New York lawmakers approved legislation that will make it easier to pursue sexual harassment claims by lifting the legal barrier that the conduct has to be “severe or pervasive” to be challenged in court.

The bill (S6571/A8421), a hybrid of competing proposals by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) and legislators working with women’s advocates and plaintiffs’ attorneys, passed the state Assembly by 109-19 and the state Senate by 62-0, as lawmakers worked into the evening June 19 to meet a scheduled adjournment date. Cuomo immediately indicated that he’d sign it.

The legislation represents “a sea change in our...