ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The New York Governor’s Office announced legislation they say would empower employees seeking justice for sexual harassment in the workplace.
The proposed legislation would end the practice of employers forcing employees to enter contracts policies that limit their ability to seek justice for sexual harassment in the forum of their choice.
In addition to ending forced arbitration clauses, additional efforts to combat this practice include:
- Advance legislation to prevent taxpayer funds from being used for settlements against individuals relating to sexual assault or harassment and to ensure that individual harassers are held accountable
- Implement an independent and anonymous whistleblower process across all branches of state and local government to help individuals file complaints of sexual harassment without fear of retribution or consequence
- Propose a uniform code of sexual harassment policies binding on all branches of state and local government and an independent and anonymous whistleblower process to help individuals to communicate complaints across state and local government without fear of retribution or consequence
- Combat the culture of silence that too often shields abusers from accountability through a series of actions to promote transparency while simultaneously protecting the identity and privacy of those who are harassed
- Propose legislation to prohibit confidentiality agreements relating to sexual assault or harassment for all public entities and branches of government—State and local— unless it is the express preference of the victim
- Propose mandatory annual reporting for any companies that do business with the state that will require disclosure of the number of sexual harassment violations and nondisclosure agreements executed by that company and also require that they disclose whether they provide sexual harassment training in the workplace
According to the governor’s office, one in four women are sexually harassed in the workplace and are more likely to change jobs than woman who are not harassed.