In front of gender equity and women’s rights advocates attending a celebration of Women’s History Month Governor Kathy Hochul signed a raft of legislation aiming to bolster workplace rights and protections in the state. Among the measures passed are the establishment of a confidential hotline to report workplace harassment and discrimination, an expansion of human rights laws to protect all public and state employees, and the prohibition of releasing confidential personnel records in retaliation for bringing complaints.
The trio of bills are the legislative component to the governor’s “equity agenda” which focuses on expanding reproductive services, supporting women- and minority-owned businesses, and expanding child care.
The legislation has been met with cheers from many equity and gender rights groups and is the result of important efforts by many employees who brought to light and testified on the nature of sexual harassment and workplace discrimination.
Some other key takeaways from the laws’ passage include: