New York Settlement Agreements
In particular, the law does not prohibit the confidentiality of the amount of the invoice or the NDA itself. Last June, the New York Legislature passed a law amending New York`s anti-discrimination and sexuality legislation, and Governor Cuomo signed it into effect on August 12, 2019. (See our previous warnings here and here). Recently, the New York Division of Human Rights („Division”) issued additional guidelines in the form of FAQs on two aspects of the law: (1) the necessary communication; and (2) confidentiality agreements governing rights to discrimination. The first set of amendments went into effect in 2018 when New York amended the General Obligations Act („GOL”) §5-336 to prohibit employers from including in a sexual harassment agreement a provision preventing disclosure of the underlying facts, unless the provision is the preference of the alleged victim. Penalties for harassment are now harsher. Punitive damages can now be awarded to all private employers and attorneys` fees can be awarded in all employment cases. Transaction agreements need to change. When an employee is accused of discrimination or harassment, employers often consider confidentiality rules to be an essential part of any settlement agreement. These provisions are no longer easy to obtain and will not be worthy of the paper on which they are written if all the legal requirements are not met.
As these requirements continue to change rapidly, the advice and guidance of a competent labor attorney in New York City is now more important than ever for employers. Employment contracts must change. Any agreement between an employer and an employee or potential worker preventing the disclosure of factual information related to a future right to discrimination becomes null and void unless it informs the complainant that it is not prohibited to disclose the facts underlying their right to discrimination with law enforcement authorities, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), of the National Human Rights Division. a local human rights commission or lawyer mandated by the employee or potential staff. – the rules of confidentiality must be preferred by the complainant and be „in simple English”. Employers may not include in any transaction, agreement or other solution to a right to discrimination any condition or condition that would prevent disclosure of the facts and circumstances underlying the claim or claim, unless the condition of confidentiality is the complainant`s preference. To demonstrate that the complainant prefers a confidentiality clause, the clause must be made available to the complainant in writing in simple English (and, where applicable, in the complainant`s main language). Seyfarth Synopsis: The New York Division of Human Rights has issued guidelines on two aspects of the recently amended anti-discrimination law in New York: (1) the „notification” that employers must distribute at the time of hiring and at each annual sexual harassment training; and (2) the prohibition of confidentiality agreements governing rights to discrimination, unless confidentiality is the complainant`s preference. Other changes were launched with the new year. With effect from 1 January 2020, GOL 5-336 has been further amended to impose binding derogations from the confidentiality rules in comparisons of discrimination or harassment. Regardless of the preferences of the alleged victim, confidentiality provisions may not prevent the alleged victim from initiating, participating in or cooperating with him in an investigation conducted by federal, state or local authorities, or from revealing the facts necessary for the alleged victim to obtain public benefits to which he or she is entitled.
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