New York partner Jerry Hathaway was quoted in a Business Insurance article titled “New York anti-discrimination law heightens risks for employers.” The article is about how anti-discrimination legislation approved by the New York Legislature in June could increase employers’ potential liability.
In the article Jerry stated, “Certainly, I think the state courts will be deluged with claims, because the burden of proving these claims has been radically changed. It used to be that an employer could sit back and wait for an employee to prove that severe or pervasive harassment has occurred.” Now, the employee only “has to show some harassment has occurred,” and then the burden goes to the employer to prove the conduct was merely petty slights or trivial inconveniences, he added. “These cases are sure to be settled later than they otherwise would have been. The bar is set so low that conversation in the workplaces could trigger a claim that may well be deemed regulation of speech in the workplace by the government,” said Jerry.