Gov. Cuomo signs workplace harassment prevention legislation into law

Seal_of_New_York.svg.pngGov. Andrew Cuomo yesterday signed into law legislation intended to further prevent workplace harassment and increase protections for workers.

The legislation, S.5677/A.8421, enacts sweeping new protections for workers against harassment in the workplace and strengthens New York’s anti-discrimination laws. The law seeks to hold offenders accountable and provide justice for victims by: eliminating the restriction that harassment be “severe or pervasive” in order to be legally actionable; mandating that all non-disclosure agreements allow employees to file a complaint of harassment or discrimination; and extending the statute of limitations for employment sexual harassment claims filed from one year to three years.

Among other things, the law also extends protections against all forms of discrimination in the workplace to contractors, subcontractors, vendors, consultants or others providing services.

“There has been an ongoing, persistent culture of sexual harassment, assault and discrimination in the workplace, and now it is time to act,” Cuomo said in a press release. “By ending the absurd legal standard that sexual harassment in the workplace needs to be ‘severe or pervasive’ and making it easier for workplace sexual harassment claims to be brought forward, we are sending a strong message that time is up on sexual harassment in the workplace and setting the standard of equality for women.”

To learn more, view the Cuomo administration’s press release.

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