HABITAT

LEGAL/FINANCIAL

It’s the Law: Post a Sexual Harassment Policy

New York City

Sexual Harassment
May 11, 2018

Co-ops and condos now have yet another rule to follow. Mayor Bill de Blasio has signed a package of 11 bills designed to strengthen protections against sexual harassment – for both municipal and private employees. 

The measures triple the statute of limitations for filing a complaint with city government from one to three years and mandate that city agencies publicly report each complaint received, the New York Post reports. Additionally, private firms with 15 or more employees, including co-ops and condos, must now provide anti-sexual-harassment training annually, and all employers must post a sexual harassment policy in their workplace.

 “The offhand offensive remark or innuendo, the joke masking as micro-aggression, and the unwanted contact . . . today we are saying that we as a city will no longer let it slide, we will no longer let it stand,” said City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, who sponsored one of the bills. 

Attorney Andrew P. Brucker, a partner at Montgomery, McCracken, Walker & Rhoads, recently addressed the New York Bar Association on the importance of co-op and condo boards instituting written policies that take a zero-tolerance approach to sexual harassment. After de Blasio signed the package of bills, Brucker told Habitat, “This is not a bad thing, but it’s more costs for large co-ops and condos. There are more and more and more things that management has to do.” 

The bills were signed into law just days after New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman resigned after several women came forward with claims that he had been physically violent to them. 

City Council member Helen Rosenthal, chair of the Committee on Women, said, "If there’s anything we’ve learned over the past days and months, it’s that we must ensure that all survivors of gender-based violence can come forward with the understanding that the system has their back. That the survivor will be believed, that the attacker will be investigated, and a just outcome will be reached.”

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