Search form

New York Legislators Introduce Bills on Workplace Sexual Harassment, Retaliatory Action

By Lisa M. Marrello and Thomas Buchan
  • January 9, 2018

Preventing sexual harassment in the workplace and clarifying the definition of retaliatory action are the topics of two bills introduced on the first day of New York’s 2018 legislative session.

Preventing Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

A bill introduced by Senator Liz Krueger (D-Manhattan) would amend the Labor Law to require the Department of Labor to create a “strong model management policy” defining and prohibiting sexual harassment in the workplace, as well as a model training program to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace.

S.7193 also would amend the Human Rights Law to clarify instances of sexual harassment as unlawful discriminatory practices and apply the provisions to all employers, public and private, in New York.

Further, the bill would amend the Executive Law to require the Department of State to provide employers notice of laws regarding sexual harassment in the workplace.

The bill was introduced in the state Assembly by Assemblywoman Nily Rozic on January 8, 2018.

Clarification of Retaliatory Action

Senator Roxanne Persaud (D-Brooklyn) pre-filed a bill that would amend §296 of the Executive Law (Unlawful Discriminatory Practices, within Article 15 – Human Rights Law) to clarify that the definition of a retaliatory action in the workplace includes an instance where an aggrieved employee is treated less favorably than any other employee.

S.7192 contains the following affirmative defenses for employers:

  1. The employer planned to demote, discharge, or penalize the employee prior to learning the employee had opposed a practice prohibited under the Human Rights Law, filed a complaint against the employer, or testified or assisted in a proceeding under the Human Rights Law.
  2. The employer’s treatment of the aggrieved employee is without any consideration of the employee’s opposition of a practice prohibited under the Human Rights Law, filing of a complaint against the employer, or testimony or assistance in a proceeding under the Human Rights Law.

There is currently no sponsor in the Assembly.
 
The Jackson Lewis Government Relations practice monitors and tracks all legislation introduced in New York, advocates for client positions with New York’s legislators, and helps clients oppose legislation that will be detrimental to their business interests.

Please contact a Jackson Lewis attorney if you have any questions about these developments.

©2018 Jackson Lewis P.C. This Update is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended as legal advice nor does it create an attorney/client relationship between Jackson Lewis and any readers or recipients. Readers should consult counsel of their own choosing to discuss how these matters relate to their individual circumstances. Reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited without the express written consent of Jackson Lewis.

This Update may be considered attorney advertising in some states. Furthermore, prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

Jackson Lewis P.C. represents management exclusively in workplace law and related litigation. Our attorneys are available to assist employers in their compliance efforts and to represent employers in matters before state and federal courts and administrative agencies. For more information, please contact the attorney(s) listed or the Jackson Lewis attorney with whom you regularly work.

See AllRelated Articles You May Like

February 20, 2018

Ban-the-Box Laws in Spokane, Washington, and Kansas City, Missouri

February 20, 2018

State and local jurisdictions have continued to consider and enact legislation restricting employers from inquiring about a job applicant’s criminal background during the initial stages of the application process. Two of the latest enactments are in Spokane, Washington, and Kansas City, Missouri. Some ban-the-box ordinances are... Read More

February 12, 2018

New York Lawsuit Alleging Corporate Cover-Up at The Weinstein Company is a Lesson in What Not to Do

February 12, 2018

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has filed a civil rights lawsuit against Harvey Weinstein, his brother Robert Weinstein, and their company, The Weinstein Company (TWC). The lawsuit, which details allegations of harassment and intimidation of TWC employees by Harvey Weinstein, was filed on Sunday, February 11, 2018, because... Read More

February 12, 2018

EEOC: Retaliation Tops Discrimination Charges Filed in Fiscal Year 2017

February 12, 2018

Retaliation was the most common workplace discrimination charge received by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in fiscal year (FY) 2017, according to the agency. (The fiscal year runs from October 1 to September 30.) Retaliation has been at the top since FY 2010. A total of 84,254 charges were filed with the agency... Read More