BILL SHPjpegOctober 9, 2018 – Today, County Executive Latimer signed Executive Order 11-2018 that strengthens Westchester’s sexual harassment policy to emphasize a zero tolerance policy towards all forms of harassment or discrimination and prohibits any conduct that creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment or which is otherwise inappropriate or unprofessional.

On April 12, 2018, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law a requirement that all municipalities create, by October 9, 2018, written anti-sexual harassment policies based on a model developed and published by the New York State Department of Labor and Division of Human Rights.

The newly adopted policy, which follows that model:

  • makes clear that it applies to everyone working for and at the County, including interns, vendors, consultants, contractors, etc.  In other words, it is not limited to paid County employees;

  • makes clear that managers and supervisors are required to report any instances of sexual harassment, and may be subject to discipline for failing to do so;

  • provides a more thorough explanation of what constitutes sexual harassment, and provides a number of clear examples; and

  • adds a section on external (i.e. non-County) legal protections and remedies 

Latimer said: “Our society has for too long been operating in a culture of keeping quiet and what these past two years have showed us is that the only way to combat a grave injustice is to shed a light on it. We will not allow Westchester County to operate under a ‘1950s hush-hush’ environment. What we are aiming to do with this new policy is make sure these issues are at the forefront of every County employees’ mind. There is no excuse for not understanding what is intolerable in any work setting.”

Westchester County Office for Women Director Robi Schlaff said: "We in Westchester County are committed to protecting victims and insuring that their voices are heard.  We will not tolerate protecting perpetrators of sexual harassment and continue to make sure justice is served.”