This month, Governor Cuomo signed a new anti-harassment law, and it contains provisions for private and public employers related to sexual harassment in the workplace.
Effectively immediately, employees are protected from harassment not only by other employees, but also “non-employees,” which can include vendors, consultants, contractors, and others providing services pursuant to a contract.
Beginning July 11, 2018, nondisclosure clauses are prohibited in settlements or agreements related to sexual harassment claims, unless the complainant wants such a provision included. Also prohibited are mandatory arbitration clauses for workplace sexual harassment claims.
As of October 9, 2018, it will be mandatory that all workplaces have and distribute an anti-harassment policy and also conduct anti-harassment training for all employees. Model policies and trainings will be published by the NYS Department of Labor and the NYS Division of Human Rights.
Effective January 1, 2019, bids on certain state contracts will have to contain language affirming that the entity making the bid has and distributes required anti-harassment policies and conducts the required training.
Underberg & Kessler LLP can assist in developing a policy as well as conducting anti-harassment training.