses from becoming subject to lawsuits.
Firstly, standardized training ensures all employees are aware of what behaviors are expected at work. It's vital to clearly define acceptable behaviors as well as any consequences for stepping outside those boundaries. As a result, employees are less likely to engage in inappropriate activity and the risk of negative behaviors in the workplace is greatly reduced.
Next, documenting all training provided to each employee allows employers to point to the date a specific set of guidelines was given when presenting evidence that employees were aware of expectations. If an incident occurs, this documentation can be provided in court showing that the policy was clear, indicating the date the employee received the training, as well. In the event an employee is terminated as the result of a sexual harassment incident, the employer can refer to a clearly defined policy that specifies the terms of the violation and the penalty for violating the policy.
Things to Keep in Mind
The workplace sexual harassment training offered by ProKnowledge fulfills two goals. It protects businesses from lawsuits regarding inadequate sexual harassment policies and responses and it fosters a safe work environment with clearly defined guidelines and an easily navigated system for reporting violations.
ProKnowledge workplace sexual harassment training for the state of New York can be taken online and completed in as little as 30-45 minutes. This convenient training portal is a fast and easy way to deliver all the proper tools for identifying, avoiding, and reporting workplace harassment, and meets all New York state requirements and standards. By using the ProKnowledge training, a business can ensure all employees are well-equipped to defend themselves against sexual harassment in all its forms and confident that it is compliant with New York state's mandated sexual harassment prevention requirements.