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New York State & City expand Anti-Harassment Requirements for Employers

Key provisions are:

• Mandatory Sexual Harassment Training and Policy.
This will require that all New York Employers, regardless of their size, provide sexual harassment, including the “Hostile Environment” training annually to all employees (not just managers) and provide employees with a written non-harassment policy, either in their Handbook or as a separate memo. Employers must also develop and publish a “standard complaint form” that employees can use to make sexual harassment claims.

• Expanding Protections for Non-Employees.
The new legislation broadens protection under the State Human Rights law for non-employees, providing that an Employer may be liable for the sexual harassment of Contractors, Subcontractors, Vendors and Consultants where the Employer knows or should know that harassment is occurring in its workplace and fails to take immediate and appropriate corrective action to stop it.

• Bidders for State Contracts Must Affirm Compliance with Non-Harassment Requirements.

• Arbitration Clauses.
The new State Budget would prohibit arbitration clauses, including those in a contract, from applying to sexual harassment claims. This measure seeks to enable employees to pursue private actions related to sexual harassment.

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