Mike Schlicht, State Coordinator for NYHWA (New York Healthy Workplace Advocates) says they are “just two sponsors short of having one third of the Assembly signed onto their version of the bill.” But before that can happen, it still has to make it out of the Labor Committee where it’s been stuck since last year. The Wall Street Journal reports that the committee’s chair, Susan John, feels it may drive business out of the state.
Critics of the bill say:
The lawfirm Fox Rothschild LLP sent this alert out to their clients:
“Implications of the New York Bill the ramifications of this bill [A5414B] for New York employers are widespread. workplace behaviors will need to change dramatically in some cases. if the bill is approved by the New York Assembly, employers will need to reevaluate and refine current harassment training programs to include anti-bullying components. Additionally, performance reviews and possible subordinate-to-supervisor reviews may take on new relevance in reducing liability in this area. in anticipation of the passage of the New York bill and those in other states, employers may also want to consider revising employee handbooks to include anti-bullying policies that have both a reporting mechanism and an antiretaliation provision.”
Seyfarth Shaw LLP summed up the pending legislation this way:
…the implications for employers are widespread, including additional litigation and exposure to liability for lost wages, medical expenses, emotional distress, punitive damages and attorneys fees. Significantly, the bill specifies that the remedies available are in addition to any compensation available under the workers’ compensation law, provided, however, that an employee who has collected workers’ compensation benefits for conditions arising out of an abusive work environment can not commence a cause of action pursuant to the law for the same such conditions.