As we discussed in a recent post, the New York City Council introduced a series of bills last month aimed at preventing sexual harassment in the workplace; The Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act. The City Council enacted the Act on April 11, 2018 and it is waiting final signature from the Mayor.
The Act consists of 11 bills significantly expands the obligations of many employers in 4 key ways:
Mandatory Sexual Harassment Prevention Training
All private employers with 15 or more employees are required to conduct annual anti-sexual harassment training. The training would be “interactive”, defined as participatory teaching whereby the trainee is engaged in a trainer-trainee interaction, use of audio-visuals, or other participatory forms of training as determined by the commission. Effective September 1, 2018.
The New York City Commission on Human Rights shall design an anti-sexual harassment rights and responsibilities poster in English and Spanish. All employers in New York City would be required to display such poster in a conspicuous location where employees gather. It would also require employers to provide new hires with an information sheet on sexual harassment. Effective 120 days after it becomes law.
Statute of Limitations
The Act lengthens the statute of limitations for filing gender harassment claims directly with the Commission from 1 year to 3 years. The Act also amends the City code to allow harassment claims “based on unwelcome conduct that intimidates, interferes with, oppresses, threatens, humiliates or degrades a person … based on such person’s gender.” Effective immediately.
Expanded NYCHRL Employer Coverage
The Act amends the NYCHRL prohibition on gender-based harassment to apply to all employers rather than only to employers with four or more employees (aligning the NYCHRL with the New York State Human Rights Law’s coverage of employers for purposes of sexual harassment claims.) Effect immediately.
The Act includes a resolution calling upon the U.S. Congress to pass a law prohibiting pre-dispute arbitration agreements from requiring the arbitration of sex discrimination disputes.