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Is your employer shirking his or her responsibility to prevent sexual harassment on the job?

The New York Human Rights Act offers employees stronger protections than they are provided under federal law. In general, the state of New York is proactive in their efforts to make sexual harassment in the workplace a thing of the past. New York City is also stepping up and doing its part.

To that end, the Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act took effect in the latter part of 2018. Expanding on the New York City Human Rights Law, employers of all sizes are now required to post bilingual notices regarding sexual harassment, including that which is gender-based. Employers with 15 employees or more are also required to give their staff anti-sexual harassment training. Training is mandatory for supervisors and managers as well.

In addition, every employer is required to have a written sexual-harassment policy that they must distribute to their employees. Written policies don’t just help educate employees about what sexual harassment actually is — they also provide victims with the knowledge that they don’t have to accept that kind of treatment and inform them of their rights. Many victims don’t realize that they actually have legal recourse when they experience unwanted propositions, sexual comments, gender harassment, unwanted touching and other sexual offenses. The victims often suffer in silence.

The sexual harassment policies employers provide must make it clear that victims have the right to complain and expect a response. The policy must also explain to employees what remedies are available to them if they do become victims.

Have you been subjected to sexual harassment in the workplace? Did your complaints fall on deaf ears or been otherwise swept under the proverbial rug? Don’t let an employer deprive you of your right to work without fear of harassment. An experienced attorney, like those in our office, can help you determine if you have a case.