May. 23, 2018

Legislative Update: New York City Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act

On May 9, 2018, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed the Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act (the “Act”), designed to combat sexual harassment in the workplace. The Act contains provisions similar to the sexual harassment provisions contained in the 2018-2019 New York State Budget.

While the New York City Human Rights Law (the “NYCHRL”) applies to employers with four or more employees in New York City, the Act eliminates this employee threshold with respect to gender-based harassment claims, expanding NYCHRL’s coverage for these claims to all New York City employees. The Act also: 

  • Amends the NYCHRL by extending the statute of limitations for filing “gender-based” claims against employers. Now, the statute of limitations period for these claims is three years instead of one year.
  • Requires employers, effective September 6, 2018, to display a poster explaining the rights and responsibilities related to sexual harassment. The poster will be created by the New York City Human Rights Commission (“Commission”) and is to be displayed in employee break rooms or other common areas. Employers are also required to provide a handout containing the same information, also to be created by the Commission, to new employees at the time of hire.
  • Requires employers with 15 or more employees, effective April 1, 2019, to conduct annual sexual harassment training for all New York City employees, including interns and management. The Act requires the training to take place after 90 days of initial hire for employees who work more than 80 hours in a calendar year on a full-time or part-time basis. The required training must encompass the information outlined in the Commission’s handout and poster, plus information regarding managers’ specific responsibilities with respect to sexual harassment prevention. Employers will be required to keep a record of all trainings, including signed employee acknowledgments, for at least three years. The Commission will be developing an online interactive training module for employers to use which will satisfy the Act’s training requirements. It is also anticipated that compliance with the Act’s requirements will satisfy New York State’s training requirements.

If you have any questions about the Act, or your compliance therewith, please do not hesitate to contact Erin M. Callahan, Esq. or any other member of Whiteman Osterman & Hanna LLP’s Labor and Employment Practice Group.