Amidst a storm of controversy and complaints, the New York state Joint Commission on Public Ethics is set to unveil a new hotline that legislative staffer and tipsters can call to report sexual harassment. The state Assembly has garnered a lot of bad press over the past couple years over allegations of sexual harassment. Our sexual harassment lawyers in NYC urge anyone affected by sexual harassment to use appropriate reporting methods at their workplace.
In March, the state put aside $200,000 for new efforts to end harassment in the Assembly. Now, victims, witnesses, and individuals affected by sexual harassment can safely call this hotline without fearing repercussions or retaliation. Whistleblowers can also report corruption and other unfair practices.
“Improper conduct will not be tolerated,” said a state official familiar with the rollout. “And victims and witnesses will now have a place to go to safely file a complaint that will be fully investigated.”
In one case, former Assemblyman Vito Lopez was hit with a record $330,000 fine after the ethics commission found he sexually harassed at least eight women in his office. Another case involves former Democratic Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak. A woman who used to work for him claims she wanted to report being sexually harassed by Gabryszak to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver but felt it would be pointless after he was accused of covering up allegations against Lopez.
“If they’re afraid, there’s now an independent place to go where people can feel secure about reporting misconduct,” the state official said. “They can file a complaint or report a tip and it will get reviewed. It will be very fact specific.”
If you have been sexually harassed at your NYC workplace, contact an attorney for assistance.
The Derek Smith Law Group, PLLC handles a multitude of cases that involve sexual harassment in Manhattan and the greater New York City area. For further information, please feel free to call us at 800-807-2209 for a free consultation.