Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone today announced the launch of a new annual online sexual harassment training program for the over 10,000 members of the Suffolk County workforce. The training is in line with Governor Cuomo’s efforts to combat sexual harassment in the workplace, which includes a new rigorous statewide mandate requiring employers to offer sexual harassment training for all employees.
“Sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace is entirely unacceptable,” said Suffolk County Executive Bellone. “My administration is committed to preventing any forms of misconduct and ensuring a safe work environment for all by providing every employee with additional resources and education.”
Due to recent sexual harassment accusations sweeping a number of industries across the country, there has become a greater awareness and necessity for employers to take measures to prevent any future occurrences. This initiative will ensure that every county employee will partake in online training to better equip them with the tools and resources to prevent sexual harassment occurrences in county government. The training will occur in two separate groups, with the first half of training occurring during the winter, and the second half of the training occurring in the spring.
Once staff members receive an email, they will have 30 days to complete the online sexual harassment training. The training module can be completed on a desktop or mobile device, and lasts approximately one hour. In order to successfully complete the annual training requirement, employees will have to receive a passing score on a final assessment at the end of training.
The first set of employees to receive the training include the Suffolk County Department of Civil Service, Suffolk County Department of Economic Development and Planning, Suffolk County Department of Health Services, Suffolk County Department of Information Technology, Suffolk County Department of Parks and Recreation, Suffolk County Department of Probation, Suffolk County Soil & Water, and the Suffolk County Traffic, Parking and Violations Bureau. This set of training will begin on Wednesday, February 27.
The County’s training vendor, Enterprise Training Solutions, designed the training. This firm was procured through a competitive Request for Proposal process in 2018.
These measures build upon previous actions taken to safeguard employees in the workplace. In 2017, County Executive Bellone signed legislation into place that requires County elected officials, department heads, and their chief deputies receive sexual harassment training every two years through the Suffolk County Office of Labor Relations. The training will provide county officials and department leaders with the necessary tools to identify potential issues and address sexual harassment in an expeditious and appropriate manner. Although not required by law, the Administration has included the Office of Labor Relations investigative staff to partake in a training class tailored towards the identification aspects of workplace sexual harassment.