United States: New York's Expansion Of Anti-Sexual Harassment Legislation In The Workplace

July 10, 2018 - With increased awareness and the spotlight on sexual harassment in the workplace, the State and City of New York enacted comprehensive sexual harassment legislation in the past few months. On April 12, 2018, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed legislation specifying required steps employers must take to address workplace sexual harassment. On May 9, 2018, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed the Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act.

Employers should keep in mind that, while some provisions of these laws went into effect immediately, the effective date of certain others is around the corner -- on July 11, 2018. For example, New York employers should ensure that settlement agreements of employees' sexual harassment claims do not include a non-disclosure provision unless the employee requests confidentiality.

Below is a chart and brief summary of key provisions of the New York State and City legislation with the respective effective dates.

New York State Laws:

Effective immediately:

Upon the passing of the NYS law on April 12, 2018, under Section 296-D of the New York State Human Rights Law, all employers may be held liable for sexual harassment of non-employees in the workplace, such as contractors, subcontractors, vendors, and consultants.

Effective July 11, 2018:

Mandatory Arbitration Clauses

Under Section 7515 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules ("CPLR"), employers are prohibited from including mandatory arbitration provisions in written employment contracts regarding allegations or claims of sexual harassment, unless such a prohibition contradicts federal law. This prohibition applies to contracts entered into on or after the July 11, 2018 effective date. Note: This Section may be challenged as preempted by the Federal Arbitration Act.

Non-disclosure Agreements

The General Obligations Law Section 5-336 and CPLR Section 5003-b prohibit employers from including a non-disclosure provision in sexual harassment settlements, unless "such term or condition is the complainant's preference." The new provision grants the complainant 21 days to consider the non-disclosure provision, and 7 days to revoke it even after signing it (while the remainder of the settlement agreement remains in force).

Effective October 9, 2018:

Sexual Harassment Prevention

As mandated by Section 201-G of the New York Labor Law, the Department of Labor is required to consult with the Division of Human Rights to draft and publish a model sexual harassment prevention guide and prevention policy as well as a model sexual harassment prevention training program. Employers are required to adopt the model policy and training program or establish a prevention policy and training program that "equals or exceeds the minimum standards" established by the Department of Labor and the Division of Human Rights. Employers must provide all employees with written copies of the policy and conduct annual training. Both the guide and training program are intended to prevent workplace sexual harassment.

Effective January 1, 2019:

State Contract Bids and Sexual Harassment Policies

The New York State Finance Law, Section 139-L, codifies requirements that all contract bidders with the State of New York, or any state department or agency, must certify that they have implemented written workplace sexual harassment prevention policies and provide annual training to all employees.

NYC's Stop Sexual Harassment Act:

The Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act similarly reflects the state's initiative to stop sexual harassment in the workplace and provide training to employees by amending various sections of the New York City Administrative Code.

Effective immediately:

Upon passing the Act on May 9, 2018, the statute of limitations for claims of unlawful gender-based harassment under Section 8-109(e) was lengthened from 1 year to 3 years. In addition, the NYC Administrative Code expanded those employers covered by the Code for claims of sexual harassment to include those with fewer than four employees. Prior to the amendment, only employers with four or more employees were covered.

Effective September 6, 2018:

Sexual Harassment Information Display

Employers are required to conspicuously post displays outlining anti-sexual harassment rights and responsibilities in either employee break rooms or other common areas. Employers are also required to distribute anti-sexual harassment information sheets to all new employees upon hiring.

Effective April 1, 2019:

Mandatory Anti-Sexual Harassment Training

Significantly, employers with 15 or more employees must conduct annual, interactive anti-sexual harassment training for all employees employed in New York City.

New York Anti-Sexual Harassment Legislation in the Workplace



Effective Date

Anti-Sexual Harassment

New York State Human Rights Law Section 296-D


Mandatory Arbitration Clauses

Civil Practice Law and Rules Section 7515

July 11, 2018

Non-disclosure Agreements

General Obligations Law Section 5-336; Civil Practice Law and Rules Section 5003-b

July 11, 2018

Sexual Harassment Prevention

New York Labor Law Section 201-G

October 9, 2018

State Contract Bids and Sexual Harassment Policies

New York State Finance Law Section 139-L

January 1, 2019

NYC's Stop Sexual Harassment Act

Various sections of NYC Administrative Code

January 1, 2019

Statute of Limitation

NYC Administrative Code Section 8-109(e)


Sexual Harassment Information Display

NYC Administrative Code

Section 8-107(29)

September 6, 2018

Mandatory Anti-Sexual Harassment Training

NYC Administrative Code Section 8-107(30)

April 1, 2019

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
In association with
Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Articles
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions