Last week, Sara Ziff, founding director of the Model Alliance, joined New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio at the signing event for the Stop Sexual Harassment Act, a package of 11 bills to combat workplace sexual harassment. Ziff, herself a former model, founded the Model Alliance after witnessing and experiencing exploitative situations during photo shoots, castings and runway shows. (She documented her experiences in the 2009 documentary “Picture Me.”) Since its inception, the Model Alliance has advocated for labor rights of models and other employees of the fashion industry.
“The New York City Human Rights Law is one of the broadest and most protective anti-discrimination and anti-harassment laws in the country and I am glad New York City keeps using every resource available to expand it and work with advocates like me to truly create change and ensure New Yorkers have access to justice,” Ziff said in her introduction of de Blasio.
The bills included in the Stop Sexual Harassment Act mandate the expansion of anti-sexual harassment protections in a variety of ways, such as requiring require sexual harassment data reporting from city agencies and making information about sexual harassment available so more New Yorkers know their rights. See the full list of bills below:
Requiring Anti-Sexual Harassment Trainings
Intro. 612-A requires all city agencies and the offices of the Mayor, borough presidents, Comptroller, and Public Advocate to conduct annual anti-sexual harassment trainings for all employees.
Intro. 632-A requires employers with 15 or more employees to conduct annual anti-sexual harassment training for all employees.
Ensuring New Yorkers Know Their Rights
Intro. 614-A requires the New York City Commission on Human Rights to clearly post resources about sexual harassment on its website, including an explanation that sexual harassment is a form of unlawful discrimination under local law.
Intro. 630-A requires all employers in the city to display an anti-sexual harassment rights and responsibility poster designed by the Commission on Human Rights.
Reporting on Harassment at City Agencies and Assessing Workplace Climate
Intro. 613-A requires all city agencies and the offices of the Mayor, borough presidents, Comptroller, and Public Advocate to assess workplace risk factors associated with sexual harassment as identified by the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Select Task Force on the Study of Harassment in the Workplace. In doing so, agencies can better develop responsive strategies to combat sexual harassment.
Intro. 664-A, requires all city agencies, as well as the offices of the Mayor, borough presidents, Comptroller and the Public Advocate, to conduct climate surveys to assess the general awareness and knowledge of the city’s equal employment opportunity policy, including but not limited to sexual harassment policies and prevention at city agencies.
Intro. 653-A requires all city agencies, as well as the offices of the Mayor, Borough Presidents, Comptroller and Public Advocate, to annually report on incidents of workplace sexual harassment to the Department of Citywide Administrative Services.
Intro. 693 requires that contractors and subcontractors that apply for city contracts include their employment practices, policies and procedures as they relate to preventing and addressing sexual harassment in the employment report required of proposed contractors and subcontractors.
Expanding Sexual Harassment Protections Under The New York City Human Rights Law
Intro. 657-A, amends the New York City Human Rights Law to apply provisions related to gender-based discrimination to all employers, regardless of the number of employees.
Intro. 660-A would amend the policy statement of the New York City Human Rights Law to include sexual harassment as a form of discrimination that the New York City Commission on Human Rights shall have the power to eliminate and prevent.
Intro. 663-A, amends the New York City Human Rights Law to increase the statute of limitations for filing harassment claims based on unwelcome conduct that intimidates, interferes with, oppresses, threatens, humiliates or degrades a person based on such person’s gender from one year to three years from the time that the alleged harassment occurred.