Update on Amendments Strengthening Protections for New York Employees

March 18, 2022

By: Gianelle M. Duby

On March 16, 2022, Gov. Kathy Hochul signed three bills into law that effectively amend the New York Human Rights Law (HRL) to increase sexual harassment protections for employees in New York. Please see our prior blog post for a more thorough summary of these new laws.

Assembly Bill A.2483B, originally introduced as S.3395A in the 2021 session, amends the definition of “employer” under the HRL to explicitly include the State and all public employers. The new law will take effect immediately and be deemed to have been in full force and effect as of the effective date of Chapter 161 of the laws of 2019.

Senate Bill S.5870 amends the HRL to include the release of an employee’s personnel file because the employee opposed any practices forbidden under the HRL or because the employee filed a complaint, testified, or assisted in any proceeding to possibly constitute “retaliation” prohibited under law. The new law will take effect immediately.

Assembly Bill A.2035B, originally introduced as S.812A in the 2021 session, amends the HRL to require that the New York State Division of Human Rights establish a toll-free confidential hot line for complainants of workplace sexual harassment. The new law will take effect in 120 days.

For recommendations on preventing and addressing workplace misconduct, please contact Gianelle M. Duby, any attorney in Bond’s Labor and Employment practice or the Bond attorney with whom you are regularly in contact