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Christopher P. Maugans Discusses Updates to NY Model Sexual Harassment Policy with Buffalo Business First


Christopher P. Maugans Discusses Updates to NY Model Sexual Harassment Policy with Buffalo Business First

April 18, 2023
Christopher P. Maugans

Christopher P. Maugans, a partner in Goldberg Segalla’s Employment and Labor group, spoke with Buffalo Business First regarding what employers need to know about the updates to New York State’s model sexual harassment policy.

“It affects industries of all sizes, whether you’re a company of five or 5,000. If you’re an employer with one employee, you should have a policy. Even if you’re all family members, there are no exceptions. If you’re doing business in the state of New York, this law applies.”

The model updates include more training around gender identity and expression as well as education around the remote work environment. While it is important to thoroughly review the model sexual harassment policy and the respective updates, adopting them word-for-word as a business could leave an employer exposed for workplace issues and potential litigation.

This is due to the model policy’s emphasis on sexual harassment, with less emphasis on other protected classes. “They’re not realizing that they don’t have a fully comprehensive policy,” Chris said for employers exclusively adopting the model policy as their own policy.

In addition, Chris also explained the model policy does not cover industry- specific scenarios and employers’ policies should keep these in consideration.

“It’s not really enough to show that harassment exists in the world. Your workforce needs to understand how harassment exists in their world with their co-workers and supervisors,” he said.

Chris said tailoring sexual harassment policies and trainings per business is the proper way to proceed. He added documentation of all complaints, training, and policies must be conducted.

“Just saying they did the training is not enough. It has to be documented.”


New York’s Harassment Policy Updated with Gender Identity Language, Remote Work,” Buffalo Business First, April 17, 2023 [Subscription Required]


Christopher P. Maugans concentrates his practice in complex commercial litigation and matters involving employment and labor law. With a focus on serving both public- and private-sector clients, Chris handles matters involving discrimination claims, improper-practice charges, employee grievance arbitrations, General Municipal Law 207-c proceedings, and New York Education Law 3020-a hearings, as well as proceedings under Article 75 and Article 78 of the New York Civil Practice Law and Rules (CPLR). Chris helps clients prepare for and navigate trials, mediations, arbitrations, and hearings before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), Public Employment Relations Board (PERB), Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and the New York State Division of Human Rights (DHR). He regularly counsels clients and litigates the enforceability of restrictive covenants in employment agreements, including non-competition and non-solicitation provisions.