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Assemblywoman Galef Hails Passage of Anti-Sexual Harrassment Bill

Assemblywoman Sandy Galef
Assemblywoman Sandy Galef Photo Credit: File

OSSINING, N.Y. -- A bill sponsored by Assemblywoman Sandy Galef to end sexual harassment in the workplace has passed the state Assembly.

Galef, D-Ossining, hailed the passage of the legislation, which she said is crucial for ending sexual harassment in smaller businesses and work environments, an issue Galef said she is passionately about.

Currently, individuals working for an employer or company with fewer than four employees cannot file a sexual harassment complaint since the current definition of "employer" does not include any businesses with fewer than four employees.

Galef's bill will eliminate that threshold, but will not change the existing law for companies with more than four employees.

"Currently, more than 60 percent of private employers in New York have fewer than four employees," she said. " . . . Unfortunately, this disproportionately affects women workers. I hope that women in the workforce can now feel safer and protected against any form of sexual harassment, no matter how small their business is where they work."

The state Senate passed its version of the bill earlier this legislative session. It is anticipated Gov. Andrew Cuomo will sign it as it was part of his "Women's Equality Agenda" package. The bill would take effect 90 days after being signed.

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