New York Enacts Sexual Harassment Laws


The recently-signed budget bill in New York imposes a number of sexual harassment-related obligations on New York employers. Specifically:

  • Employers are required to conduct annual anti-harassment training and to distribute anti-harassment policies, both of which must meet certain statutory requirements. The State Department of Labor and Division of Human Rights will provide a model policy and a training module that may be used, or the employer may develop its own. (Effective October 9, 2018)
  • Non-disclosure or confidentiality provisions in sexual harassment settlement agreements are prohibited unless the complainant prefers to have one. The complainant must be given 21 days to consider such a provision, and 7 days after signing an agreement containing the provision in which to revoke it. (Effective July 11, 2018)
  • Mandatory arbitration agreements as to sexual harassment claims are prohibited. There is an exemption for arbitration agreements that are part of a collective bargaining agreement. (Effective July 11, 2018; arbitration agreements entered into prior to that date are still in effect)
  • The protections against sexual harassment under the NY Human Rights Law are expanded to cover “non-employees” such as contractors, subcontractors, vendors, consultants, and others providing services pursuant to a contract. (Effective immediately)
  • Contractors bidding on state contracts must affirm in their bids that they have sexual harassment policies and conduct annual sexual harassment training. (Effective January 1, 2019)