The Changing Landscape of NYC’s Employment Laws

What can employers in New York City do to ensure compliance with recently passed employment laws?

Recently, the New York City Council and the NY State Legislature have passed and enacted several significant employment laws. These new laws will impact private employers across New York. Employers in the city need to remain abreast of the changing employment laws in order to ensure their compliance. Our NYC employment discrimination lawyers explore the various new employment laws impacting employers and employees alike in the region below.

NY’s New Sexual Harassment Laws

In part in response to the powerful #MeToo movement, New York state passed several new laws concerning sexual harassment in the workplace. Employers in New York should be aware of the following new laws:

  1. Expansion of sexual harassment laws: Sexual harassment laws as defined under the New York State Human Rights Law now apply to non-employees, such as contractors, consultants, and vendors. As it stands now, it is illegal for employers to permit sexual harassment of non-employees in the workplace.

  2. Elimination of arbitration clauses: New York State now generally prohibits the use of mandatory arbitration clauses when it comes to resolving sexual harassment claims.

  3. Mandatory training programs: A new law now requires New York employers to conduct a mandatory annual training program, as well as distribute a written anti-harassment policy to all employees.

In addition to these new laws at the state level, New York City will soon pass its own new rules concerning sexual harassment in the workplace. When signed by the mayor, the scope of the New York City Human Rights Law will expand to cover all employers, regardless of their size. The law prohibits all gender based harassment and allows employees up to three years to file a claim. In 2019, the law will require employers with 15 or more employees to provide mandatory anti-sexual harassment training for all employees, which includes an explanation of sexual harassment, information as to the complaints process, and much more.

In today’s ever changing employment law landscape, it is critical for employers to consult with an employment law attorney for assistance with staying up to date. Your attorney will review your current procedures and implement new policies that will ensure your compliance with all state and local laws.