A 8421 - Amends Requirements for Workplace Harassment Claims - New York Key Vote

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Title: Amends Requirements for Workplace Harassment Claims

Title: Amends Requirements for Workplace Harassment Claims

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Title: Amends Requirements for Workplace Harassment Claims

Vote Smart's Synopsis:

Vote to pass a bill that amends requirements for workplace harassment claims.


  • Prohibits an employer, licensing agency, employment agency or labor organization from subjecting any individual to harassment due to an individual’s age, race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, military status, sex, disability, predisposing genetic characteristics, familial status, marital status, domestic violence victim status, or because the individual has opposed any practices forbidden under this law or because they filed a complaint or testified, and that it is an unlawful discriminatory practice when an individual is subject to inferior terms, conditions, or privileges of employment because of the individual’s membership in one or more of these protected categories (Sec. 1).

  • Amends the term “employer” to include all employers within the state, including the state and all political subdivisions (Sec. 1).

  • Defines “private employer” as any person, company, corporation, labor organization or association, and does not include the state or any local subdivision, or any state or local department, agency, board, or commission (Sec. 1).

  • Specifies that the fact that such an individual did not make a complaint about the harassment to such employer, licensing agency, employment agency or labor organization to not be determinative of whether such employer, licensing agency, employment agency or labor organization is liable (Sec. 1).

  • Specifies that nothing implies that an employee must demonstrate the existence of an individual to whom the employee’s treatment must be compared, and for it to be an affirmative defense to liability that the harassing conduct does not rise above the level of what a reasonable victim of discrimination with the same protected characteristic would consider petty slights or trivial inconveniences (Sec. 1).

  • Specifies that exceptions to and exemptions from the provisions of this act shall be construed narrowly in order to maximize deterrence of discriminatory conduct (Sec. 1).

  • Prohibits any employer, its officers or employees from having the authority to include or agree to include in any settlement, agreement or other resolution of any claim, the factual foundation involving discrimination in violation of laws prohibiting it, any term or condition that would prevent disclosure of underlying facts and circumstances to the claim or action unless the condition of confidentiality is the complainant’s preference (Sec. 1).

  • Requires any term or condition to be provided in writing to all parties in plain English, and if applicable, the primary language of the complainant (Sec. 1).

  • Requires any such term or condition to be void to the extent that it prohibits or otherwise restricts the complainant from (Sec. 1):

    • Initiating, testifying, assisting, complying with a subpoena from, or participating in any manner with an investigation conducted by the appropriate local, state, or federal agency; or

    • Filing or disclosing any facts necessary to receive unemployment insurance, Medicaid, or other public benefits to which the complainant is entitled.

  • Specifies that any provision in a contract or other agreement between an employer or an agent of an employer and any employee or potential employee of that employer entered into on or after January 1st, 2020, that prevents the disclosure of factual information related to any future claim of discrimination is void and unenforceable unless it notifies the employee/potential employee that it does not prohibit them from speaking with law enforcement, the equal employment opportunity commission, the state division of human rights, a local commission on human rights, or an attorney retained by the employee/potential employee (Sec. 1).

  • Requires every employer to provide their employees, in writing in English and in the language identified by each employee as their primary language, at the time of hiring and every annual sexual harassment prevention training, a notice containing such employer’s sexual harassment prevention policy and the information presented at such employer’s sexual harassment prevention training program (Sec. 1).

  • Requires the commissioner to prepare templates of the model sexual harassment prevention policy created and published and the model sexual harassment prevention program produced, and to determine in their discretion which languages to provide in addition to English based on the size of the New York state population that speaks each language and any other factor that the commissioner deems relevant, and make all such templates to be available to employers (Sec. 1).

  • Requires that when an employee identifies as his or her primary language for which a template is not available from the commissioner, the employer must comply by providing that employee an English-language notice (Sec. 1).

  • Prohibits employers from being penalized for errors or omissions in the non-English portions of any notice provided by the commissioner (Sec. 1).

  • Increases the number of years a complaint of sexual harassment in employment to be filed to within 3 years after the alleged unlawful discriminatory practices (Sec. 1).

  • Requires that starting in 2022, and every 4 years after that, the criteria within this section, the impact of the current model sexual harassment prevention guidance document and policy to be evaluated and upon completion of each evaluation to update the document and policy as needed (Sec. 1).

Title: Amends Requirements for Workplace Harassment Claims