Friday, October 11, 2019

Protections for Victims of Harassment are Effective Today.

The following provisions of the recently passed New York State law which provide additional protections for victims of harassment/discrimination based on any protected class (sex, race, religion, etc.) go into effect today: 

1)  As of today, the high "severe and pervasive" standard for establishing claims of harassment no longer applies. Rather, any conduct, including isolated incidents, that merely rises above "petty slights" or "trivial inconveniences" may be considered harassment.

2) Whether or not an employee filed an internal complaint prior to filing a lawsuit is no longer determinative of an employer's liability.

3) Non-employees (contractors, vendors, etc.) can now bring claims of harassment against companies based on any protected class.

4) Non-disclosure provisions in agreements settling harassment claims are prohibited unless it is the employee's preference.

5) Mandatory arbitration of harassment claims based on any protected class is now prohibited.

Employers should ensure that these new provisions are included in their annual harassment prevention training.


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