New York State Passes Anti-Sexual Harassment Legislation Supported by NCLEJ
On March 30, 2018 the New York State Legislature passed and the Governor signed a new bill that includes significant improvements to state laws governing workplace sexual harassment. These new provisions:
- Expand existing state law protections against workplace sexual harassment to cover individuals who are not “employees” under the law, including freelancers, contractors, and subcontractors
- Require that all employers in New York State implement a sexual harassment prevention policy and conduct annual employee trainings. Businesses that participate in the competitive bidding process to contract with the state must certify that they are complying with these requirements.
- Ban the inclusion of non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) in sexual harassment settlements, except if the complainant prefers that an NDA be included.
- Ban mandatory arbitration clauses pertaining to sexual harassment claims in employment contracts.
- Require certain state employees who have been found personally liable for sexual harassment to reimburse the state treasury for sexual harassment judgments paid to victims.
NCLEJ partnered with many advocates and grassroots organizations across New York State to advocate for these critical protections for victims of sexual harassment. The #metoo and #timesup movements underline that there is still substantial work to be done to ensure that all people, especially women working low wage jobs, are safe from harassment and abuse at work. These changes to New York State’s laws are an important step in the right direction. But, more remains to be done.