TIME’S UP Releases Toolkit to Help New Yorkers Know their Rights Under New Sexual Harassment Law

Impact Lab, New York, Safety

The new law — which strengthens sexual harassment protections at work — goes into effect today.

New York, NY (October 11, 2019) — Today, the TIME’S UP Foundation released a toolkit, Know Your Rights, New York, to help New Yorkers understand the groundbreaking sexual harassment protections which go into effect today.

“Our work didn’t stop when this bill was signed into law by the Governor,” said Jennifer Klein, chief strategy and policy officer at TIME’S UP. “We need to do all we can to ensure that New Yorkers understand their rights and protections under the new law.”

The law updates New York’s sexual harassment standard, extends protections to domestic workers and independent contractors, and includes new provisions that enable workers to seek justice for workplace harassment and discrimination. The new law is part of the TIME’S UP Safety Agenda and Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Women’s Justice Agenda.

The toolkit, also available in Spanish, explains the provisions of the new law and informs workers of their rights if they face harassment or other types of discrimination at work. The toolkit also explains how this law differs from prior legal requirements.

“New York is showing yet again that it intends to lead when it comes to finding progressive, innovative ways to prevent sexual harassment and assault and obtain justice for survivors,” said Robbie Kaplan, co-founder of the TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund. “We are grateful to Governor Cuomo, New York state legislators, and the tireless advocates who fought so hard to make this important change in the law happen.”

The new law taking effect today will protect millions of New Yorkers by:

  • Making it easier to bring and win lawsuits for harassment discrimination claims by eliminating the “severe or pervasive” standard that kept all but the most egregious claims out of court;
  • Clarifying that the New York State Human Rights Law applies to all employers in New York, including state and private employers as well as employers with fewer than four employees, for all forms of discrimination and harassment;
  • Clarifying that employees who sign non-disclosure agreements may participate in investigations into sexual harassment claims and voiding any non-disclosure clauses related to any future claims of discrimination, unless the clause notifies a worker that they may still talk to a reporting agency;
  • Extending broader protections to more workers, including domestic workers and independent contractors.

Additional provisions of the TIME’S UP Safety Agenda take effect in 2020. They are:

  • February 8, 2020: All discrimination claims[1]accrued on or after this date can be brought against all employees under New York Human Rights Law, regardless of employer size or public sector employment.
  • August 12, 2020: The law will extend the statute of limitations for filing sexual harassment complaints with the Division of Human Rights to three years.

New Yorkers can download the toolkit — free of charge — by texting NYSAFE to 306-44.


[1] Sexual harassment claims can currently be brought against employers, regardless of size.

TIME’S UP Foundation

The TIME’S UP™ Foundation is the industry and impact arm of TIME’S UP. We enable more people to seek justice through the TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund™. We pioneer innovative research driving toward solutions to address systemic inequality and injustice in the workplace through the TIME’S UP Impact Lab. And we support industry leaders in shifting the paradigm of workplace culture toward one of safety, equity, and dignity for women of all kinds through TIME’S UP’s industry change initiatives. The TIME’S UP Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization.