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With regard to sexual harassment, New York’s human Rights Law applies to all employers, regardless of the number of employees. New York’s law also protects domestic workers from sexual harassment.
Unlawful employment practices
The New York Human Rights Law includes sexual harassment provisions.
Employers may be held liable if they knew or should have known that covered non-employees were sexually harassed and did not take action to correct the issue. Non-employees are those providing services under a contract, such as contractors, subcontractors, vendors and consultants. Generally, employers were expected to protect their own employees from sexual harassment, but this law now extends that protection to non-employees as well.
Effective July 11, 2018, employers may not include nondisclosure provisions as part of settlement agreements for sexual harassments claims. The only exception is when the person bringing the claim requests privacy and confidentiality. Employees must be given 21 days to consider whether they want to request confidentiality, and seven days to revoke their decision.
Effective July 11, 2018, employers are prohibited from using a mandatory arbitration provision in an employment contract in relation to sexual harassment.
Effective October 9, 2018, New York employers must adopt and provide a sexual harassment prevention policy to employees and deliver annual sexual harassment training to all employees.
The state will provide a model policy, but employers may create their own. Similarly, to accomplish the training, employers may use a state-created model program, or create their own. Both would need to meet the law’s requirements.
The policy must include:
The training program must be interactive, and contain the following elements:
Human Rights Law, Executive Law Article 15
Rules & Regulations, Subtitle J, Division of Human Rights, Part 465 - Rules of Practice