Bill Text: NY S03941 | 2019-2020 | General Assembly | Introduced

Bill Title: Relates to establishing sexual harassment prevention training protocols within the private sector including a model management policy and training program and how to properly disseminate information to employers and employees.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 4-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-02-21 - REFERRED TO LABOR [S03941 Detail]

Download: New_York-2019-S03941-Introduced.html

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                               2019-2020 Regular Sessions
                    IN SENATE
                                    February 21, 2019
        Introduced  by Sens. KRUEGER, BENJAMIN, GOUNARDES, LIU -- read twice and
          ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee  on
        AN  ACT  to  amend  the  labor law and the executive law, in relation to
          establishing sexual harassment prevention protocols within the private
          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section  1.    The  labor law is amended by adding a new section 44 to
     2  read as follows:
     3    § 44. Prevention of sexual harassment. 1. The department shall produce
     4  a strong model management  policy  statement  defining  and  prohibiting
     5  sexual  harassment  in  the  workplace.  Such model policy shall include
     6  recommendations on how employers may provide information and remedies to
     7  employees, including but not limited to a statement informing  employees
     8  of their rights of redress, and the availability of complaint resolution
     9  channels  and assistance with incidents of sexual harassment. Such model
    10  policy statement shall clearly state that sexual harassment  is  consid-
    11  ered  a  form of employee misconduct and that sanctions will be enforced
    12  against individuals engaging in sexual harassment and against superviso-
    13  ry and managerial personnel who knowingly allow such behavior to contin-
    14  ue.
    15    2. The department shall produce a model training  program  to  prevent
    16  sexual harassment in the workplace.
    17    (a)  Such  model training program shall include information concerning
    18  the federal and state statutory provisions concerning sexual  harassment
    19  and remedies available to victims of sexual harassment.
    20    (b)  Such  department  shall  also  include  information in such model
    21  program specifically addressing conduct by supervisors as  both  partic-
    22  ipants  in  a  general  training  program  and  in a supervisor-specific
    23  program to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace.
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        S. 3941                             2
     1    3. The department may consult with the division of human rights in the
     2  production of information set forth under this section.
     3    4. The commissioner shall promulgate regulations allowing for distrib-
     4  ution  of  the availability of the information set forth in this section
     5  to employers and the public.
     6    § 2. Section 296 of the executive law is amended  by  adding  two  new
     7  subdivisions 1-b and 22 to read as follows:
     8    1-b.  It  shall be an unlawful discriminatory practice for an employer
     9  to:
    10    (a) engage in unwelcome sexual advances  towards,  make  requests  for
    11  sexual  favors  from, or engage in other verbal or physical conduct of a
    12  sexual or sex-based nature with an employee when: (i) submission to such
    13  conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or  condition  of
    14  an  individual's  employment;  (ii)  submission  to or rejection of such
    15  conduct by an individual is used as the basis for  employment  decisions
    16  affecting  such  individual;  or  (iii)  such conduct has the purpose or
    17  effect of interfering with an individual's work performance by  creating
    18  an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.
    19    (b) For the purposes of this subdivision, "employer" shall include any
    20  individual  who  may  hire, transfer, suspend, lay off, recall, promote,
    21  discharge, assign, reward, or discipline other employees, or has respon-
    22  sibility to direct them or effectively recommend such action, if the use
    23  of such authority is not merely  routine  or  clerical  in  nature,  but
    24  requires the use of independent judgment.
    25    22.  In any case brought pursuant to the provisions of this article on
    26  the basis of sex or sexual harassment only, where a person alleges  that
    27  a  covered entity has deprived such person of equal terms and conditions
    28  of employment, liability for such alleged  unlawful  discriminatory  act
    29  shall  attach  where  the complainant or plaintiff demonstrates that the
    30  conduct complained of was motivated in whole or in part by the  person's
    31  sex,  regardless  of  the  level  of  pervasiveness  or  severity of the
    32  discrimination or harassment. A covered entity  may  demonstrate  as  an
    33  affirmative  defense  to liability pursuant to this subdivision that the
    34  discrimination or harassment complained of consisted of no greater  than
    35  what  a reasonable victim of discrimination or harassment would consider
    36  petty slights and trivial annoyances.
    37    § 3. Subdivision 5 of section 292 of the executive law, as amended  by
    38  chapter 363 of the laws of 2015, is amended to read as follows:
    39    5.  The  term "employer" does not include any employer with fewer than
    40  four persons in his or her employ except as set  forth  in  section  two
    41  hundred  ninety-six-b  of  this  article, provided, however, that in the
    42  case of an action for discrimination based on sex pursuant  to  subdivi-
    43  sion  one  of  section  two  hundred  ninety-six  of this article[, with
    44  respect to] or, in the case of sexual  harassment  [only,]  pursuant  to
    45  subdivision one-b of section two hundred ninety-six of this article, the
    46  term "employer" shall include all employers within the state.
    47    § 4. The executive law is amended by adding a new section 96-b to read
    48  as follows:
    49    § 96-b. Notification of laws on sexual harassment in the workplace. 1.
    50  For  any  entity filing and paying filing fees under subdivision nine of
    51  section ninety-six of this article, the department shall respond  to  an
    52  authorized  individual  on behalf of the entity with notice of state law
    53  on sexual harassment in the workplace.
    54    2. Notice provided to filing entities shall include information pursu-
    55  ant to section forty-four of the labor  law  and  subdivision  one-b  of
    56  section  two  hundred ninety-six of this chapter. The secretary of state

        S. 3941                             3
     1  shall promulgate regulations to adhere to  this  section  including  the
     2  nature  of  the  required  notice,  the timing that such notice shall be
     3  delivered to an authorized individual on behalf of a filing entity,  and
     4  any additional information to be included in such notice.
     5    § 5. This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after
     6  it shall have become a law.