New York Sexual Harassment laws & HR compliance analysis

New York Sexual Harassment: What you need to know

The New York Human Rights Law prohibits employers with four or more employees from discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, or domestic violence victim status (NY Exec. Law Sec. 296 et seq.). Effective February 8, 2020, the law applies to all employers, regardless of size.
All employers in the state, regardless of size, may be liable for unlawful sexual harassment.
Employers are liable for the unlawful sexual harassment of contractors, subcontractors, vendors, consultants, other persons providing services under a contract in the workplace, and their employees (NY Labor Law Sec. 201-g).
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“Gender identity or expression” means a person’s actual or perceived gender-related identity, appearance, behavior, expression, or other gender-related characteristic regardless of the sex assigned to that person at birth, including the status of being transgender (NY Exec. Law Sec. 292).
Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (Title VII). The essence of the claim is that it is unwelcome harassment of a sexual nature (Mauro v. Orville, 697 N.Y.S.2d 704 (3rd Dept. 1999)).
The New York courts have adopted the standards that define sexual harassment under Title VII to apply to actions brought under state human rights law (Espaillat v. Breli Originals, 227 A.D.2d 266 (1st Dept. 1996)). However, effective October 11, 2019, it is unlawful for an employer, licensing agency, employment agency, or labor organization to subject any individual to harassment based on a protected characteristic or because the individual has opposed unlawful discrimination, filed a complaint, or testified or ...

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