Monday, May 16, 2022

Sexual Harassment Complaint Hotline Established for New York

New York State has created a toll-free confidential hotline for complaints of workplace sexual harassment.

The new law also provides free legal assistance to individuals who contact the hotline. The New York State Division of Human Rights intends to recruit experienced attorneys acting in a pro bono capacity to provide legal advice to complainants.

Once the hotline is established, New York employers will be required to include information about the hotline in any materials they are required to post or provide to employees regarding sexual harassment.

The law regarding the hotline goes into effect on July 14, 2022. For more information about the hotline, click here.

Monday, May 9, 2022

Crime, courts addressed in New York State Budget

Various aspects of the recently passed New York State Budget address issues related to crime and the courts. They include:
Bail Reform. The Budget expands the number of offenses for which bail may be considered. The Budget also directs the court to consider the following list of factors when setting bail:
• the defendant’s activities and history;
• the charges against the defendant;
• past criminal convictions;
• any previous violation of an order of protection;
• a defendant’s potential flight risk;
• a defendant’s ability to post bail without undue hardship;
• a defendant’s history of use or possession of a firearm; and
• whether the charge is alleged to have caused “serious harm” to an individual or group of individuals.
Discovery Reform. District Attorneys are no longer required to provide automatic discovery for cases involving:
• a simplified information charging traffic infraction; or
• an information charging one or more petty offenses defined by a village, town, city, or county municipal code that do not carry a statutorily authorized sentence of imprisonment (defendants may still file a motion for disclosure of evidence in such cases).
In addition, prosecutors will be allowed to file a supplemental certificate of compliance for delayed disclosure of discovery materials.

Violent Crime Initiatives. In addition to establishing an Office for Gun Violence Protection, the Budget includes a variety of program funding purporting to address what the legislature considers “gun violence,” including among others:

• $18.2 million for the Gun Involved Violence Elimination (GIVE) initiative;
• $13.1 million to expand the use of Community Stabilization Units that partner State Troopers with local law enforcement agencies;
• $21 million for community-based gun violence response programs (SNUG);
• $25 million for the Securing Communities Against Hate Crimes (SCAHC) program;
• $10 million in new funding for pretrial services to help divert people from unnecessary detention while also keeping communities safe; and
• $20 million in new funding for crime reduction programming in those communities most impacted by gun violence
.
More on the New York State budget can be found here.

Monday, May 2, 2022

Second Amendment Legal Update: May, 2022

A monthly update, prepared for the Schuyler County Chapter of S.C.O.P.E. NY, a statewide 501(c)4 organization dedicated to preserving the 2nd Amendment rights for the residents of New York State. For a complete PDF copy of this month's update, click here.