The media cycle of the past year has been flooded with hundreds of stories of sexual harassment committed by those in positions of power. People are becoming less afraid of sharing their experiences with sexual harassment, which has sparked the #MeToo movement which seeks to unveil the sexual harassment and assault that too often has been concealed. Many of the stories of sexual harassment that have come into the spotlight have been those that have allegedly occurred between employers and employees such as those allegedly involving Harvey Weinstein and Matt Lauer.
The #MeToo movement helped society understand the true volume of sexual harassment and abuse that goes on that most people are unaware of. In an effort to reduce the prevalence of sexual harassment—and eventually stop it completely—the New York City council has adopted the “Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act” which will offer a plethora of new protections to those who may have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace. This act consolidated a series of bills offering many different protections with varying effective dates as noted below:
- By July 8, 2018, city contractors will be required to report their policies and protocol for handling and preventing cases of sexual harassment.
- As of September 6, 2018, employers must display, in plain and obvious sight, a poster created by the city that defines sexual harassment, outlines anti-sexual harassment rights and responsibilities, and how to report instances of sexual harassment. They will also be required to provide new employees with an information sheet regarding sexual harassment.
- Effective April 1, 2019, businesses with 15 or more employees must hold an annual anti-sexual harassment training course for employees of all levels and ranks. Any employee that works at least 80 hours each year would be required to complete this training within 90 days of the date he or she was hired.
Another major element that the legislation includes is that it enhances the protections of New York City’s existing human rights law. It will now allow employees up to three years from the day of the incident to report the sexual harassment to authorities.
If you have been a victim of sexual harassment in the workplace, it is crucial that you speak with an experienced New York sexual harassment lawyer. Steven Mitchell Sack, the employee’s lawyer, has handled many sexual harassment and discrimination cases and may be able to help you report your incident and achieve justice. For more information or to schedule a consultation, call (917) 371-8000 or fill out our contact form.