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April 4, 2018

New York City Council Proposes the “Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act”

On March 7, 2018, the New York City Council introduced a package of bills titled the “Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act.” The legislation is intended to strengthen protections against, and remedies for, sexual harassment in the workplace. It would also expand employer coverage for claims of sexual harassment under the New York City Human Rights Law (“NYCHRL”), extend the statute of limitations to file harassment claims with the New York City Commission on Human Rights (“NYCCHR”), and call for notice and posting requirements in the workplace.

Key Provisions

The proposed legislation would require employers with 15 or more employees to conduct an annual anti-sexual harassment interactive training for all employees employed within New York City for more than 80 hours in a calendar year, and who perform work on a full-time or part-time basis.

Supervisors and managerial employees of covered employers would also be required to receive additional annual training that includes, at a minimum, the specific responsibilities of supervisory and managerial employees in the prevention of sexual harassment and retaliation, and measures that employees may take to appropriately address sexual harassment complaints.
Other provisions in the bill packet would:

  • Amend the NYCHRL with regard to sexual harassment to apply to all employers regardless of the number of employees;
  • Extend the statute of limitations for filing harassment claims from one year to three years from the time that the alleged harassment occurred; and
  • Require all employers in New York City to display an anti-sexual harassment rights and responsibilities poster in a conspicuous location where employees gather.

Takeaway for Employers

The Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act remains under consideration, and employers do not yet need to implement its requirements. However, in anticipation of the passage of the Act, employers should review their sexual harassment prevention and response practices. Specifically, employers should consider creating a sexual harassment training program that at a minimum adheres to the proposed requirements listed above.

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If you have any questions regarding the proposed Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act, or need assistance with policy review or training, please do not hesitate to contact us. We will keep you appraised of changes and clarifications to the proposed legislation.