New Sexual Harassment Legislation Applies to Almost All NY Employers

June 12, 2018 | Employment & Labor

Recently, New York State and New York City passed new legislation designed to stop sexual harassment in the workplace. Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the New York State legislation into law on April 12 and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed the New York City legislation into law on May 9.

These new laws, which apply to almost every employer in New York, prohibit, among other things, sexual harassment in the workplace against non-employees; mandatory arbitration of sexual harassment claims; and nondisclosure requirements in settlement agreements relating to sexual harassment claims unless requested by the complainant. In addition, they require mandatory and specific annual training of all employees, supervisors and interns; impose reimbursement requirements for personal liability on state and local government employees; require distribution of approved anti-sexual harassment policies; and impose written certification on bids for state contracts.

Moreover, a new federal tax law is likely to make it more difficult to settle sexual harassment claims because it denies federal tax deductions for any payments or attorneys’ fees in connection with these claims.

New York employers should review and update their existing policies; handbooks; and employment, arbitration, severance and settlement agreements to comply with these new laws.

For more detailed information about the new laws and their requirements including their effective dates, click here.  If you have any questions, please contact Brian Conneely, Scott Green or any of the attorneys in the firm’s Employment & Labor Practice Group.

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