We must eradicate sexual harassment from workplaces. In addition to the trauma inflicted on individuals, sexual harassment is part of the systemic differences in power and earnings of women and men.
What We’ve Accomplished
When I arrived in Albany, I held the first hearing in Albany in 27 years on sexual harassment in the workplace and led the charge in New York to pass legislation that strengthens protections for survivors and holds employers accountable for addressing sexual misconduct. Then, we passed my bill that extended protections for women in the workplace, which removed the “severe and pervasive” standard from harassment cases, extended the statute of limitations under the New York State Human Rights Law, prohibited non-disclosure agreements in cases involving sexual harassment, authorized punitive damages and attorneys’ fees in employment discrimination cases, and extend protections to domestic workers and independent contractors among many other changes. And we eliminated existing liquid damages provisions from nondisclosure agreements relating to sexual harassment.
Where We Need to Go
We will fight sexual harassment until they stop doing it. I believe we’ve made great strides in enhancing the legal framework surrounding sexual harassment. But laws do not enforce themselves and we must also make clear to women who come forward that they will be supported and listened to. Right now, the state of New York and our legislature are failing in that regard.