What You Should Know About the “Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC” Act

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.

New York State’s Paid Family Leave Program Begins

What constitutes paid family leave and whether employers should be required to offer it has been a widely debated topic for decades. Recently, New York State has taken a step forward in this issue by granting employees new rights regarding family leave. As of the first day of the new year, the laws outlining employees’ eligibility for paid family leave have been improved in New York State to make it one of the most generous plans in the nation. The program for New York State will be phased in over the course of the next four years, beginning with 8 weeks of paid leave and eventually growing to 12 weeks of paid leave by 2021.
Continue reading “New York State’s Paid Family Leave Program Begins”

Amendment to NYC Human Rights Law For Reasonable Accommodation Requests

A recent amendment to the New York City Human Rights Law now requires employers to handle employee requests for reasonable accommodations in a specific manner. The New York City Council amended the law, which takes effect on October 15, 2018, in response to employers’ failure to acknowledge and appropriately handle requests for reasonable accommodations by their employees. The amendment requires employers to participate in a cooperative discussion with an employee who needs accommodations for:
Continue reading “Amendment to NYC Human Rights Law For Reasonable Accommodation Requests”

What Employees Should Know About Employer Medical Information Requests

Employees get asked questions from their employers on a day-to-day basis. Some questions are innocent, while other questions may seem a little more personal. Either way, employees are not usually hesitant to answer employer questions, as they assume that any question asked must be necessary for the employer to know. While in many cases this may be true, when it comes to prying into an employee’s medical information, there are laws that protect employees from having to disclose. Continue reading “What Employees Should Know About Employer Medical Information Requests”

Sexual Harassment Doesn’t Only Happen Between Males And Females

New York City has statutes protecting employees from sexual harassment and other offensive conduct in the workplace. Sexual harassment includes sexual remarks, images, jokes, or any other conduct by a co-worker or superior that creates a hostile or intolerable work environment. Most sexual harassment claims are made between female employees regarding the actions of male coworkers or supervisors. However, sexual harassment claims are not limited to acts committed by men against women. In a recent case, according to the New York City Commission on Human Rights, a female chief executive officer (CEO) made inappropriate sexual remarks towards female employees. Continue reading “Sexual Harassment Doesn’t Only Happen Between Males And Females”

New York City Safe Time Act

On November 6, 2017, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed the Earned Safe and Sick Time Act (ESSTA) which amends Chapter 8 of Title 20 to the New York City Administrative Code. On May 5, 2018, the new law will take effect that affords leave time to victims and to the family members of victims of family offenses, sexual offenses, stalking, and human trafficking. Continue reading “New York City Safe Time Act”

Seasonal Hires Receive Many of the Same Labor Law Protections

Seasonal employees are typically hired to work on a part-time basis for retailers that need extra help around the holiday season. These seasonal positions are a perfect way to provide employees the opportunity to earn extra income to pay for gifts, meals, and even bills. In addition, already employed workers may have the opportunity to receive a supplemental income, which may help to offset the extra money spent during the holiday seasons. Continue reading “Seasonal Hires Receive Many of the Same Labor Law Protections”

The “Snowflake Test”: Is It Legal?

snowflakeWhile it is not uncommon for employers to give assessment tests to potential job candidates, one U.S. company has caught the eye of the media for its unusual vetting tool. Kyle Reyes, Chief Executive Officer of The Silent Partner Marketing, a public relations firm located in Hilliard Mills, Connecticut, created the controversial “snowflake test” as a means of weeding out candidates who don’t fit the company’s culture – specifically, “overly sensitive, liberal candidates that are too easily offended.” However, despite the significant publicity and, in some cases, praise, others have fiercely criticized the assessment and called into question the ethics and legality of it.

Continue reading “The “Snowflake Test”: Is It Legal?”

Whistleblower Lawsuit Filed Against Mead Johnson Nutrition

Employers can face serious legal consequences when they retaliate against whistleblowers. A whistleblower is an employee who voices a complaint about a company’s misconduct, such as filing complaints about safety and health code violations, shareholder fraud, mismanagement of fiances or other illegal activity. Additionally, employees who make initial complaints, those that follow up on those concerns or give information to investigators are also considered whistleblowers. Whistleblowers are protected against retaliation by their employers and companies under both federal and state laws.

Continue reading “Whistleblower Lawsuit Filed Against Mead Johnson Nutrition”

Possible Settlement in Unpaid Overtime Case

In November 2014, employees of Alice’s Tea Cup LLC, a Manhattan café chain alleged that during their employment, they were not paid overtime for days when they worked more than 10 hours. Alice’s Tea Cup has three locations in New York City.

Continue reading “Possible Settlement in Unpaid Overtime Case”