New law seeks to help employees dealing with workplace harassment

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday signed a law aimed at protecting employees from workplace harassment.

The legislation says that a person claiming harassment does not have to prove that it was "severe or pervasive" to be legally actionable.

"Let's honor the women who have the courage to come forward and honor their story even though it was personally hard and difficult and let's actually change things," Cuomo said in a message on YouTube.

The law also creates new rules for non-disclosure agreements, allowing employees who sign them to still be allowed to file a complaint of harassment or discrimination.

It also extends the statute of limitations. Victims now will have up to three years to file claims.

Keith Scott, director of education at The Safe Center Long Island in Bethpage, says people have different views about harassment from those entering the workforce to those close to retiring. He says the law puts everyone on the same page.

Long Island residents say that something needed to change to make women feel safer in the workplace.

"Just teach people to respect each other," said Suzanne Ernst, of Huntington. "Make them aware that certain remarks are just not appropriate."

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