The NYSDHR was required to establish and maintain this toll-free, confidential hotline according to S.812B/A.2035B, which Governor Hochul signed into law in March and which became effective July 14, 2022.
The hotline allows individuals who have complaints about sexual harassment in the workplace to seek counsel and assistance. Specifically, as of July 19, New York employees may call the hotline during regular business hours and receive information about how to file a sexual harassment complaint with the NYSDHR. Callers will also have the option to be connected to a pro bono attorney who may provide further immediate counsel related to sexual harassment.
Pursuant to the new law, employers are required to include information about the hotline in any materials that employers are required to post or provide to employees regarding sexual harassment. New York employers should therefore promptly update their sexual harassment policy and any other materials distributed to employees related to sexual harassment in the workplace (including training materials, workplace posters, and employee handbooks) to include the toll-free number (1-800-427-2773) and information regarding how to use the hotline and the resources available through the hotline.
The language to include in such policies and materials could be as simple as:
“New York workers may call the New York State Division of Human Rights toll-free, confidential sexual harassment hotline at 1-800-427-2773 during regular business hours to receive legal counsel and information about filing a sexual harassment complaint in New York.”
If you have questions regarding New York employers’ responsibilities under this law or require assistance in reviewing and updating your sexual harassment policies and materials, please contact an author of this post or the Hogan Lovells lawyer with whom you typically work.
Authored by Kenneth Kirschner and Shannon Finnegan.