NYS Division of Human Rights Issues Guidance on Sexual Harassment to New York State Employers

The New York State Division of Human Rights has released its “Guidance on Sexual Harassment For All Employers in New York State.”

It provides, among other things:

The provisions of the [New York State] Human Rights Law generally apply to employers with four or more employees.

However, with regard specifically to sexual harassment, the Human Rights Law was amended … to apply to all employers, regardless of the number of employees. For sexual harassment occurring on or after January 19, 201[6], the effective date of the amendment (Laws of 2015, chapter 363), a complaint may be filed under the Human Rights Law against employers with any number of employees, including those with fewer than four employees.

By contrast, the federal anti-discrimination/sexual harassment statute – Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 – only applies to employers with at least 15 employees.

The Guidance also provides an overview of various provisions of the Human Rights Law – including the definition of sexual harassment, when an employer is liable for sexual harassment, and what constitutes retaliation – and cites the following examples of what may be unlawful sexual harassment: “[p]hysical assaults of a sexual nature”; “[u]nwanted sexual advances, propositions or other sexual comments”; and “[s]exual or discriminatory displays or publications anywhere in the workplace”.

Share This: