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Governor Hochul Signs New Workplace Discrimination Legislation

March 23, 2022

By Marc E. Bernstein, & Kaveh Dabashi

On March 16, 2022, New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed new legislation addressing workplace discrimination.

      1. Government Hotline for Workplace Harassment:

S.812B/A.2035B requires the New York Division of Human Rights to establish a toll free confidential hotline to provide assistance to individuals with complaints of workplace sexual harassment. The hotline will be staffed by experienced pro bono attorneys who will make callers aware of their legal rights and advise them on the specifics of their individualized cases. Once the hotline is established, employers must include information regarding the hotline in any materials that employers must post or provide to employees regarding sexual harassment.

      1. Retaliation Regarding Personnel Records:

S.5870/A.7101 clarifies that the release of personnel records can be construed as retaliation for protected conduct under the New York Human Rights Law, except where the disclosure is made in the course of commencing or responding to a complaint in any proceeding. The provision also authorizes New York’s Attorney General to commence an action if the Attorney General “is of the opinion that an employer has been, is, or is about to violate” the retaliation prohibition.

      1. New York State is an “Employer”:

S.3395B/A.2483B clarifies that New York State (or any city, county, town, village, or other political subdivision of the State) is an “employer” under the New York Human Rights Law and is subject to its provisions.

Click here for a PDF of the full text

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