x

Politics

Simotas Announces Passage of Her Bill Fighting Harassment in the Workplace

June 27, 2019

NEW YORK – A major bill sponsored by Assemblymember Aravella Simotas (D-36) passed both the New York State Assembly and Senate extending the rights of employees against sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace. These new protections take a comprehensive approach to reducing sexual harassment, focusing on the rights of the employee and the responsibilities of the employer.

“The legislation we passed is a sea change in our employment discrimination laws. These comprehensive reforms will empower workers and make it easier to hold bad actors accountable,” Assemblymember Simotas said. “With the passage of this bill, New York is taking meaningful steps forward in preventing workplace harassment and transforming the culture that enables abusers to thrive. I am incredibly grateful to the Sexual Harassment Working Group, the New York chapter of the National Employment Lawyer’s Association, and all the advocates who gave us their invaluable insights and worked tirelessly to advance this survivor-centered, trauma-informed legislation to protect workers throughout the state.”

The legislation expands protections for employees who want to report wrongdoing by their employers. The bill eliminates the requirement that harassment be proven “severe or pervasive” to be considered unlawful, and removes parts of the Faragher/Ellerth law that allows employers to avoid liability for harassment if an employee did not make a formal complaint. It also allows for punitive damages against private employers to ensure harassment is taken seriously and not considered just a nuisance or a cost of doing business. Overall, the measure would help shift the balance of power in harassment and discrimination proceedings away from bad employers and level the playing field for employees who are often trampled by large corporations or powerful supervisors under our current policies.

On the reporting end, the bill extends the statute of limitations to report sexual harassment to the Division of Human Rights to three years from the discriminatory act, widening the window for reporting and seeking damages. The bill also extends sexual harassment protections to employees of small businesses of all sizes, whereas protections previously would have only applied to employers who have four or more employees. Additionally, the bill prohibits non-disclosure agreements that prevent employees from initiating or participating in an investigation conducted by a federal, state, or local agency, sharing information necessary to receive unemployment or other public benefits, or speaking with an attorney.

“No one should be forced to work in a toxic environment or subjected to any form of harassment as the cost of earning a living,” said Assemblymember Simotas. “We must send a clear message to New York’s workforce that it is our responsibility to protect workers, not institutions that enable harassers. With this legislation, we will create stronger safeguards against harassment and eliminate barriers to justice so that employees who have been harmed can find relief and we can move towards eradicating the root causes of these abuses of power.”

RELATED

An ethnic Greek jailed in Albania after being elected Mayor of the seaside town of Himare said Prime Minister Edi Rama is behind it and controls the courts who sentenced him over the protests of Greece.

Top Stories

Columnists

A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

Video

1 of 2 Abducted Louisiana Children is Found Dead in Mississippi after Their Mother is Killed

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A Louisiana woman was found dead in her home Thursday, and her two young daughters were abducted and found hours later in Mississippi — one dead and the other alive, police said.

Licensing your intellectual property rights (IP) to a third-party as an additional source of revenue through the commercial exploitation of your IP or for expansion purposes can be an effective strategy to grow your business and extend your reach.

Cyprus and the European Parliament weren’t ready for Fidias Panayiotou, who had no qualifications to run for a seat in the 720-member body, which made him more qualified than most of the people in there.

To the Editor: Greeks are well aware that U.

Joseph Kenworthy was a British member of parliament who disliked and distrusted prime minister David Lloyd George’s Near East foreign policy and support of the Greeks.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. [email protected]

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.