Before the first day of the state legislative session, Governor Cuomo set the tone to take on sexual misconduct in society. During his State of the State Address, he said that he would prevent the use of public money to fund settlements and introduce legislation to prohibit confidentiality agreements related to sexual harassment claims in government.
His goal of prohibiting confidentiality agreements related to sexual harassment would apply to all public entities and branches of government at the state and local levels. Victims could request that their case be kept confidential.
Governor Cuomo also proposes voiding forced arbitration policies in employment contracts and mandating that companies that do business with the state disclose the number of nondisclosure agreements and sexual harassment adjudications they have executed.
As he stated: “Our challenge in government is to turn society’s revulsion into reform, and we in New York must seize the moment and lead the way. There must be zero tolerance for sexual harassment in any workplace, and we can and will end the secrecy and coercive practices that have enabled harassment for far too long.”