‘Lindsey’s Law’ would make retaliation against sex harass accusers a crimeMarch 19, 2021
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A new bill introduced in Albany Thursday called “Lindsey’s Law” — for Lindsey Boylan, a former Gov. Andrew Cuomo aide who has accused him of sexual harassment — would make it a crime for public officials to retaliate against employees who level similar allegations.
The legislation, sponsored by freshman Assemblyman Michael Lawler (R-Pearl River), would create a new section within the state’s penal code that makes it a class A misdemeanor to disclose “confidential government records” — including personnel files and other documents — pertaining to incidents of sexual harassment by a public employee.
It would cover sexual harassment claims made by public employees, interns and even non-employees against public officials.
“After numerous news media reports about the ongoing retaliatory behavior being encouraged by Governor Andrew Cuomo, it’s time for the Legislature to say enough is enough and pass ‘Lindsey’s Law,’” Lawler said in a statement.
Boylan was the first woman among several who have accused Cuomo of sexual misconduct within the last month. The governor has denied any wrongdoing.
Earlier this week, it was revealed that the governor and top aides drafted a letter to attack Boylan’s credibility following her initial tweets in December 2020, in which she first claimed Cuomo sexual harassed her.
The letter, a draft of which was obtained and reviewed by The Post, was never published, but attacked Boylan’s reputation and accused her of seeking “political retribution.”
“We must protect victims of sexual harassment, abuse, and assault from retaliatory actions committed by those who abused them. ‘Lindsey’s Law’ would do just that, protecting whistle-blowers and increasing penalties for those who try to retaliate against them,” Lawler said.
“Simply put, Governor Cuomo’s predatory actions cannot go unpunished, nor should his ongoing retaliatory actions against former staffers who have had the courage to stand up and tell their truths,” he added.
A group of female Republican state senators similarly introduced a package of proposals Thursday aimed at tightening up workplace protections for employees.
One bill would allow people to make a sexual harassment complaint against former employers within one year of termination.
Another would create an “independent commission” made up of lawmakers and attorneys to examine government sexual harassment policies, reporting requirements and sex crimes.
An additional proposal would mandate statewide elected officials and members of the legislature sign a certificate — under penalty of perjury — confirming that they completed their annual sexual harassment training program.
A representative for Boylan could not be reached for immediate comment regarding Lawler’s bill.
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