“Farm Focused” Sexual Harassment Prevention Training

A team of Cornell Cooperative Extension educators recently adapted New York State’s model sexual harassment prevention training materials to be more relevant to the farm workplace. NY State DOL reviewed these materials to be sure they meet the content requirements and now they are ready for release. You will find both a presentation that teaches about sexual harassment and set of case studies that illustrate it in more detail. The presentation and case studies are available in English and Spanish and in PowerPoint or video format. You can use the PowerPoints as visual aids if you choose to do the presentation and review the case studies yourself. Or, you can show the video recordings of the presentation and case studies to train your farm employees.Stop Sexual Harrassment

We developed a comprehensive farm sexual harassment prevention resource page on the Cornell Agricultural Workforce Development website. The site contains a step-by-step guide to help a farm business meet New York’s requirements for employer sexual harassment prevention policies and training. Find the new resources under Step 5.

A few reminders as you prepare for the training:

  1. Treat it seriously. You could have someone in your workforce experiencing harassment right now.
  2. Customize your policy for your farm and put it in place before you do the training.
  3. Customize the “Sexual Harassment Prevention Poster/Notice” and distribute copies to your employees at the training.
  4. Be sure that you include an interactive portion such as a question and answer session, or brief feedback survey with your employees. You can pause the videos to create opportunities for interactive questions and discussion.
  5. Document your training activities.
  6. All New York employers are required to complete the training each year with all employees. The due date for this first time is October 9, 2019!

By Richard Stup, Cornell University. Permission granted to repost, quote, and reprint with author attribution.
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Complying with Sexual Harassment Prevention Training in New York

All New York employers are required to have a sexual harassment prevention training policy in place since October 2018 and they are required to train all employees by October 9, 2019. See details in previous article.Stop Sexual Harrassment

Cornell Cooperative Extension Educators are planning a series of meetings and webinars to help farm employers learn about the requirements and resources they can use to get into compliance. See the detailed Flyer and registration information here: Sexual Harassment Prevention Training Flyer July 2019

We have prepared new, farm-friendly training materials for farm employers to use. These materials will meet the state’s training requirements. Please join the meeting to learn more.

Richard Stup, Cornell Agricultural Workforce Development


5 Learning Opportunities in 2 Webinars for Farmers

NYSDOL’s Division of Immigrant Policies and Affairs (DIPA) is hosting a series of short, interactive webinars for farms. Register with DIPA to learn and ask questions about several important topics. See details below and find an event flyer at this link: 2019 Lunchtime Learning Webinars.

NYSDOL message follows…

The New York State Department of Labor’s Division of Immigrant Policies and Affairs (DIPA) is hosting FREE lunch time webinars for farmers. View and listen to a 20MINUTE PRESENTATION while submitting your questions via the chat box. Then we will take 10 minutes of questions! We will then move on to the next topic. Attend one, two or all the sessions!

11:30-12:00: Why Does DIPA Visit My Farm Every Year?
12:00-12:30: What do I need to Know about the New Sexual Harassment Training Requirements?

11:30-12:00: H-2A Program + NYS Labor Law Compliance = Successful H-2A Application?
12:00-12:30: H-2A Housing Inspections: What do I need to Know?
12:30-1:00: I Received a “Referral of Domestic Applicant,” What Do I Do Now?
Please E-mail dipa@labor.ny.gov to register for these important sessions.
For questions, call Caylin Gwise at 585-258-8855.

Sexual Harassment Prevention: Learn To Do the Training

Many farm employers are using the winter months to accomplish necessary business tasks and human resources tasks. For New York employers, sexual harassment training should be high on the list to get done. There are questions in the farm employer community about the training requirements so I wanted to focus on those with this article.

  1. When must farm employers provide their employees with training? The new law took effect October 9, 2018 and that was the date by which employers were required to put a sexual harassment prevention policy in place. Employers have until October 9, 2019 to complete the required training with all current employees. After that, all employees should be re-trained annually and new employees should be train “as soon as possible, but certainly no later than one month from their start date. New employees should be given a copy of the sexual harassment prevention policy at the time they start work.
  2. What resources are available to provide sexual harassment prevention training? Many companies have required sexual harassment prevention training for all employees for many years already, so there are many training programs, online courses, videos and other materials available from training vendors. Generally, the existing resources are based on federal law as summarized by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. New York’s new law is also based on this federal definition of sexual harassment law but it contains a few new requirements for employers so using an older training or one from outside New York may not fully meet New York’s requirements. New York has released a model sexual harassment prevention policy and training support materials. The training materials are available in multiple formats including Microsoft Word, Adobe PDF, and PowerPoint.
  3. How should farm employers complete the training? New York’s law outlines a set of minimum standards that sexual harassment prevention training must meet. Employers must meet or exceed the minimum standards, either by using the state’s model training or a custom training. The state included 6 features that training must include, we’ll explore these in detail at the upcoming Labor Road Show.
    1. Be interactive.
    2. Include an explanation of sexual harassment consistent with guidance issued by the Department of Labor in consultation with the Division of Human Rights.
    3. Include examples of conduct that would constitute unlawful sexual harassment.
    4. Include information concerning the federal and state statutory provisions concerning sexual harassment and remedies available to victims of sexual harassment.
    5. Include information concerning employees’ rights of redress and all available forums for adjudicating complaints.
    6. Include information addressing conduct by supervisors and any additional responsibilities for such supervisors.
  4. How should farm employers document that they did the training? There’s no specific guidance in the new law on documenting training. Employers should use a best practices such as providing a certificate of completion to each participant, getting the participant to sign it, and then filing in the employee file. Or, keeping a log of who attended the training and getting each participant to sign the attendance log, keep this log in your permanent training file. I also recommend learning to use online storage systems so that you can scan these training logs and keep track of when employees have completed training and are due for refresher training.
  5. What if my employees don’t speak English? Employees should be trained in the language they speak and understand. The state has translated all of the model policies and training materials into 6 different languages including Spanish and Haitian-Creole. You can find these translated materials by simply scrolling down each page where the English language materials are found.

Join us for the upcoming Labor Road Show II where Attorney Michael Sciotti will answer all of your questions about sexual harassment prevention.

  • Mon. Jan. 28, 2019, Livingood’s Restaurant, 697 Bear Swamp RD, Peru, NY
  • Tues, Jan. 29, 2019, Cornell Cooperative Extension – Saratoga County, Ballston Spa, NY
  • Weds, Jan. 30, 2019, New York State Fairgrounds, Art & Home Center Building, Syracuse, NY
  • Thurs, Jan. 31, 2019, Cornell Cooperative Extension – Ontario County, Canandaigua, NY

By Richard Stup, Cornell University. Permission granted to repost, quote, and reprint with author attribution.
The post Sexual Harassment Prevention: Learn To Do the Training appeared first on Cornell Agricultural Workforce Development.