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NEW YORK LAW ALERT - Workplace Harassment Law

Updated: Jan 14, 2023

NY LAW ALERT - Governor Cuomo signs tougher workplace harassment law updating Human Rights Law

On Monday, August 12, 2019, Governor Cuomo signed legislation (S.6577/A.8421) to enact sweeping new workplace harassment protections, fulfilling a key component of his 2019 Women's Justice Agenda.

One of the key items was the re-categorization of the threshold established by courts of conduct deemed to be harassment. The previous standard held that conduct need to be "severe or pervasive" - a standard the Governor called "absurd." Harassment will now be defined as any conduct that subjects someone to inferior treatment—beyond “petty slights and trivial inconveniences”—on the basis of age, race, sex, religion and other specified categories. The protections cover all private employers—small businesses were previously exempt—as well as state and local governments, domestic workers and independent contractors. Advocates of this move said it was long overdue and could result in more litigation against employers.

“Today New York stands as a beacon of hope for survivors across the country as we usher a movement into law, and take one step forward towards building a harassment-free New York for all. ”

state Sen. Alessandra Biaggi, a Democrat from the Bronx who sponsored the bill, said in a statement.

Employers in New York should be aware of the following:

You can get more information regarding the current policy here.

Let us know your thoughts on this bill and how it might affect you.

About the author

Gregg Perez combines his love and passion to help law firms, start-ups, and companies of varying size reach their best potential with the experience gained from working with Fortune 500 companies, law firms, and start-ups. As a Director, Administrator, COO, VP and consultant, he brings years of consulting and real life experience to the table for his clients.


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