New York State Establishes Hotline for Sexual Harassment Complaints

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In early 2022, New York State entered S.812B/A.2035B into law, which amended the New York State Human Rights Law, N.Y. Executive Law § 296, to require a statewide toll-free, confidential hotline (the “Hotline”) for the lodging of complaints of sexual harassment in the workplace. 

On July 19, 2022, Governor Hochul announced the launch of the Hotline (1-800-427-2773 or 1-800-HARASS-3).

The Hotline is operated by the New York State Division of Human Rights (the “Division”).  The Hotline will be staffed during regular business hours and provide any caller with information on how to file a complaint with the Division. In addition, if the caller is interested, the Hotline will provide information regarding pro bono attorneys who may be able to assist and counsel complainants.  These referrals are intended to supplement (not replace) the Division’s normal complaint procedures as the new law expressly forbids attorneys who provide advice on the Hotline from soliciting further representation of any individuals whom they counsel.

Employers should immediately update all sexual harassment materials, including employee handbooks, policies, and other postings provided to employees, to include information about the Hotline.

As the law continues to evolve on these matters, please note that this article is current as of date and time of publication and may not reflect subsequent developments. The content and interpretation of the issues addressed herein is subject to change. Cole Schotz P.C. disclaims any and all liability with respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all of the contents of this publication to the fullest extent permitted by law. This is for general informational purposes and does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. Do not act or refrain from acting upon the information contained in this publication without obtaining legal, financial and tax advice. For further information, please do not hesitate to reach out to your firm contact or to any of the attorneys listed in this publication.

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