Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

The Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act

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:

  • An explanation of sexual harassment as a form of unlawful discrimination under local law;
  • A statement that sexual harassment is also a form of unlawful discrimination under state and federal law;
  • A description of what sexual harassment is, using examples;
  • Any internal complaint process available to employees through their employer to address sexual harassment claims;
  • The complaint process available through the Commission, the New York State Division of Human Rights and the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, including contact information;
  • The prohibition of retaliation including examples;
  • Information concerning bystander intervention, including but not limited to any resources that explain how to engage in bystander intervention; and
  • The specific responsibilities of supervisory and managerial employees in the prevention of sexual harassment and retaliation, and measures that such employees may take to appropriately address sexual harassment complaints.

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.

About The Campaign

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 its innovative, timely, and aggressive approach, this campaign earned the Commission a Gold MarCom Award win, and a Shorty Award "Social Good" nomination.

Commission Releases Report Based on 2017 Workplace Sexual Harassment Public Hearing Testimony

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.

View Video of the Hearing in its entirety below, See Photos, or Read the transcript.

It's Against The Law

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.

Sexual Harassment Unit

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.

Report Sexual Harassment

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.

Get Help and Information with these Resources

Women in NYC Fact Sheet for Download

Instructions on Reporting Sexual Harassment

  • Medium Blog: "If It Happens to You, Report It: Victims of Sexual Harassment Can Get Justice in NYC

Women's Rights Brochure

Protection for Women Fact Sheet

 Press Release and Campaign Announcement




  • Read the Commission testimony before City Councll on the agency's strong legal enforcement of sexual harassment protections, and proposed legislation to further expand those protections.

    "I Was Always in a Good Mood, Then it Happened…"