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Governor Cuomo Signs New York State Budget Anti-Harassment Provisions Into Law

On April 12, 2018, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law the New York State budget, which, as we previously reported, includes several significant measures directed at both private and government employers regarding sexual harassment in the workplace.

The signing of the budget bills triggers the countdown to the effective dates of the various provisions, as follows:

  • Effective immediately – Expanded protections against sexual harassment under the New York State Human Rights Law to “non-employees,” including contractors, subcontractors, vendors, consultants, and other persons providing services pursuant to a contract.

  • Effective July 11, 2018 – Prohibitions on the use of nondisclosure clauses in settlements or agreements relating to claims of sexual harassment, unless the condition of confidentiality is the preference of the complainant, as well as prohibitions on mandatory arbitration clauses for claims of workplace sexual harassment.

  • Effective October 9, 2018 – Mandatory distribution of written anti-harassment policies in the workplace and annual anti-harassment training for all employees, both based on models to be developed and published by the New York State Department of Labor and Division of Human Rights.

  • Effective January 1, 2019 – Requirement that bids on certain state contracts contain language affirming that the bidding entity has implemented a written policy addressing sexual harassment in the workplace and that it provides annual sexual harassment preventing training to all of its employees.

We will continue to report on any further developments with regard to these noteworthy new provisions.

© 2018 Proskauer Rose LLP.

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About this Author

Allan Bloom, Trial Lawyer, Proskaeuer
Partner

Allan Bloom is a nationally recognized trial lawyer and advisor who represents management in a broad range of employment and labor law matters. As a litigator, Allan has successfully defended a number of the world’s leading companies against claims for unpaid wages, employment discrimination, breach of contract and wrongful discharge, both at the trial and appellate court levels as well as in arbitration. He has secured complete defense verdicts for clients in front of juries, as well as injunctions to protect clients’ confidential information and assets.

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Laura M. Fant, Labor & Employment Attorney, Proskauer Law Firm
Associate

Laura M. Fant is an Associate in the Labor & Employment Department, resident in the New York office. She is a member of the Accessibility and Accommodations Practice Group, and frequently counsels on matters involving the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and state public accommodation law, as well as disability accommodation in the workplace. She has experience conducting accessibility audits and providing ADA and accessibility training for clients in a variety of sectors, including retail, sports, and not-for-profit. Her practice also focuses on wage and hour and class and collective action litigation, and she is a frequent contributor to the Proskauer on Class and Collective Actions blog.

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