Addendum to the NYLS Sexual Misconduct Policy: Additional Notices Pursuant to New York State Law

Effective October 9, 2018

The following information is provided pursuant to recent changes to New York State law.  The information provided in this Addendum is incorporated by reference into New York Law School’s Sexual Misconduct Policy and should be read in conjunction with the provisions of the Sexual Misconduct Policy. The policies described under this Addendum supersede any contrary language in the Sexual Misconduct Policy.

Preamble

New York Law School is committed to maintaining a workplace free from sexual harassment.  Sexual harassment is a form of workplace discrimination.  All employees are required to work in a manner that prevents sexual harassment in the School’s environment.  This Policy is one component of New York Law School’s commitment to a discrimination-free work environment.

Additional Guidance on Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment will not be tolerated.  Sexual harassment perpetrated by an employee of New York Law School is considered a form of employee misconduct and sanctions will be imposed against individuals found to be engaging in sexual harassment or retaliatory behavior, up to and including termination of employment.  

Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination and is unlawful under federal, state, and (where applicable) local law. Sexual harassment includes harassment on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, self-identified or perceived sex, gender expression, gender identity and the status of being transgender.

Sexual harassment includes unwelcome conduct which is either of a sexual nature, or which is directed at an individual because of that individual’s sex when:

  • Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, even if the reporting individual is not the intended target of the sexual harassment;
  • Such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of employment; or
  • Submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting an individual’s employment.

The following describes some of the types of acts that may be unlawful sexual harassment and prohibited under this Policy: sex stereotyping, which occurs when conduct or personality traits are considered inappropriate simply because they may not conform to others’ ideas or perceptions about how individuals of a particular sex should act or look; hostile actions taken against an individual because of that individual’s sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and the status of being transgender; unwelcome sexual flirtations, advances, questions or propositions; requests or demands for sexual favors; graphic or degrading verbal comments or questions about an individual’s appearance or their sexual conduct or relationships; sexually oriented gestures, noises, remarks or jokes, or comments about a person’s sexuality or sexual experience, which create a hostile work environment; and unwanted, offensive, or abusive physical contact, including pinching, brushing against the body, or blocking someone’s movement.

A sexually harassing hostile work environment includes, but is not limited to, words, signs, jokes, pranks, intimidation or physical violence which are of a sexual nature, or which are directed at an individual because of that individual’s sex. Sexual harassment also consists of any unwanted verbal or physical advances, sexually explicit derogatory statements or sexually discriminatory remarks made by someone which are offensive or objectionable to the recipient, which cause the recipient discomfort or humiliation, which interfere with the recipient’s job performance.

Sexual harassment also occurs when a person in authority tries to trade job benefits for sexual favors. This can include hiring, promotion, continued employment or any other terms, conditions or privileges of employment. This is also called “quid pro quo” harassment.

Any employee who feels harassed should report the behavior so that any violation of this policy can be corrected promptly. Any harassing conduct, even a single incident, can be addressed under this policy.

Retaliation Prohibited

No person covered by this policy shall be subject to adverse actions because the person reports an incident of sexual harassment, provides information, or otherwise assists in any investigation of a sexual harassment complaint, or testifies or assists with any proceeding under the law.  Adverse action need not be job-related or occur in the workplace to constitute unlawful retaliation (e.g., threats of physical violence outside of work hours).  New York Law School will not tolerate such retaliation against anyone who, in good faith, reports or provides information about suspected sexual harassment.  Any employee who retaliates against anyone involved in a sexual harassment investigation or court proceeding will be subject to discipline, up to and including termination of employment.

Supervisory and Managerial Personnel Responsibilities

All supervisors and managers who receive a complaint or information about suspected harassment, observe what may be sexually harassing behavior, or, for any reason, suspect harassment is occurring, are required to report such suspected harassment to the Title IX Coordinator.  In addition to being subject to discipline if they engaged in sexually harassing conduct, New York Law School will enforce sanctions, up to and including termination of employment, against supervisory and managerial personnel who knowingly allow prohibited behavior to continue or engage in any retaliatory behavior.

Applicable Statutory Provisions and External Remedies

Sexual harassment is not only prohibited by New York Law School but is also prohibited by state, federal, and, where applicable, local law. Aside from the process described in the Sexual Misconduct policy, employees may also choose to pursue legal remedies with the following governmental entities. While a private attorney is not required to file a complaint with a governmental agency, you may seek the legal advice of an attorney.

State Human Rights Law (HRL)

The Human Rights Law (HRL), codified as N.Y. Executive Law, art. 15, § 290 et seq., applies to all employers in New York State with regard to sexual harassment, and protects employees, paid or unpaid interns and non-employees, regardless of immigration status. A complaint alleging violation of the Human Rights Law may be filed either with the Division of Human Rights (DHR) or in New York State Supreme Court. Complaints with DHR may be filed any time within one year of the harassment. If an individual did not file at DHR, they can sue directly in state court under the HRL, within three years of the alleged sexual harassment. An individual may not file with DHR if they have already filed a HRL complaint in state court. Complaining internally to New York Law School does not extend your time to file with DHR or in court. The one year or three years is counted from date of the most recent incident of harassment. You do not need an attorney to file a complaint with DHR, and there is no cost to file with DHR. DHR will investigate your complaint and determine whether there is probable cause to believe that sexual harassment has occurred. Probable cause cases are forwarded to a public hearing before an administrative law judge. If sexual harassment is found after a hearing, DHR has the power to award relief, which varies but may include requiring your employer to take action to stop the harassment, or redress the damage caused, including paying of monetary damages, attorney’s fees and civil fines. DHR’s main office contact information is: NYS Division of Human Rights, One Fordham Plaza, Fourth Floor, Bronx, New York 10458. You may call (718) 741-8400 or visit: www.dhr.ny.gov. Contact DHR at (888) 392-3644 or visit dhr.ny.gov/complaint for more information about filing a complaint. The website has a complaint form that can be downloaded, filled out, notarized and mailed to DHR. The website also contains contact information for DHR’s regional offices across New York State.

Civil Rights Act of 1964

The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces federal antidiscrimination laws, including Title VII of the 1964 federal Civil Rights Act (codified as 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq.). An individual can file a complaint with the EEOC anytime within 300 days from the harassment. There is no cost to file a complaint with the EEOC. The EEOC will investigate the complaint, and determine whether there is reasonable cause to believe that discrimination has occurred, at which point the EEOC will issue a Right to Sue letter permitting the individual to file a complaint in federal court. The EEOC does not hold hearings or award relief, but may take other action including pursuing cases in federal court on behalf of complaining parties. Federal courts may award remedies if discrimination is found to have occurred. In general, private employers must have at least 15 employees to come within the jurisdiction of the EEOC. An employee alleging discrimination at work can file a “Charge of Discrimination.” The EEOC has district, area, and field offices where complaints can be filed. Contact the EEOC by calling 1-800-669- 4000 (TTY: 1-800-669-6820), visiting their website at www.eeoc.gov or via email at info@eeoc.gov. If an individual filed an administrative complaint with DHR, DHR will file the complaint with the EEOC to preserve the right to proceed in federal court.

Local Protections

Many localities enforce laws protecting individuals from sexual harassment and discrimination. An individual should contact the county, city or town in which they live to find out if such a law exists. For example, employees who work in New York City may file complaints of sexual harassment with the New York City Commission on Human Rights. Contact their main office at Law Enforcement Bureau of the NYC Commission on Human Rights, 40 Rector Street, 10th Floor, New York, New York; call 311 or (212) 306-7450; or visit www.nyc.gov/html/cchr/html/home/home.shtml. Contact the Local Police Department If the harassment involves unwanted physical touching, coerced physical confinement or coerced sex acts, the conduct may constitute a crime.

Local Police Department

If the harassment involves unwanted physical touching, coerced physical confinement or coerced sex acts, the conduct may constitute a crime.

In addition to notifying the local police department, or the government agencies listed above, employees can also file a complaint in federal or state court under federal and/or state anti-discrimination and anti-harassment laws.

 

NEW YORK LAW SCHOOL SEXUAL HARASSMENT COMPLAINT FORM  

New York State Labor Law requires employers to adopt a sexual harassment prevention policy that includes a complaint form for persons to report alleged incidents of sexual harassment.

If you believe that you have been subject to sexual harassment, or you have witnessed behavior that may violate New York Law School’s Sexual Misconduct Policy, you are encouraged to complete the Sexual Harassment Complaint Form and submit it to the Title IX Coordinator either in person or via email.  Blank Complaint Forms can also be found in the Title IX Coordinator’s Office and Human Resources.

If you are reporting more than one incident, please use a separate form for each incident.  If the space provided below is insufficient, please staple additional pieces of paper to this form.