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A series of new laws taking effect in New York will increase penalties for human trafficking, prohibit workplace gender discrimination and help domestic violence victims

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ALBANY, New York — New York state now has new laws that toughen the penalties for human trafficking, prohibit companies from paying workers less because of their gender, and allow more employees to file sexual harassment complaints.

The laws took effect Tuesday. They were passed last year by lawmakers as part of a broader package of legislation designed to address issues affecting women.

Other new measures prohibit companies from discriminating against pregnant women or denying someone a promotion because of family status.

The sexual harassment law will close a loophole that had prevented workers at businesses with fewer than four employees from being able to file sexual harassment complaints.

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