New York Expands Anti-Harassment Requirements

On April 12, 2018, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law the New York State Budget Bill which includes several significant requirements to address workplace sexual harassment.

Proclaimed by Cuomo as “the nation’s most aggressive anti-sexual harassment agenda,” the new rules include protecting certain non-employees from harassment, prohibiting mandatory arbitration of sexual harassment claims (including how it interplays with collective bargaining agreements), rules on the use of confidentiality/non-disclosure clauses, and harassment prevention policy and training requirements. These new provisions will be phased in over the next six months.

Here are some brief highlights:

  • Effective Immediately – New harassment protection of “non-employees” in the workplace including contractors, subcontractors, vendors, consultants, or others providing services under a contract.
  • Effective July 11, 2018 – Bans provisions that mandate arbitration of sexual harassment claims and prohibits confidentiality/non-disclosure clauses related to any settlement, agreement, or other resolution of a sexual harassment claim unless the victim of the harassment agrees.
  • Effective October 9, 2018 – Requires the State to develop model sexual harassment prevention policies and training. Employers may either adopt the State’s model policies and training or review their existing anti-harassment policies and training to ensure compliance with the new standards.

Please click here to read our latest LEGALcurrent alert for more detailed information about the legislation and our recommendations.

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