The last year has been filled with sweeping changes for sexual harassment claims brought under the New York State Human Rights Law. One of those changes was an amendment to CPLR § 7515, which now prohibits mandatory arbitration of sexual harassment claims.

On June 26, 2019, a federal court for the Southern District of New York ruled that CPLR § 7515 is preempted by the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”). The FAA “forces federal courts to enforced covered arbitration agreements according to their terms.”

Simply put, federal law favors arbitration agreements, and, according to this federal court, CPLR § 7515 doesn’t prevent sexual harassment claims from being subject to a valid and binding arbitration agreement.

This decision provides much-wanted clarity for employers that use arbitration agreements. If you’re an employer with questions about the ever-changing landscape of employment law in New York, contact us. The experienced attorneys at The Coppola Firm stand ready to assist you.

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