Speaker Heastie Announces Continuation of Assembly Workgroup on Sexual Harassment

New Members Added to Workgroup

Speaker Carl Heastie today announced the continuation of the Assembly Workgroup on Sexual Harassment and announced new members to the group. The members will review issues on workplace discrimination and identify ways to ensure the safety of all employees.

“We have made great progress in updating our laws and working to ensure employees across the state have safe workplaces,” said Speaker Heastie. “I am particularly proud that the Assembly’s own internal policies and procedures have been held up as a model as to how to appropriately address these issues. Unfortunately, we hear stories all too frequently that demonstrate workplace harassment is still prevalent in many workplaces. Employees deserve protections and are entitled to work in safe environments. I am confident that the members of this workgroup will carefully review current issues facing our workforce and present meaningful recommendations for our conference to consider.”

The workgroup includes Assemblymembers:

  • Helene E. Weinstein
  • Jeffrey Dinowitz
  • Crystal D. Peoples-Stokes
  • Aileen M. Gunther
  • Charles D. Lavine
  • Kenneth Zebrowski
  • Nily Rozic
  • Victor Pichardo
  • Rebecca Seawright
  • Jo Anne Simon
  • Pamela J. Hunter
  • Alicia Hyndman
  • Carmen De La Rosa
  • Monica P. Wallace
  • Jennifer Lunsford

The workgroup was first convened by Speaker Heastie in 2018 to examine various sexual harassment issues and policy responses. That same year, the Legislature enacted a number of measures to combat sexual harassment in the workplace, including mandating that all employers in New York State have a sexual harassment policy, employee training and a clear complaint and investigation process.

In 2019, the Legislature held hearings to receive testimony from victims, advocates and experts regarding sexual harassment in the workplace, which was used to craft legislation to increase protections against discriminatory harassment in the workplace. This legislation expanded the Human Right’s Law to cover all employers in the state in addition to adopting a wide range of other protections and preventative measures.

The Assembly will also be meeting with Sexual Harassment Working Group in the coming days in order to hear directly from advocates.

According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), many employees are the victim of sexual harassment in the workplace, a violation of anti-discrimination laws. However, many employees do not report it due to fear of retaliation. In fact, less than 13 percent of employees file a formal complaint.