New York Governor Kathy Hochul has signed a bill strengthening New York’s sexual harassment laws.
According to reports, the new laws will shield survivors from retaliation, make state and all public employers subject to New York’s Human Rights Law, and create a toll-free confidential hotline for complaints.
It was learned that one of the measures, sponsored by Sen. Andrew Gounardes (D-Brooklyn) and Assemblywoman Jessica Gonzalez-Rojas (D-Queens), prohibits the release of personnel files as a retaliatory action against employees.
“No New Yorker, no woman should ever fear being retaliated against because they have come forward about being harmed by someone in the workplace,” Gonzalez-Rojas said.
Sources said the second bill signed by Hochul on Wednesday will establish a toll-free confidential hotline for workplace sexual harassment complaints and connect callers with pro-bono attorneys to explain their legal rights.
It was also learned that a third measure ensures that the state is considered an employer of anyone working for the executive, judiciary, and legislative branches, including staffers for elected officials and judges.
“Seems like there was a loophole out there,” Hochul said.
“Let’s close the loophole once and for all, that says that you are subjected to the human rights laws, and that means that your employees have all the protections that are out there in the private sector. They now are conferred upon all state workers for the first time,” Hochul added.