Photo Courtesy of John McCarten/NYC Council
Council Speaker Corey Johnson and colleagues recently detailed the comprehensive 11-bill package of legislation at a joint meeting of the committees on Women and Civil & Human Rights.
By Forum Staff
Building on the momentum of the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements, several City Council members recently unveiled the Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act, an exhaustive package of legislation to help combat sexual harassment in the workplace.
“All New Yorkers are entitled to a safe, respectful workplace – and this starts with sending a strong message to employers that there is no place for sexual harassment in New York City,” said Council Speaker Corey Johnson, who helped to introduce the proposal on Thursday at a special joint hearing of the committees on Women and Civil & Human Rights. “With more and more sexual harassment cases being brought to light, it has never been more important for the government to play a role in the movement to end sexual harassment and assault. This City will not be complicit in the abuse or degradation of people in the workplace. I want to thank my Council colleagues for their support in pushing this package of bills forward so that no employee feels unsafe at work.”
The Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act boasts 11 pre-considered bills sponsored by 14 members and Public Advocate Tish James:
• Mandating City agencies conduct anti-sexual harassment training for all of their employees;
• Requiring City agencies to conduct anonymous climate surveys and develop and implement action plans to prevent sexual harassment;
• Requiring City agencies to conduct risk assessments to prevent sexual harassment;
• Mandating City agencies report on sexual harassment complaints;
• Requiring City contractors to disclose policies and procedures in places to prevent sexual harassment;
• Enhancing sexual harassment education and facilitating the complaint process through a robust website;
• Expanding sexual harassment protections to all employees;
• Mandating that private employers conduct anti-sexual harassment training for their employees;
• Requiring employers to post written policies and procedures to prevent sexual harassment;
• Clarifying in the Human Rights Law that sexual harassment is a form of discrimination the Human Rights Commission has the power to eliminate and prevent;
• Resolution calling upon the U.S. Congress to pass, and the President to sign, the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Harassment Act of 2017, which prohibits a predisputed arbitration agreement from being valid or enforceable if it requires arbitration of a sex discrimination conflict.
Council Women’s Committee Chairwoman Helen Rosenthal (D-Manhattan) called the act “a tremendous first step toward ending sexual harassment in New York City, and I’m proud that we are taking it. The #MeToo movement challenges us to translate its power and courage into thoughtful and impactful policy to guarantee the right of every person to a safe and respectful workplace. The introduction of this legislation is the start of that work–for the more than 330,000 employees of the City of New York and for every working New Yorker. These bills will expand protections, confront flawed processes, and establish new mechanisms for accountability. Through legislation, through oversight, and most importantly, through our sustained commitment, this Council will make a difference for workers all across New York City.”