On May 9, 2018, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed the Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act, a comprehensive legislative package aimed at addressing and preventing sexual harassment in the workplace, into law. Included in the package is an expansion of the City Human Rights Law in cases of gender-based harassment to increase the statute of limitations from one year to three years and expand protections to all employees, regardless of the size of their employer.
Additional obligations for employers include:
1. Under Local Law 96 of 2018, employers with 15 or more employees are required to conduct annual sexual harassment prevention training for all employees. Effective April 2019, employers have one year to implement the training for all employees and must ensure all employees are trained annually thereafter. The Commission will develop and share an online training to be available on its website that will satisfy this requirement in the coming months. Employers may also choose to provide their own annual sexual harassment prevention training for employees provided that it includes the following elements:
Employers shall keep a record of all trainings, including a signed employee acknowledgement. These may be kept electronically.
2. Under Local Law 95 of 2018, all employers in the City are required to conspicuously display sexual harassment prevention notices in both English (Legal size, Letter size) and Spanish (Legal size, Letter size) and distribute a factsheet to individual employees at the time of hire which may be included in an employee handbook.
The NYC Commission on Human Rights launched this citywide campaign, which includes ads, a PSA video, and community events, so that all New Yorkers can know how the Law defines, and protects against, sexual harassment. Find advertisements across social media, the LinkNYC network, subway carts, bus terminals, posters in your community, and online across various websites and the Google network - and connect with the Commission on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to ensure you're up-to-date on all things human rights in New York City.
For the first time in 40 years, the Commission in December 2017 held a public hearing on sexual harassment in the workplace. The hearing included testimony from dozens of New Yorkers from all walks of life on how sexual harassment has affected them and their workplace. A report with policy recommendations based on this hearing was released on April 25, 2018.
The NYC Human Rights Law, one of the strongest anti-discrimination laws in the nation, protects against discrimination based on gender, which includes sexual harassment. Under the Law, any unwanted sexual behavior is unlawful, including but not limited to touching, crude jokes, and lewd comments.
In Summer 2018, the Commission will launch a new Sexual Harassment Unit, the first of its kind in the nation. This unit will focus specifically on sexual harassment in the private sector, and will have a staff dedicated to helping victims of sexual harassment and bringing violators to justice.
You're not in this alone. Report It. End It.
If you experience sexual harassment at work, contact the NYC Commission on Human Rights to report it at (212) 416-0197 or you can report it anonymously here. Unsure about filing a complaint? Feel free to read this blog post that can help you understand the complaint process when filing a complaint of sexual harassment with the Commission.
Instructions on Reporting Sexual Harassment
Women's Rights Brochure
Protection for Women Fact Sheet
Press Release and Campaign Announcement