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MeToo HashtagThe #MeToo movement has prompted employers to reassess their efforts to ensure a safe and supportive workplace for employees. As the movement has gained momentum, government authorities and private plaintiffs have increasingly pursued workplace misconduct investigations and claims, and city and state legislatures—including in New York—have passed new anti-sexual harassment laws requiring companies to take meaningful steps to ensure compliance. Although this new legal environment affects all New York businesses, it warrants particular attention from employers within the construction industry. Indeed, under certain anti-sexual harassment laws, employer liability extends beyond the actions of employees to the actions of anyone providing services at a location—including all contractors, subcontractors, vendors, and consultants working at a jobsite.

Recent studies show that sexual harassment is a particular concern in the construction industry. According to one study, about one in three women working in construction report that sexual harassment is “a constant or frequent experience at work.” Another study found that two-thirds of architects have experienced sexual harassment on a jobsite, including 85% of female respondents.

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