Governor Cuomo Signs “Game-Changing” Workplace Discrimination and Harassment Protections into Law

On August 12, 2019, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law a recently passed bill that dramatically alters the landscape of workplace discrimination and harassment protections in New York State. As we reported in our June 2019 Client Alert, the Democratic-controlled New York State Legislature passed a sweeping bill extending workplace protections against all forms of discrimination and harassment on a scale not seen in recent memory. That bill contained amendments to several laws, including the New York State Human Rights Law (“Human Rights Law”) and New York Labor Law, and, among other things:

  1. Makes all employers, regardless of size, subject to the Human Rights Law;

  2. Makes it easier for employees to prove harassment;

  3. Allows successful plaintiffs to recover attorneys’ fees and punitive damages; and

  4. Extends to three years the time individuals have to file a charge of sexual harassment with the New York State Division of Human Rights (“Division”).

Now that Governor Cuomo has signed the bill into law, employers must be prepared to address the changes brought about by the new laws.

Read entire alert here.

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