The New York State Human Rights Law has been amended to further protect victims of sexual harassment. To commemorate Women’s History Month, Governor Hochul signed two new pieces of legislation. First, a state-wide toll-free confidential hotline that will enable individuals who experience workplace sexual harassment to seek counsel and assistance will be established by July 14, 2022. The New York State Division of Human Rights will operate the hotline. Second, it will now constitute a retaliatory practice under the New York State Human Rights Law for or an employer to release the personnel file of any employee who complains or assists in proceedings involving unlawful discriminatory practices by employers. This anti-retaliation provision is effective immediately. According to the statute, this new provision is necessary to address a common practice of leaking a personnel file to disparage or discredit a victim of or witness to sexual harassment.
Additional bills under consideration to further crack down on sexual harassment in the workplace include:
- Let Survivors Speak Act: will reform current Non-Disclosure Agreement laws that financially penalize survivors who speak out about their abuse by prohibiting settlements that require plaintiffs to pay liquidated damages for violating their NDA.
- “No-Rehire” Ban: will ban “no rehire” clauses in settlement agreements for employees or independent contractors that have filed a claim against their employer.
- Extending Time Frame for Reporting Complaints: will raise the statute of limitations to three years for all unlawful discriminatory complaints to be brought to the Division of Human Rights, recognizing that victims need sufficient time to come forward.
- Extended Statute of Limitations for Harassment: will extend the statute of limitations for employment discrimination, including sexual harassment, from three years to six years.
Contact us for a consultation now, If you believe you have been subjected to sexual harassment from your employer, it’s a good idea to seek out legal representation. Call or contact us online today to discuss your unique situation.