State Budget Includes Sexual Harassment Prevention Requirements

The newly adopted state budget includes new obligation on employers of all types and sizes to prevent sexual harassment. These include:

  • Prohibits employers from using mandatory arbitration provisions in an employment contract in relation to sexual harassment complaints
  •  Prohibits the use of non-disclosure agreements except when it is the explicit preference of the victim
  •  Requires all employers to establish sexual harassment prevention policies and training programs. Provides for the Department of Labor and the Division of Human Rights to develop a model sexual harassment prevention policy and training program. Employers must adopt programs that meet or exceed the standards in the model.

The prohibitions on using mandatory arbitration and non-disclosure agreements take effect 90 days after the bill became law, which is on or about July 4th. The requirement to establish sexual harassment policies and training programs will take effect 180 days after the bill became law, which is on or about October 4th. We’ll be working with the Department of Labor to monitor the development of the model policy and training program and will keep you informed of their progress. And we’ll update you on any other developments of note.