New York State has announced a state hotline for people to report workplace sexual harassment.

The confidential hotline: 1-800-HARASS-3 (1-800-427-2773) is to be operated by the New York State Division of Human Rights and will connect workers who allege harassment with experienced pro-bono attorneys to give them advice.

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New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced the program to give victims legal help in what can be very tricky situations as her own administration was born out of allegations of sexual harassment against her predecessor, former Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Cuomo resigned a year ago after several women stepped forward and claimed inappropriate interaction with the powerful Democrat.  Cuomo denied all allegations and was never prosecuted on criminal charges due to a lack of supporting evidence according to prosecutors.

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Hochul said New York is taking action to “make the workplace safer, more respectful and more collaborative.”

The Buffalo-area Democrat in March signed legislation that directed the Division of Human Rights to establish a confidential hotline.  The measure was also touted as a step toward strengthening protections against retaliation for victim of discrimination.  In the wake of the Cuomo scandal, the administration has said it wanted to make sure all public employers are subject to the Human Rights Law.

The Governor’s office says the Division of Human Rights worked with the National Employment Lawyers of New York, New York State Bar Association and other bar associations to recruit the pro bono attorneys to participate in the program.

Hochul’s office says New York is the first state in the nation to enact a Human Rights Law.

Individuals interested in filing a complaint can visit the DHR website at https://dhr.ny.gov

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