Employers have important responsibilities when it comes to protecting their employees. These responsibilities can include providing necessary safety equipment and ensuring a hospitable work environment. When policies and procedures regarding sexual harassment in the workplace are not in accordance with the law, a considerable number of troubles could result.
New York employers should remain in compliance with a number of laws and regulations when it comes to sexual harassment in the workplace. Many of these laws have only recently come into effect or are about to be implemented. Policies that went into effect immediately included added protections for individuals not classified as employees, such as contractors, consultants and vendors. Employers cannot allow sexual harassment against employees or these non-employees in the workplace.
In July 2018, new state laws made it unlawful to require arbitration when it comes to claims of sexual harassment. Also in that month, it became unlawful to require employees to adhere to nondisclosure agreements in relation to sexual harassment claims or actions. In Oct. 2018, the requirement of mandatory anti-harassment training and policies went into effect.
Though these laws and policies are new, New York employers still have an obligation to implement them immediately or by their effectiveness dates. Serious repercussions could result if employers do not comply with the law. Additionally, if employees believe that they have faced sexual harassment on the job and feel that their employers did not take the proper steps when addressing claims, they may wish to speak with knowledgeable attorneys about their situations to determine what actions may suit their cases.