The New York State Sexual Harassment Prevention Laws: Two New Laws for the “Me Too” Era


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About This Course

On April 12, 2018, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a budget bill, which included a broad anti-sexual harassment legislative package. The new state law requires all New York employers to: (1) adopt a Sexual Harassment Prevention policy with very specific requirements by October 9, 2018 and (2) commence annual employee training by January 1, 2019 (later extended to October 9, 2019) The law also (a) prohibits NYS employers from including nondisclosure clauses in sexual harassment settlement, unless the employee demonstrates her concurrence through a separate document and (b) prohibits NYS employers from enforcing mandatory arbitration clauses in connection with workplace sexual harassment claims and (c) expands the class of protected workers beyond “employees.”

Not surprisingly, a few weeks later, on May 9, 2018, Mayor de Blasio signed the “Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act” that imposes new requirements for employers aimed at combating sexual harassment and requires NYC companies with 15 or more workers to conduct annual sexual harassment prevention trainings for their employees. New York City’s training requirement takes effect April 1, 2019.

This CLE presentation will focus on the compliance aspects of the applicable statutes as well as the risk management benefits which accrue to employers that achieve compliance. It will also review the legal and popular history of sexual harassment prevention and will place the New York legislation into the context of decades of parallel federal statutes, regulations and cases.

Experienced management-side employment law specialist Richard H. Waxman will walk us through all of the above plus the details of the compliance process; and he will address the risk management ramifications of employers’ failure to effect compliance, with special emphasis on thoughts that will not be found in case books or law treatises.

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