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  • Manuela Muttoni

New York State Sexual Harassment Prevention -timeline-

Effective January 2018: (Federal tax law) Employers prohibited from deducting sexual harassment settlements or payments subject to nondisclosure agreements as ordinary business expenses.

Effective April 12, 2018: New York State employers liable for sexual harassment of  non-employees (including independent contractors, subcontractors, vendors, consultants, temporary workers or anyone providing services in the workplace) if the employer knew or should have known that such non-employee was subjected to sexual harassment in the employer's workplace and the employer failed to take immediate and appropriate corrective action.

Effective May 9, 2018: New York City Human Rights Law (“NYCHRL”) amended to (i) expand protections to all employees, regardless of the size of the employer, in claims of gender-based harassment (which includes sexual harassment), and (ii) increase the statute of limitations from one year to three years

Effective July 11, 2018: New York State employers prohibited from including in sexual harassment settlements nondisclosure and confidentiality provisions regarding the underlying facts and circumstances to the claim, unless confidentiality is the complainant’s preference. Such preference shall be memorialized in a writing signed by all parties in a three-step procedure: (i) 21 days to consider nondisclosure provision, (ii) execute agreement expressing preference, (iii) allow 7 days to revoke.

Effective July 11, 2018: New York employers banned from requiring parties to submit to mandatory arbitration to resolve sexual harassment allegations or claims; Prohibited mandatory arbitration clauses shall be null and void.

Effective September 6, 2018: Pursuant to New York City Local Law of 2018 n. 95, all New York City employers regardless of size, are required to conspicuously display an anti-sexual harassment rights and responsibilities notice in both English and Spanish in employee breakrooms or other common areas where employees gather; An information sheet on sexual harassment shall be distributed to individual employees at the time of hire (and may be included in an Employee Handbook); Notices may be found at https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/cchr/downloads/pdf/materials/SexHarass_Notice-8.5x11.pdf

https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/cchr/downloads/pdf/materials/SexHarass_Factsheet.pdf

Effective October 9, 2018: All New York State employers are required to adopt anti-sexual harassment policies and institute annual anti-harassment training for employeesin compliance with the minimum standards set by the New York State Department of Labor (“NYSDOL”) and the New York State Division of Human Rights (“NYSDHR”); The final model policy may be found at https://www.ny.gov/sites/ny.gov/files/atoms/files/SexualHarassmentPreventionModelPolicy.pdf

Effective April 1, 2019: Pursuant to New York City Local Law of 2018 n. 96, New York City employers with 15 or more employees (including interns) required to conduct annual anti-sexual harassment interactive training for all employees, including supervisory and managerial employees;Annual training required thereafter; New employees shall be trained within 90 days of hire; Similar to the requirements mandated by State law, “interactive training” means that “the trainee is engaged in a trainer-trainee interaction, use of audio-visuals, computer or online training program or other participatory forms of training; A signed employee acknowledgment required to be in full compliance must be kept for 3 years.

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