Harvey Weinstein Convicted in NY Criminal Trial for Rape and Sexual Abuse
We are reminded of the effect of the #MeToo movement on New York employment law as the jury rendered guilty verdicts for Harvey Weinstein on February 24, 2020.
The jury found Weinstein guilty of third degree rape and sexual abuse. However, they found him not guilty of first-degree rape and predatory sexual assault, which were more serious charges. He still awaits trial in Los Angeles for charges of raping one woman and sexually assaulting another in 2013.
How the #MeToo Movement Affected Employment Law in NY and NYC
An article in NPR points out that the State of New York and New York City have passed the nation’s most rigorous workplace sexual harassment laws. Legislatures passed the laws subsequent to the #MeToo movement gaining momentum and media attention.
In New York, employees must undergo annual sexual harassment training regardless of the company’s size. The laws are sweeping, affecting every business in New York. In addition, employers must post sexual harassment policies in highly visible places.
The training must be interactive in that a live trainer must be available during training to respond to questions. Furthermore, employers must request feedback from employees regarding the training and materials.
Even when an employee outside of New York comes to a New York office, if only for a day, that employee must receive the training.
The outcome has been a complete shift in perspective regarding sexual harassment in the workplace.
What Changes Have Occurred in NY Business Culture?
As a result, employees subjected to sexual harassment are more willing to come forward and complain. High profile cases, such as Harvey Weinstein’s have made employers and employees more aware of potential consequences.
No business wants to be audited or investigated for failing to comply, especially if an employee has filed a sexual harassment complaint.
Stephen Hans & Associates has extensive experience working with employers in all areas of employment. We help business owners comply with regulations and represent them in employment disputes.