The Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities recently announced that it will, upon request, extend the deadline for employers to provide sexual harassment prevention training by 90 days for new employees.
The deadline to complete such training is six months after their start date, absent an extension.
But employers should beware; the announcement has three specific caveats that greatly reduce the scope of this extension:
- First, the extension of the training requirement will apply only to those employees who have been hired after October 1, 2019. All training for existing employees must still (for now) be completed by the deadline.
- Second, the extension is not automatic; rather, employers must e-mail a request to CHRO.email@example.com.
- Third, the employer must explain in the request why it was unable to complete the training requirement for those affected employees due to current COVID-19 restrictions. The CHRO provides for examples such as “lack of access to technology including computer/the internet”, “illness of the employee” or “other unforeseeable circumstances”.
I’ve previously recapped the requirements for employers here. But here are the two main points:
- Employers of all sizes must give training to supervisors by October 1, 2020 (or within six months of their assumption of supervisory duties, after that time).
- For employers with 3 or more employees, the training must also be given to all other employees also by October 1, 2020 (or within six months of hire, after that time.)
There’s no doubt that employers already have a lot on their plates but this requirement should not be overlooked in the months ahead. The extension is a very limited one and given the economic times, I don’t imagine there’s going to a lot of hiring anytime soon.