Attention all employers and HR managers: a new law is on the books in New York State that could affect your sexual harassment policy.

With the signing of new legislation effective July 14th, New York State Governor Kathy Hochul created a sexual harassment hotline for victims of workplace sexual harassment.

What is this hotline, and what does it mean for your policies and procedures? The New York State sexual harassment hotline is a state-wide, toll-free, confidential hotline operated by the New York State Division of Human Rights. It can be reached at 1-800-HARASS-3 (1-800-427-2773). Its goal is to curb workplace sexual harassment by offering help to victims. Each weekday, Monday through Friday from 9:00am to 5:00pm, the hotline accepts complaints from callers and connects them with pro bono attorneys who will advise callers of their rights, discuss the specifics of their case, and generally help them navigate the legal system.

How does this new law affect employers and HR managers?  Part of the law requires that employers must include the hotline number in trainings, handbooks, manuals, and other materials that address sexual harassment. This information must be printed in both English and the primary language spoken by the employee. As a result, then, employers, now is the time to modify your employee handbook and related materials to include 1-800-HARASS-3 (1-800-427-2773).

What to do now?  Well, the law requires that sexual harassment prevention trainings, policies and the like include this hotline number, so now is the time to call us, so we can help you quickly and effectively modify your materials so you remain in compliance with New York law. Call us today at 716.839.9700. We’re always happy to help.