A Three Month Checkup on Important Recent Changes You Need to Know as an Employer
Over the last year or so, New York State has passed significant new legislation on employment issues and labor rights, some of which have been effective since October 2019. Thus, a three month checkup is in order.
Have you faced any harassment claims under the New York State Human Rights Law? Since October 2019, claims under the Human Rights Law could be proven under a lower evidentiary standard than what was previously in effect.
Have you provided sexual harassment prevention training, now required by nearly every employer? Check with the Department of Labor or consult a professional on what materials and information are required to be covered, when, and through what means.
Have you faced discrimination claims and wish to include confidentiality provisions in settlements with employees? Those confidentiality provisions are now prohibited in settlement of discrimination claims unless the employee specifically requests. So be careful how you structure settlement agreements with employees.
Finally, have any non-employees (e.g., independent contractors) brought discrimination claims against you under the New York State Human Rights Law. Since October 2019, they can.
A personnel checklist every few months provides a valuable way for employers to assess the health of your employee relationships, and to address areas which need improvement.