New York Getting Tough on Sexual Harassment
On May 9, 2018, New York City mayor signed into law the Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act and on April 12, 2018, the state of New York added new obligations on employees for combating and addressing sexual harassment in the workplace under the New York State Human Rights Law. Even though Title VII of the Civil Rights Act also covers sexual harassment, the NY laws extend employer’s requirements to include:
• Mandated annual anti-harassment training for all employees,
• Adoption and posting of an anti-harassment policy requiring broader coverage than the federal law, including creating a complaint form and information on employee rights and forums for adjudicating complaints,
• Prohibition of non-disclosure clauses in settlement agreements relating to sexual harassment claims,
• Ban mandatory arbitration of sexual harassment claims, and
• Expansion of coverage to non-employees, similar to the federal law.
The Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act also extends the filing of complaints from one to three years, which is broader than the federal coverage of 300 days in states with work sharing agreements.