By Madina Toure
March 5, 2018
Anti-sexual harassment advocates say legislation proposed by the City Council that requires New York City businesses to conduct anti-sexual harassment training needs to go further, calling it a good but “conservative step.”
Last week, the Council rolled out legislation that requires private employers with 15 or more employees to conduct annual anti-sexual harassment training. Brooklyn Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo introduced the bill, which is part of a legislative package seeking to combat workplace sexual harassment. Supervisors and managerial employees would receive additional training.
The training would also touch on measures employers can take to appropriately address complaints, and the New York City Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) would have to create a series of online interactive training modules employers can access online.
Blake Johnson, the supervising social worker for community programs at Safe Horizon, the nation’s leading victim assistance organization, said sexual harassment “exists on a continuum of sexual violence.”
He pointed to the additional impact of gender, race, sexual orientation and immigration status and noted the trauma individuals experience after they report harassment or other forms of abuse, as well as when they interact with the legal system.
“It is important for any organization to understand the potential for trauma that someone might experience, and to ensure that this response is not minimized and that appropriate resources are available to them,” Johnson continued.