Friday, October 30, 2015

New protections for crime victims appear "Women's Equality" bills.

On Oct. 21, New York enacted new laws related to women's rights that deal with a variety of issues, including pay equity and protection of employees from sexual harassment and pregnancy discrimination.

Among the new rules, designed to protect crime victims, including victims of sex trafficking, are the following:

The Family Court Act has been amended to allow the Chief Administrator of the Courts to promulgate rules to “establish and implement a pilot program for the filing of petitions for temporary orders of protection by electronic means and for the issuance of such orders ex parte by audio-visual means in order to accommodate litigants for whom attendance at court to file for, and obtain, emergency relief would constitute an undue hardship or to accommodate litigants, for whom traveling to and appearing in the courthouse to obtain emergency relief, creates a risk of harm to such litigant.”

The "Trafficking Victims Protection and Justice Act," amends and adds many new sections of law. New crimes include aggravated labor trafficking, a class C felony; patronizing a person for prostitution in a school zone, a class E felony; and aggravated patronizing a minor for prostitution, a felony.

These new provisions become effective in 2016.