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James Ryan, Thomas Wassel and Hayley Dryer Present to CICU’s Colleges and Universities on New York’s New Sexual Harassment Laws

September 26, 2018

James Ryan, Thomas Wassel and Hayley Dryer presented to the membership of CICU, a statewide association representing the public policy interests of more than 100 independent colleges and universities in New York State, on New York's new sexual harassment laws and the new host of legally mandated sexual harassment prevention requirements facing colleges and universities in New York.

The presentation addressed the New York State budget bill for the 2019 fiscal year, approved by the New York State Legislature and Governor Andrew Cuomo on April 12, 2018 (the “State Budget Bill”), which revised New York State law to require all colleges and universities conducting business in New  York State, regardless of size, to: (i) implement policies and procedures for preventing sexual harassment in the workplace, and (ii) conduct annual, interactive sexual harassment prevention training for all employees.  These requirements are effective on October  9, 2018 but as the guidance currently stands, “all employees should complete sexual harassment prevention training before January  1, 2019.”

The presentation also addressed how New York City followed suit shortly thereafter, signing into law the Stop Sexual Harassment in New York City Act (the “NYC  Act”) on May 9, 2018, which provides additional requirements for colleges and universities operating with at least fifteen (15) employees in New York City.

These new laws have also, among other things: (i) expanded employer liability to “non-employees”; (ii) prohibited the use of mandatory arbitration clauses in relation to sexual harassment claims; (iii) set forth new requirements associated with release and confidentiality agreements involving the settlement of a claim for sexual harassment; and (iv) set forth new requirements for contracting with state/city contractors

If you have questions regarding these provisions, available training programs for compliance with the NYS and/or the NYC training laws, or any other aspect of employment law, please contact James G. Ryan at (516) 357-3750 or jryan@cullenanddykman.com, Thomas B. Wassel at (516) 357-3868 or twassel@cullenanddykman.com, or Hayley B. Dryer at (516) 357-3745 or hdryer@cullenanddykman.com.