New York Expands Workplace Harassment Laws
May 20, 2022
By Robert G. Brody and Luis A. Torres
As of July 14, 2022, New York will be launching a statewide toll-free confidential hotline that will provide counsel and assistance to individuals with concerns about workplace sexual harassment. Employers will be required to include the hotline number in any sexual harassment postings and policies. Employers should update any of their policies and materials to reference the Hotline prior to July 14.
In addition to the new hotline law, New York State expanded the definition of retaliation for purposes of discriminatory practices by employers. The new definition includes employers disclosing employee files because the employee has (1) brought a claim of unlawful discrimination, including sexual harassment; (2) opposed a practice forbidden by the discrimination laws; or (3) filed a complaint, testified, or assisted in a discrimination proceeding. This law gives employees a private right of action if employers release personnel files to discredit the employee or for any other retaliatory purpose. Employers should update their policies to reflect these changes.
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