July 19, 2019

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New York’s Push to Prevent Sexual Harassment in the Workplace has Global Implications

As we have previously reported, New York has significantly heightened employers’ responsibilities with regard to the implementation of anti-sexual harassment policies and training in the workplace. Some of the most notable changes New York employers have adjusted to include the adoption of written policies that explain the complaint and investigation procedure and all possible avenues of redress, a new onus on managers and supervisors to report all complaints of sexual harassment they receive and instances of such misconduct that they observe or become aware of, and mandatory annual anti-sexual harassment training for all employees.

Although this law is specific to New York, these changes are relevant to global employers with employees in the State. While some jurisdictions afford more protection than others, multi-national employers generally have been encouraged — but not required — to implement sexual harassment prevention policies and training. But multi-national companies with cross-border reporting structures, where a New York employee either reports to or supervises a non-US employee, should consider complying with the new requirements as soon as possible in order to avoid liability under New York State and City laws. This is even more the case where a global employer has adopted compliant anti-sexual harassment training and policies in New York, but has not extended such training and policies to its other locations. 

© 2019 Proskauer Rose LLP.


About this Author

Erika C Collins, Labor, Employment, Attorney, Proskauer Rose, LAw Firm

Erika Collins is a Partner in the Labor & Employment Law Department and co-head of the International Labor & Employment Law Group, resident in the New York office. Erika advises and counsels multinational public and private companies on a wide range of cross-border employment and human resources matters throughout the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia.


Michelle Gyves is an associate in the Labor & Employment Law Department. Her practice focuses on providing strategic advice and counseling to domestic and multinational employers on a wide range of employment law matters. These matters include hiring and termination, compensation and benefits, restrictive covenants, diversity and inclusion, and global mobility.

Michelle has conducted numerous multi-country audits of employment laws and practices, ensuring clients’ compliance in a wide range of areas. Her experience covers data privacy, disability and leave laws, employer health and safety obligations, and working time regulations, among numerous other issues. She also provides advice on issues related to the intersection of technology and employment law, including “Bring Your Own Device” policies, social media in the workplace and use of electronic signatures for employment documents.

Vanessa Avello, Proskauer Law Firm, Labor and Employment Law Attorney, Newark

Vanessa P. Avello is an associate in the Labor & Employment Department and assists clients in a broad range of labor and employment law matters.

Prior to joining Proskauer, Vanessa attended Rutgers School of Law where she served as a Senior Notes and Comments Editor of the Rutgers Law Review. Vanessa was also a Teaching Assistant for the Rutgers Legal Analysis, Writing and Research Skills program and she held a judicial internship for the Honorable Esther Salas of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey. In addition,...