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New York City Enacts Anti-Sexual Harassment Legislation that Includes Training Requirement

  • May 9, 2018

Mandatory annual sexual harassment training for employees in New York City is one feature of a package of legislation targeting sexual harassment in the workplace signed by Mayor Bill de Blasio on May 9, 2018. Most private employers in New York City will be required to conduct annual sexual harassment training for employees beginning April 1, 2019.

During the bill signing and press conference, Mayor de Blasio remarked, “I’m proud to say today, with this legislation, New York City government is standing up. We’re saying very clearly where we stand and what we believe – we will not tolerate harassment or abuse of any kind.”

In addition, the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) now covers employers with fewer than four employees with respect to claims of sexual harassment. This aligns the NYCHRL with the New York State Human Rights Law’s coverage of sexual harassment claims.

Further, effective immediately, the statute of limitations for filing harassment claims arising under the NYCHRL with the New York City Commission on Human Rights is three years, rather than one year, after the alleged conduct.

For more information on the new anti-sexual harassment laws, see our articles, New York City Council Passes Legislative Package Aimed at Preventing Sexual Harassment in the Workplace and New York City Legislation Would Mandate Sexual Harassment Training, Expand Employer Coverage under Human Rights Law.

Further, all New York state employers must comply with anti-sexual harassment legislation at the state level signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo on April 12, 2018.  In addition to also imposing training requirements, state law, inter alia, will impose policy requirements and affect the use of nondisclosure agreements in the context of settling sexual harassment claims against employers. For more information on the state law, see our article, New York Legislature Passes Significant Changes to Laws Combating Sexual Harassment in the Workplace.

In addition to the new anti-sexual harassment laws, New York City employers must comply with the amendments to the Earned Safe and Sick Time Act (ESTA) that took effect on May 5, 2018. The amendments require employers to allow paid time off to an employee who is the victim of family offense matters, sexual offenses, stalking, or human trafficking. For more information on safe time under the ESTA, see our article, ‘Safe Time’ Amendments to New York City Paid Sick Leave Effective May 5, 2018.

Please contact a Jackson Lewis attorney with any questions about New York City 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.

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