NY tweaks harassment standard, easier to prove claims

NY Capitol Bureau

Empire State Weekly

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The rules have just changed over sexual harassment in your workplace here in New York State.

“Just hearing that question, ‘Do you want to go on a date with me?’Could constitute as sexual harassment,” said Attorney Lisa Coppola from The Coppola Firm. “It has broadened the scope of what sexual harassment is.”

The changes are meant to make it easier for people to file a successful claim. Attorney Coppola says it will hopefully provide a better workplace environment for people across the state.

Victims of workplace harassment in New York will no longer have to prove the conduct was “severe and pervasive” to make their case in court.

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a new legal standard for harassment Monday. It eliminates the “severe and pervasive” standard that employment attorneys and victim advocates said made it hard to file a successful claim.

The new law makes other changes to laws dealing with harassment and discrimination, including prohibiting employment contracts requiring mandatory arbitration of discrimination claims.

Another change extends how long someone has to report complaints to the state’s Division of Human Rights from one to three years.

The bill’s sponsor, Democratic Sen. Alessandra Biaggi, says the new law will make it easier to hold employers accountable for how they handle workplace harassment.

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Capitol Correspondent

Corina Cappabianca is the New York State Capitol Correspondent. She enjoys reporting on all things government and politics related. Corina began her career as a Political Reporter/Weekend Anchor/Producer at KXMB-TV CBS12 in Bismarck, North Dakota. She has also worked in Syracuse, New York. Corina is a graduate of New York University where she double-majored in Journalism and Politics. As a student, she interned at Fox News Channel and the Fox Business Network.

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