Search form

New York City Council Passes Legislative Package Aimed at Preventing Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

By Jonathan L. Bing, Richard I. Greenberg and Daniel J. Jacobs
  • April 11, 2018

The New York City Council passed a package of legislation on April 11, 2018, that will strengthen the City’s laws against harassment in the workplace. Mayor Bill de Blasio is expected to sign the legislation into law in the coming weeks.

Most private employers in New York City will be required to conduct mandatory annual sexual harassment training for employees starting April 1, 2019.

Key highlights of the legislation applicable to private employers are as follows:

Int. 614-A requires the New York City Commission on Human Rights to make certain information about sexual harassment available online for the public. This information will include examples of sexual harassment, a description of the Commission’s complaint process, and other available agency resources.

Int. 630-A requires all employers in New York City to post an anti-sexual harassment rights and responsibilities poster. Employers also must provide an information sheet on sexual harassment to each employee at the time of hire. The poster and information sheet will be created and made available by the Commission. Similar to Int. 632-A (discussed below), this revised legislation does not contain any reference to civil penalties for violations of the posting and notice requirements, which was included in a previous bill. 

Int. 632-A requires employers with at least 15 employees to conduct annual sexual harassment “interactive training” for employees, including supervisory and managerial employees, starting April 1, 2019. The original version of the bill required the annual training to be completed within one year of September 1, 2018, and every year thereafter.

The bill also clarifies that “interactive training” is not required to be live or facilitated by an in-person instructor. Additionally, the bill requires that the training be conducted after 90 days of initial hire for new employees. Employers must still maintain records of compliance with the law, including signed employee acknowledgements, but the bill states the acknowledgements may be electronic.

The previous version of the bill had included the removal of penalty provisions and adding “interns” in the definition of employee under the law. These are not in the version passed by the Council.

Lastly, the final legislation adds two new compliance clarifications for employees and employers:

  1. An employee who has received sexual harassment training at one employer within the required training cycle need not receive additional sexual harassment training at another employer until the next cycle.
  2. An employer who is subject to training requirements in multiple jurisdictions may provide proof of compliance with the New York City law, as long as the employer’s sexual harassment training is provided annually and contains the mandated training areas discussed under the law.

Int. 657-A will expand the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) coverage of sexual harassment cases to include employers with fewer than four employees, thus aligning the NYCHRL with the New York State Human Rights Law’s coverage of sexual harassment claims.

Int. 663-A will lengthen the statute of limitations for filing harassment claims arising under the NYCHRL with the Commission from one year to three years after the alleged conduct.

City agencies also will be affected by the new legislation, which includes various reporting requirements and annual sexual harassment training.

For more information on advancements of anti-sexual harassment legislation at the state level, see our article, New York Legislature Passes Significant Changes to Laws Combatting Sexual Harassment in the Workplace. If the legislation is enacted, the changes will affect state contracts, mandatory arbitration clauses, mandatory nondisclosure agreements, and other subjects related to the prevention of sexual harassment in the workplace.

***

Please contact a Jackson Lewis attorney with any questions about New York City and New York State developments, legal obligations, and best practices related to harassment policies, training, and other preventive practices, or government relations. The Jackson Lewis Government Relations practice monitors and tracks all legislation introduced in New York and advocates for client positions at all levels of city and state government.

©2018 Jackson Lewis P.C. This material is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice nor does it create a client-lawyer relationship between Jackson Lewis and any recipient. Recipients should consult with counsel before taking any actions based on the information contained within this material. This material may be considered attorney advertising in some jurisdictions. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

Reproduction of this material in whole or in part is prohibited without the express prior written consent of Jackson Lewis P.C., a law firm that built its reputation on providing workplace law representation to management. Founded in 1958, the firm has grown to more than 900 attorneys in major cities nationwide serving clients across a wide range of practices and industries including government relations, healthcare and sports law. More information about Jackson Lewis can be found at www.jacksonlewis.com.

See AllRelated Articles You May Like

August 13, 2019

New York Expands Harassment Laws, Protections of Religious Attire, Clothing, or Facial Hair

August 13, 2019

New York state has enacted sweeping new workplace harassment protections for employees, including lowering the standard for when harassment is actionable. It also has adopted new law prohibiting employment discrimination based on religious attire, clothing, or facial hair. Workplace Sexual Harassment On August 12, 2019, Governor... Read More

August 12, 2019

Illinois Enacts Workplace Harassment Law, Creating New and Expanded Obligations for Employers

August 12, 2019

Employers in Illinois will have new obligations related to employment contracts, training, and agency oversight under a wide-ranging bill signed by Governor J.B. Pritzker on August 9, 2019, that is intended to combat workplace harassment and provide greater protections for employees. Senate Bill 75 unanimously passed both houses of... Read More

August 7, 2019

New Jersey Wage Theft Law Increases Employer Liability for Wage and Hour Violations

August 7, 2019

New Jersey’s Wage Theft Act (WTA) significantly enhances employer penalties under the state’s wage and hour laws by adding liquidated damages and providing extra protections for employee retaliation claims. In addition, the WTA makes client-employers and labor contractors jointly and severally liable “for any violations of the provisions... Read More