On April 12, 2018, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the New York State 2019 Budget bill, which contains, among other things, provisions regarding sexual harassment claims and policies in the workplace.
- Under the New York State Human Rights Law, liability will be imposed on employers for permitting sexual harassment against non-employees, including contractors, subcontractors, vendors, and others providing services pursuant to a contract in the workplace.
EFFECTIVE JULY 11, 2018:
- It will be prohibited to use non-disclosure agreements in connection with the resolution of sexual harassment claims unless the claimant prefers confidentiality.
- It will also be prohibited to have mandatory arbitration clauses requiring arbitration of sexual harassment claims in written contracts.
EFFECTIVE OCTOBER 9, 2018:
- Employers will be required to distribute written anti-harassment policies in the work place and provide anti-harassment training for all employees.
- The written policies and training will be based on models developed by the New York State Division of Human Rights and Department of Labor.
EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2019:
- Bids on certain state contracts will have to contain language showing that the bidder has provided employees with written policies addressing sexual harassment at work and annual sexual harassment training.
We believe that with the recent input from the business community, New York State will be receptive to mitigating circumstances if a business has a reasonable explanation as to its non-compliance.
On August 10, 2018, The New York City Commission on Human Rights published an English-Language workplace poster that must be displayed by all New York City employers beginning on September 6, 2018. The poster is requirement is mandatory; all employers in New York City must comply by the September deadline. The new legislation also requires that this poster be displayed in Spanish, which can be found here.
Please contact us if you have any questions about the information in this article.
James Diapoules and Marvin Feinstein