NYS Sexual Harassment Law 2018 Revisions

By Jack Tuckner, Esq.

Here’s some important news out of New York. If you’re being sexually harassed, and you are not a W2 employee, you’re an independent contractor, a consultant, or a vendor, for any size company or business in New York, and you are experiencing unwelcome sexual attention, sexual harassment, you are now covered under a brand new revision – April 2018 – a revision, an amendment to the New York State Human Rights Law which covers all employee vendors, independent contractors, consultants, regardless of how you’re paid, which is important, because prior to April 2018, you had to have been a W-2 employee to be covered by the state sexual harassment law. Similar to the federal law – the Civil Rights Act of 1964- only applies to W-2 employees, not 1099ers, not consultants, not independent contractors.

So, this is a really big change, and there are a lot of women who were previously unable to hold their employer accountable for sexual harassment that now will be able to. Big news. Any size employer. Even if there is only one employee, one 1099 employee and that’s you, and you are being sexually harassed, you can fight back. Also under the same new revised law, effective July 2018, mandatory arbitration will no longer be mandatory for sexual harassment claims in New York. So you can’t be forced to submit your claim to a private judge, an arbitrator, as opposed to a public forum, an open court, to seek a jury trial.

And finally, in the same revised statute, now confidentiality of sexual harassment claims will only be permitted if you, the victim, want confidentiality. If not, the employer, the harasser can’t insist on it. So, these are three new important changes to the New York State Human Rights Law. If you have any question about your own claim, and want to speak in confidence to me, Jack Tuckner, give me a call at our office number, or shoot me an email, and we’ll Saset up a time to talk about it.