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 (including gender identity and transgender status), sexual orientation, marital status, or domestic violence victim status (NY Exec. Law Sec. 296 et seq.). The law covers employers with four or more employees. Sexual harassment is generally considered discrimination based on sex. Effective April 12, 2018, 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). All employers in the state, regardless of size, may be liable for unlawful sexual harassment.
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Discrimination based on gender identity is sex discrimination under the law (9 NYCRR Sec. 466.13). “Gender identity” is defined as having or being perceived as having a gender identity, self-image, appearance, behavior, or expression, whether that identity is different from that traditionally associated with the sex assigned to that person at birth. A “transgender person” is an individual who has a gender identity different from the sex assigned to that person at birth. Under the regulation, harassment based on a person’s gender identity or transgender status is sexual harassment.
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 ...

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