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Total Articles: 311

New York Issues Updated Guidance on New Antidiscrimination Laws

As we previously reported here and here, New York State significantly amended its antidiscrimination laws, with many of the changes effective as of October 11, 2019. The state issued updated FAQ guidance regarding these new requirements on October 29, 2019. While the guidance leaves unanswered many questions about the amended law, it provides valuable information regarding the new requirements. Below are highlights from the amended guidance.

Westchester County, NY Publishes Paid Safe Leave Guidance as Law Takes Effect

The Westchester County Human Rights Commission, the agency responsible for conducting public outreach for the Westchester County Safe Time Leave Law, published a host of information, including a copy of the law, a Notice of Employee Rights (the “Notice”), Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQs”), and the mandatory poster in time for the law’s October 30, 2019 effective date. Under the law, all private employers must provide up to 40 hours of paid leave for victims of domestic violence and human trafficking.

Westchester Safe Time Leave Has Arrived

The Westchester County Safe Time Leave Law takes effect today October 30, 2019. Starting on January 28, 2020, employers must begin providing eligible new hires with a copy of the law and written notice, which is intended to explain how the law applies to them.

Prepping for the Polls: What Employers Need to Know as New Yorkers Get Ready to Vote

As we approach the November 2019 elections, New York employers may want to keep in mind the state’s recently amended Election Law, which entitles employees to time off to vote. Since April 2019, all employers have been required to provide their New York employees who are registered voters with up to three hours of time off to vote without loss of pay. The time off to vote must be given at the beginning or end of an employee’s working hours, unless the employer and employee agree otherwise. An eligible employee seeking to take such time off must notify his or her employer at least two working days before the election.

New York City Enacts Legislation Clarifying Independent Contractor Protection under Human Rights Law

While courts have generally interpreted the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) as providing anti-discrimination protections to individuals performing services as independent contractors, effective in January 2020, amendments to the NYCHRL clarify such protections.

New Requirements and Looming Deadlines in October 2019: What New York Employers Need to Know

As we previously reported this past summer, the New York State Senate and Assembly passed Senate Bill 6549, which amended Section 194 of the New York Labor Law to prohibit wage differentials based on any protected class. As we also reported, the State Senate and Assembly also passed an omnibus bill that overhauled New York’s antidiscrimination laws. Governor Andrew Cuomo signed these bills into law on July 10 and August 12, 2019, respectively. As a result, several new laws are slated to take effect in October 2019.

New York City Issues New Enforcement Guidance on Discrimination Based on National Origin, Immigrant Status

Continuing its pattern of issuing enforcement guidance on areas on which it focuses, the New York City Commission on Human Rights has released guidance reiterating the obligations of most employers, housing providers, and providers of public accommodations in New York City to avoid discrimination based on national origin and immigration status.

New York State Doubles Down on Data Privacy, Sets High Bar for “Reasonable Safety Standards”

On July 25, 2019, New York governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law two bills aimed at increasing the obligations of entities handling computerized private data. The Stop Hacks and Improve Electronic Data Security Act (SHIELD Act) expands the requirements for notifying affected parties in the event of a data breach and sets forth a demanding list of security measures that must be implemented to “maintain reasonable safeguards” to protect private information. Businesses handling the private data of New York residents should consider reviewing the SHIELD Act and existing policies and procedures to ensure compliance before the new privacy requirements go into effect.

Employers May Face New Challenges and Liabilities for Violating New York’s Frequency of Pay Law

As a result of a new appellate court decision, New York employers may now face liquidated damages for failing to pay employees as frequently as required by the New York Labor Law. In a recent unexpected decision that departs from the conventional wisdom and older precedent, the Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court for the First Department, in Vega v. CM & Associates Construction Management, LLC, held that “manual workers” who were paid in full, but paid on a biweekly or later basis, could recover liquidated damages for the employer’s failure to pay them weekly as required by state law. This decision could have significant implications for employers in New York.

New York Expands Workplace Protections For Domestic Violence Victims

Governor Andrew Cuomo just signed into effect an amendment to New York law expanding the protections employers must provide to employees who are victims of domestic violence. In addition to expanded protections against discrimination, the amendment obligates employers to provide reasonable accommodations to domestic violence victims who must be absent from work for certain specified reasons. The amendment, signed on August 20, becomes effective November 18, 2019. What do you need to know in order to be in compliance come November?

New York Revises Employment Protections for Domestic Violence Victims, Adds Accommodation Obligations

New York has amended its Human Rights Law to expand protection from employment discrimination for victims of domestic violence.

New York Strengthens Sexual Harassment Protections, Enacts Other New Employment Laws

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed several employment laws this summer that provide new rights for employees. Most notably, he signed amendments to the state's Human Rights Law to strengthen protections for sexual harassment victims in the workplace.

New York Expands The Data Breach Umbrella: More Cybersecurity Incidents Will Require Breach Compliance From Businesses Who Possess Private Information For New York Residents

On July 25, 2019, New York Governor Anthony Cuomo signed the Stop Hacks and Improve Electronic Data Security Act (SHIELD Act) into law. The Act creates additional protections for the residents of New York and their private information. It also endeavors to improve cybersecurity measures for those who possess private information about New York residents.

The New York SHIELD Act: What Employers Need To Know

As mega-breaches heighten concern about the security of personal information and a federal solution does not appear forthcoming, New York recently joined the growing list of states imposing their own security obligations on businesses. On July 26, 2019, New York’s governor signed the “Stop Hacks and Improve Electronic Data Security” (SHIELD) Act, requiring businesses to implement safeguards for the “private information” of New York residents and broadening New York’s security breach notification requirements.

New Notification Requirements in New York for Healthcare Providers Facing a Cybersecurity Incident

On August 12, Mahesh Nattanmai, New York’s Chief Health Information Officer, issued a notice letter (“the notice”) on behalf of the New York State Department of Health (“Department”) requiring healthcare providers to use a new notification protocol for informing the Department of a potential cybersecurity incident. The updated protocol is considered effective immediately from a healthcare provider’s receipt of the notice letter.

NYS Eases Burden of Proof for Discriminatory Harassment

Executive Summary. On August 12, 2019, New York State (NYS) amended its Human Rights Law to make it easier to prove discriminatory harassment for members of all protected classes, including age, race, creed, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, military status, disability, predisposing genetic characteristic, familial status, marital status, and domestic violence victim status. The amendment provides significant additional protections for employees and independent contractors who were sexually harassed.

New York Protects Religious Garb And Facial Hair In The Workplace

New York Governor Cuomo just signed into effect an amendment to state law which expressly prohibits discrimination against employees based on clothing or facial hair worn in accordance with the employee’s religion. The amendment is set to take effect October 8, 2019. What do New York employers need to know about this development?

New York Expands Harassment Laws, Protections of Religious Attire, Clothing, or Facial Hair

New York state has enacted sweeping new workplace harassment protections for employees, including lowering the standard for when harassment is actionable.

New York’s New Employment Discrimination Laws Are Here

As we previously reported, the New York State Senate and Assembly passed an omnibus bill that overhauls New York’s antidiscrimination laws and uproot precedent upon which employers have relied for decades in defending harassment claims. Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the bill into law on August 12, 2019, and the various amendments to the New York State Human Rights Law (NYSHRL), the General Obligations Law, the Civil Practice Law and Rules (CPLR), and the New York Labor Law (NYLL) will take effect as follows.

New York Governor Signs Law Prohibiting Hairstyle Discrimination

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo recently signed legislation amending state law to explicitly prohibit discrimination based on hair texture or protective hairstyles as race-based discrimination. The new law took effect immediately upon signing in July 2019. What do New York employers need to know about this new law?

Westchester County Implements Safe Time Leave

Westchester County employers will soon need to provide paid safe time leave to employees who are the victims of domestic violence or human trafficking. Earlier this year, county lawmakers passed the Safe Time Leave for Victims of Domestic Violence and Trafficking Law, which takes effect October 30, 2019.

New York Enacts the SHIELD Act

On Thursday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law the Stop Hacks and Improve Electronic Data Security Act (SHIELD Act), sponsored by Senator Kevin Thomas and Assemblymember Michael DenDekker. The SHIELD Act, which amends the State’s current data breach notification law, imposes more expansive data security and data breach notification requirements on companies, in the hope of ensuring better protection for New York residents from data breaches of their private information.

New York Enacts SHIELD Act, Adding Data Security Requirements and Strengthening Data Breach Requirements

New York has enacted the Stop Hacks and Improve Electronic Data Security Act (SHIELD Act) to amend the state’s data breach notification law to impose more expansive data security and data breach notification requirements on companies. The move aims to ensure New York residents are better protected against better protection for data breaches of their private information.

New York State Creates Panel to Study Robots, Artificial Intelligence

On July 24, 2019, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation creating a statewide panel to study the impact of automation, artificial intelligence (AI), and robotics on New York. The 13-member panel, to be known as the New York State Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Automation Commission, will include members chosen by the governor, the state legislature, and the university systems of New York State and New York City.

New York Seeks to Add Protections for Discrimination and Retaliation Based on Immigration Status

The New York State Legislature recently approved changes to state law addressing prohibited retaliation in employment, and to vehicle and traffic laws, to provide additional protections for employees or their family members regarding their citizenship or immigration status. The bill (S 1747B) amending vehicle and traffic laws was enacted last month, while the second measure (SB 5791), which seeks to protect employees from discrimination and retaliation based on immigration status, has been sent to Governor Cuomo for his expected signature.

New York Expands Telemedicine Regulations

The authorized use of telehealth to deliver mental health services to New Yorkers has been expanded by amendments to the state Office of Mental Health’s (OMH) Telemental Health Services regulations increasing the types of professionals who may provide care and the places where care recipients can be treated.

NYC Public Accommodations Will be Required to Post Signs that Portable Ramps are Available

Starting January 1, 2020, New York City public accommodations that provide portable ramps for entrance accessibility will be required to post signs advertising portable ramp availability and listing a phone number for portable ramp requests.

New York Legislature Passes Bill Allowing Liens on Employers for Alleged Wage Claims

A bill aimed at increasing protections for employer “wage theft” by allowing an employer’s current or former employee, or the New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL), to place a lien on the employer’s interest in real or personal property for the value of a wage claim, plus liquidated damages, has passed the New York State Legislature. If signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo, the law will become effective 30 days after signing.

New York Bans Salary History Inquiries, Expands Pay Equity Law

New legislation in New York state will prohibit employers from asking prospective employees about their salary history and significantly expand the state's pay equity law.

New York Governor Signs Bills Aimed at Combating Salary Inequality

New York’s equal pay law prohibiting wage differentials based on protected class status was signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo on July 10, 2019. The new equal pay law will be effective on October 8, 2019.

New York Enacts Tougher Laws on Pay Equity and Salary History Inquiries

As we previously reported, the New York State Senate and Assembly recently passed Senate Bill 5248A and Senate Bill 6549. Governor Andrew Cuomo signed both bills, and both became law on July 10, 2019.

New York Poised to Enact Tougher Laws on Pay Equity and Salary History Inquiries

Continuing the trend of substantial and expansive legislative changes in employment law, the New York State Senate and Assembly have passed Senate Bill 5248A and Senate Bill 6549. The first bill, S5248A, will prohibit wage differentials based on any protected class and will take effect 90 days after being signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo. The second, S6549, will prohibit private sector employers from asking for wage or salary history as a requirement for a job interview, job application, job offer, or promotion and will take effect 180 days after being signed by Governor Cuomo. The governor is expected to sign the bills into law.

New York Legislature Passes Significant Changes to Liquor License Laws

The New York State Legislature has passed two bills in the waning days of the 2019 Legislative Session that will affect the liquor licensing process statewide. One bill would impose a posting requirement on applications for renewal. The other bill would require applicants to provide notice to certain entities.

Substantial Changes Coming to New York Employment Discrimination Laws

On the last day of the 2019–2020 legislative session, the New York State Senate and Assembly passed an omnibus bill. This legislation, once effective, will overhaul New York’s antidiscrimination laws and uproot precedent that employers have relied upon for decades in defending harassment claims. Governor Andrew Cuomo is expected to promptly sign the bill into law.

New York City to Prohibit Retaliation for Requesting Reasonable Accommodation

On June 13, 2019, the New York City Council passed Intro 799 to prohibit retaliation against individuals who make a request for a reasonable accommodation under any applicable provision of chapter 1 of the New York City Human Rights Law.

New York Adopts Laws Aimed at Combating Salary Inequality and Race Discrimination

In the final days of its 2019 Session, the New York State Legislature passed three bills that, respectively, will bar employers from inquiring about applicants’ past salary history, prohibit wage differentials based on protected class status, and ban race discrimination based on an employee’s hair or hairstyle. Governor Andrew M. Cuomo is expected to sign these bills.

New York Lawmakers Pass Game-Changing Reforms to State Discrimination Laws

Still grappling with the expansive sexual harassment reforms passed last year, New York businesses and employers will soon need to manage through yet another expansive suite of amendments that will continue the state’s ongoing implementation of stronger, and more burdensome, antiharassment and antidiscrimination laws. On the last day of its legislative session, the New York State Senate and Assembly passed sweeping reforms meant to overhaul the state’s antidiscrimination laws. Governor Andrew Cuomo, who advocates for more robust workplace harassment laws, is expected to sign the bill without delay. Once enacted, the amendments will impact every workplace in New York.

Sweeping Pay Equity Laws On The Way For New York Employers

This past week was a busy one for New York State lawmakers. In addition to passing game-changing legislation overhauling the state’s discrimination laws, the New York State Senate and Assembly just passed two pay equity bills that will have a significant impact on all New York businesses.

New York State Significantly Expands its Workplace Harassment Laws (Again)

As its session draws to a close, the New York State Legislature substantially revised the state’s anti-discrimination and anti-harassment laws this week, and Governor Andrew Cuomo has promised to sign the new measures imminently. The new legislation builds on the sexual harassment reforms that the state implemented over the course of 2018.

New York Considers Aggressive Consumer Privacy Law

The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), which goes into effect January 1, 2020, is considered the most robust state privacy law in the United States. The CCPA seems to have spurred a flood of similar legislative proposals on the state level, and it was only a matter of time before the Empire State introduced its own version of the law. The New York Privacy Act (NYPA), s5642, introduced last month by New York Senator Kevin Thomas, the Chair of the Consumer Protection Committee, is considered a more expansive version of its California counterpart.

Reminder to Post New York State Election Leave Notices

As we discussed here, New York State passed an amendment to its election leave law as part of the state’s 2020 budget. This law is now in effect and provides that: (i) registered voters must be granted leave of up to three hours to vote without loss of pay; (ii) employers must allow employees to take time off to vote at either the beginning or the end of a working shift (but the employer can designate whether an employee takes the voting leave at the beginning or end of the shift); (iii) if both the employer and employee agree, the voting leave can take place at a different time; (iv) employees who need time off to vote must give their employers at least two working days’ notice of the intent to take leave; and (v) employers must post a notice of employees’ rights pursuant to this law at least 10 days before each election.

Amendments to New York Election Law Require Postings and Paid Time Off

New York's election law was amended in the New York State budget this year to grant employees time off to vote without loss of pay. Under the amendment, which became effective in April, all New York employees who are registered to vote may request up to three hours of paid time off to vote, regardless of their work schedules, as long as the request is made at least two working days before the election.

New York City Ban on Pre-Employment Drug Testing Won’t Apply to (most) Healthcare Workers

On May 10, 2019, a bill amending New York City’s administrative code related to prospective employee drug-testing officially became law for New York City employers. While the law does not go into effect until May 10, 2020, it is the first of its kind in the nation. The law prohibits employers from requiring applicants to submit to pre-employment drug testing for the presence of marijuana or THC. Once the law takes effect, employers in New York City will not be permitted to conduct pre-hire marijuana testing as a condition of employment, but employers will still be allowed to screen for other illicit substances such as opiates, amphetamines, etc.

Required OSHA and Safety Training in NYC Extended … Again

New York City takes its approach to safety for its construction workers seriously. At least that’s the idea. In 2017, New York City Council members approved Local Law 196.

Westchester County Adopts Safe Time Law

On May 3, 2019, Westchester County Executive George Latimer formally signed into law the County’s Safe Time Leave for Victims of Domestic Violence and Human Trafficking Law (“Safe Time Law”), which provides eligible employees who are victims of domestic violence or human trafficking with up to 40 hours of paid leave in a calendar year to attend criminal and civil court proceedings and/or relocate to a safe location. The Safe Time Law becomes effective in 180 days from adoption, which is in late October 2019.

New York City Bars Pre-employment Marijuana Testing

As we previously reported, the New York City Council recently passed a bill to prohibit most pre-employment screening for marijuana by public and private employers. New York City mayor Bill de Blasio neither signed nor vetoed the bill within the city charter-mandated 30-day time period, so the bill became law on May 10, 2019. The law, known as Local Law 91 of 2019, will take effect on May 10, 2020, one year from its passage. Prior to the effective date, the New York City Commission on Human Rights is expected to promulgate rules for the implementation of Local Law 91. New York City employers may want to consider the commission’s guidance when reviewing and updating their prehire testing practices.

New York Offers Tax Credit To Employers Who Hire Recovering Substance Abusers

In an effort to combat the ongoing opioid crisis and substance abuse, New York State’s Budget for Fiscal Year 2020 includes the nation’s first tax incentive program for certified employers who hire people recovering from substance use disorders in full-time or part-time positions. The purpose of the Recovery Tax Credit program is two-fold: to create a recovery-oriented culture in business and local communities, as well as encourage growth by increasing employment opportunities.

New York City Employers Are Barred from Testing Job Applicants for Marijuana Use

Intro 1445-A became effective on May 10, 2019. It is the first of its kind law in the United States, prohibiting New York City employers from requiring prospective employees to submit to testing for the presence of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in marijuana. The obligations under the new law are applicable to employers on May 10. 2020.

Update: New York City’s Ban On Pre-Employment Marijuana Testing Will Take Effect on May 10, 2020

We previously blogged about the law passed by the New York City Council on April 9, 2019 that will prohibit employers from conducting pre-employment drug testing for marijuana.

Westchester County, NY Enacts Standalone Paid “Safe” Time Ordinance

Westchester County, New York has enacted a new ordinance, the “Safe Time Leave Law,” that, beginning October 30, 2019, will require all private employers to provide up to 40 hours of paid leave for victims of domestic violence and human trafficking. This ordinance will apply to employees1 who are employed in the county for more than 90 days in a calendar year on a full-time or part-time basis, with few exceptions.2 The new paid leave requirement is in addition to existing paid or unpaid leave obligations employers have under the county’s paid sick leave ordinance, as well as anti-discrimination and reasonable accommodation obligations for victims of domestic violence, sex offenses, or stalking under the county’s Human Rights Law.

New York City Poised to Bar Pre-employment Marijuana Testing

On April 9, 2019, the New York City Council overwhelmingly passed a bill that would prohibit most pre-employment screening for marijuana by public and private employers. The bill is supported by Mayor Bill de Blasio and would take effect one year after the mayor signs it into law.

First-of-its-Kind Measure Bans Testing Job Applicants for Marijuana Use

The New York City Council has overwhelmingly approved a first-of-its-kind measure that would prohibit employers from screening most job applicants for marijuana use on preemployment drug tests. With 33 states having legalized medical marijuana use and a growing number having legalized recreational marijuana, it is possible that other jurisdictions may follow New York City's lead.

Poster Released for the Westchester County Earned Sick Leave Law

Westchester County has released a poster for the Westchester County Earned Sick Leave Law (“WCESLL”). By July 10, 2019, all employers covered by the law must post the poster in English, Spanish and any other language deemed appropriate by the County of Westchester, in a conspicuous location. To date, Westchester County has only released the poster in English.

New York City Employers May Be Barred from Testing Job Applicants for Marijuana Use

The New York City Council has passed a prohibition on New York City employers requiring prospective employees to submit to testing for the presence of any tetrahydrocannabinols (THC), the active ingredient in marijuana.

Westchester County, NY Publishes Paid Sick Leave Notice and FAQs, As New Law Takes Effect

The Westchester County Human Rights Commission, the agency responsible for conducting public outreach for the Westchester County Earned Sick Leave Law (the “Sick Leave Law” or the “Law”), published a copy of the Law, a Notice of Employee Rights (the “Notice”), and Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQs”) — just hours before the Sick Leave Law went into effect this week.

New York City Will Ban Pre-Employment Marijuana Testing in 2020

The New York City Council passed a law on April 9, 2019 that will prohibit employers from conducting pre-employment drug testing for marijuana. The law is expected to be signed by the mayor and will take effect one year later. This law is the first of its kind in the United States.

Earned Sick Leave in Westchester County, NY: What Employers Need to Know

Taking a page out of New York City’s book to address the estimated 36 percent of workers in Westchester County, New York, who lack paid sick leave benefits, in October 2018 the Westchester County Board of Legislators passed the Earned Sick Leave Law (ESLL). The law took effect for most employers on April 10, 2019. The ESLL requires Westchester County employers with five or more employees to provide eligible employees with up to 40 hours of paid sick time per calendar year, or per year as determined by the employers. Employers with at least one employee but fewer than five employees in Westchester County must provide up to 40 hours of unpaid earned sick time. (Special rules apply for domestic workers, however.)

New York Expands Employees’ Voting Leave Rights

On April 1, 2019, New York State passed its 2019?2020 budget with an amended Election Law §3-110, which provides employees with time off to vote. Effective immediately, all employers must provide New York employees who are registered voters with up to three hours’ time off—without loss of pay—at the beginning or end of working hours to vote in any election. Any registered voter seeking time off to vote must notify his or her employer at least two working days before the election.

Highlights from the New York FY 2020 Budget

New York legislators passed into law the fiscal year 2020 $175.5-billion budget on April 1, 2019, fully funding state government for the next fiscal year. Among the provisions enacted are many that affect labor and employment in general and the energy, media, finance, health care, and other industries in particular.

New York Amends Election Law Allowing Workers Up to Three Hours of Paid Time Off to Vote

On April 1, 2019, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced amendments to the state’s fiscal year 2020 budget, which includes, among other things, an amendment to its Election Law entitling employees in New York to three hours of paid time off to vote.

Model Notice of Employee Rights Released for the Westchester County Earned Sick Leave Law

Westchester County has released a model Notice of Employee Rights for the Westchester County Earned Sick Leave Law (“WCESLL”), effective April 10, 2019.

New York Poised to Provide Employees With Three Hours of Paid Voting Leave

Employees in New York would be entitled to three hours of paid voting leave under a new bill that awaits the governor's signature.

New York Employees Get Up To Three Hours of Paid Time Off to Vote

A revision to New York’s election law gives workers in the state up to three hours of paid time off to vote, Governor Andrew Cuomo highlighted in an announcement released on April 1, 2019, about New York’s enacted budget for fiscal year 2020.

NY Court of Appeals Decision Saves the NY Home Care Industry – What’s Next for Home Care Providers?

New York’s vast home care industry and those who rely on their services breathed a sigh of relief on March 26, 2019, when the New York Court of Appeals gave providers the green light to continue to pay home care aides for 13 hours of a 24-hour shift, so long as they are afforded eight hours for sleep breaks (five of which are uninterrupted) and three hours for meal breaks.

NY Court of Appeals Upholds 13 Hours Pay for 24-Hour Shift Home Health Aides

Executive Summary. Today the New York Court of Appeals issued its long-awaited decision on 24-hour shift home health aides who work as “sleep-in” workers. The Court reversed two Appellate Division decisions, Andryeyeva v. New York Health Care, Inc., (“Andryeyveva”) and Moreno et al., v. Future Care Health Services, Inc., (“Moreno”) and ruled that home health aides were not automatically entitled to wages for each hour of the 24-hour shift. The Court deferred to the State Department of Labor’s (“DOL”) interpretation of its own regulation, that non-residential (“sleep-in”) home health aides may be entitled to 13 hours of wages, provided that they receive a sleep break of at least eight hours (receiving five hours uninterrupted sleep) and three hours of meal breaks. At the same time, the Court warned home care agencies that “failure to provide a home health aide with the minimum sleep and meal times required under the DOL’s interpretation of the Wage Order is a ‘hair trigger’ that immediately makes the employer liable for paying every hour of the 24-hour shift, not just the actual hours worked.” For the home care industry in New York State, this decision has enormous ramifications, which we discuss below.

New York High Court Upholds State Labor Department Interpretation of ‘Live-In’ Home Health Employee Rule

The New York Department of Labor’s (NYDOL) longstanding interpretation of its wage order as applied to the work hours of non-residential employees performing 24-hour (so-called “sleep-in” or “live-in”) shifts has been upheld by the New York Court of Appeals, to the relief of the state’s home healthcare industry. Andryeyeva v. New York Health Care, Inc., No. 11, and Moreno v. Future Care Health Servs., Inc., No. 12, 2019 N.Y. LEXIS 617 (N.Y. Mar. 26, 2019).

A Paramount Reversal Just Saved the NY Home Care Industry

The day most anxiously anticipated (or dreaded) by the vast home care industry in New York has arrived, and a huge sigh of relief from home care agencies and New Yorkers who rely on their services can be heard across the state. An industry that has been fraught with hundreds of class action lawsuits was given the green light on March 26, 2019, to continue to follow the NY Department of Labor’s (NY DOL) interpretative guidance and pay home care aides for 13 hours of a 24-hour shift, so long as the workers are afforded 8 hours for sleep breaks (5 of which are uninterrupted) and 3 hours for meal breaks.

New York City Releases FAQs, Additional Guidance on Lactation Room Law

The New York City Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) has released a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page and other additional guidance for the City’s lactation room law, which became effective March 18, 2019.

5 Takeaways From New York City’s Legislation on Lactation Room Accommodations

The New York City Council recently passed two bills addressing lactation rooms for breastfeeding mothers. The first bill, Int. No. 879-A, requires employers with four or more employees to provide lactation room accommodations for breastfeeding individuals. The second bill, Int. No. 905-A, requires covered employers to implement a written lactation room accommodation policy to be distributed to all employees.

What Employers Can Do Right Now To Prepare For Westchester County’s Earned Sick Leave Law

Companies should begin preparing now for the new Westchester County Earned Sick Leave Law (“WCESLL”), which becomes effective on April 10, 2019. Here are five steps to get employers started.

New York Department of Labor Abandons Proposed Predictive Scheduling Rule

In November 2017, the New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) issued a proposed predictive scheduling rule that would have imposed various call-in pay requirements when shifts are scheduled or cancelled on short notice or when employees are on call. On December 12, 2018, the NYSDOL issued a revised proposed rule containing numerous revisions based on feedback from the business community. Now, the NYSDOL has announced that it is abandoning the proposed rule altogether.

Proposed New York Call-In Pay Regulations Halted

The proposed New York call-in pay regulations are halted, according to a statement from the New York Department of Labor (DOL).

New York Going Back to Drawing Board on Employee Scheduling Proposal

After receiving extensive feedback from the business community, the New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) is abandoning its proposal for expanding the state's show-up time / reporting time requirements, which the NYSDOL refers to as "call-in pay."

New York State Department of Labor Scraps Plans to Implement Statewide Predictable Scheduling

In 2017 and 2018, the New York State Department of Labor (NY DOL) issued two sets of proposed regulations to amend the Minimum Wage Order for Miscellaneous Industries and Occupations, which governs most employers in New York State, to incorporate predictable scheduling rules.1 These proposed regulations would have required employers covered by the Minimum Wage Order for Miscellaneous Industries and Occupations to provide employees work schedules at least 14 days in advance and to pay additional premium payments to employees whose schedules change, either by adding shifts or subtracting shifts, with less than 14 days’ notice. Despite multiple attempts to implement the regulations, the NY DOL has indicated that it is withdrawing them.

New York Labor Department No Longer Pursuing Call-In Pay Regulations

The New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) is no longer pursuing regulations on “call-in pay,” or predictive scheduling, that would affect most New York employers.

Federal Court Reinforces Limited Geographic Scope Of NYC’s Anti-Discrimination Laws

A New York federal court recently reinforced the limited geographic scope of the New York City Human Rights Law, a city law which provides broader anti-discrimination and anti-retaliation protections to employees than the New York State Human Rights Law and federal anti-discrimination laws.

NYC Commission on Human Rights Issues Guidance on Discrimination Based on Hair

The New York City Commission on Human Rights released legal guidance relating to discrimination on the basis of hair and hairstyles. While the guidance does not change existing law, it makes clear the Commission’s position that the New York City Human Rights Law bans discriminatory practices by employers, housing providers, and other providers of public accommodations based on an individual’s natural hair or hairstyles that are closely related to racial, ethnic, or cultural identities.

Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA) Takes Effect in New York

On February 24, 2019, the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA) became effective in the state of New York. GENDA bars discrimination, harassment, and retaliation on the basis of “gender identity or expression,” which is defined as “a person’s actual or perceived gender-related identity, appearance, behavior, expression, or other gender-related characteristic regardless of the sex assigned to that person at birth, including, but not limited to, the status of being transgender.” As with conduct based upon an individual’s age, race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, military status, sex, disability, predisposing genetic characteristics, familial status or marital status, the state of New York now:

New York City Issues Legal Enforcement Guidance on Race Discrimination on the Basis of Hair

On February 19, 2019, the New York City Commission on Human Rights (NYCCHR) issued a sweeping and detailed legal enforcement guidance outlining new protections for New Yorkers who maintain “natural hair or hairstyles most closely associated with Black people.” The guidance states that the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) “protects the rights of New Yorkers to maintain natural hair or hairstyles that are closely associated with their racial, ethnic, or cultural identities,” and expressly “encourages employers and other covered entities to evaluate any existing grooming or appearance policies, standards, or norms relating to professionalism to ensure they are inclusive of the racial, ethnic, and cultural identities and practices associated with Black and historically marginalized communities.”

Are You Ready? Westchester County, NY Bans the Box Effective March 4

Westchester County, New York, which is located on the outskirts of the New York City metropolitan area, has enacted a ban-the-box law that places limits on an employer’s ability to make preemployment inquiries into and statements about a job applicant’s criminal history. The law will take effect on March 4, 2019. Westchester joins New York City in enacting a ban-the-box law.

New York City Commission on Human Rights Provides Legal Enforcement Guidance on Race Discrimination on the Basis of Hair

The New York City Commission on Human Rights (NYCCHR) released enforcement guidance on Monday, February 18, 2019, defining discrimination based on natural hair and hairstyles as a subset of race discrimination.1 The NYCCHR explained that “[b]ans or restrictions on natural hair or hairstyles associated with Black people are often rooted in white standards of appearance and perpetuate racist stereotypes that Black hairstyles are unprofessional.”2 Therefore, the New York City Human Rights Law “protects the rights of New Yorkers to maintain natural hair or hairstyles that are closely associated with their racial, ethnic, or cultural identities” including “locs, cornrows, twists, braids, Bantu knots, fades, Afros, and/or the right to keep hair in an uncut or untrimmed state.” This anti-discrimination guidance on the basis of hair appears to be the first of its kind in the United States. Businesses with employees in New York City should review their grooming policies and dress codes to ensure they do not run afoul of this new guidance.

New York’s Westchester County to Implement Ban-the-Box Law Limiting Criminal Background Inquiries

Effective March 4, 2019, private employers in New York’s Westchester County will be restricted from inquiring about a job applicant’s criminal background during the preliminary stages of the application process.

New York City Releases Enforcement Guidance on Race Discrimination on Basis of Hair

Legal enforcement guidance on race discrimination on the basis of hair from the New York City Commission on Human Rights affirms that employer policies on appearance and grooming that ban, limit, or otherwise restrict natural hair or hairstyles may be unlawful under the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL).

Federal Court Rejects Free Speech Challenge to New York City's Payroll Deduction Law

xecutive Summary: On February 6, 2018, a New York federal judge rejected a challenge to a New York City law requiring fast-food businesses to, upon request of their employees, forward voluntary deductions from employee paychecks to nonprofits. The 2017 Deductions Law requires these businesses to create and maintain a payroll deduction system by which employees can donate a portion of their wages to certain nonprofits registered with the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs.

Certainty is (Even Closer) on the Horizon for the New York Home Care Industry

The New York home care industry has faced collapse since a series of New York Appellate Division decisions invalidated New York Department of Labor (NY DOL) policy and held that home care attendants working 24-hour shifts who are employed by third-party agencies must be paid for every hour of the shift and employers could not deduct sleep and meal periods.1 The uncertainty on how to pay the attendants could only be resolved by the court of appeals. Now, that time has come.

Upstate Federal Court Holds Fiscal Intermediary a Joint Employer of Personal Assistants

Executive Summary. Until last week, no New York court had ruled on the question whether a fiscal intermediary (FI) participating in New York’s consumer directed personal assistant program (CDPAP) was a joint employer of a consumer’s personal assistants (PAs). New York’s CDPAP regulations made FIs responsible for certain administrative and compliance functions, but it also prohibited FIs from recruiting, hiring, firing, training, supervising and scheduling PAs or managing the consumer’s care. Though the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) and states other than New York have recognized that FIs could choose to operate under the “vendor fiscal/employer agent model,” where the consumer is the sole employer of the PAs, New York had left this issue for decision by the courts. The decision in Hardgers-Powell v. Angels In Your Home LLC, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16315 (W.D.N.Y. Jan. 30, 2019, No. 16-CV-6612-FPG) is the first to hold that an FI is a joint employer of personal assistants. Its rationale and logic are troubling. If the decision’s holding is adopted by other courts, FIs will face serious exposure on multiple fronts, as we explain below.

Passing the Buck: How Employers in New York State can Escape Liability in Occupational Hearing Loss Claims

It’s an all too common tale for many construction companies doing business in New York state. A unionized worker shows up on one of their job sites. Although the worker has been in the trade for decades, it’s the first time that the company has employed them. The worker is only on the job for a short time frame and subsequently retires. The worker, who began developing occupational hearing loss secondary to exposure to industrial noise decades ago, files a claim for workers’ compensation and submits a supporting medical report entitling them to a six figure schedule loss of use (SLU) award. Under the current state of the law, the company that last employed the claimant in the industry is liable for all of the claimant’s benefits up front regardless of the short duration of employment.

NYS Education Department Proposes to Significantly Strengthen Data Security and Privacy Protocol

Government agencies, businesses, hospitals and universities are the frequent targets of staggering data breaches that can affect millions of individuals. But K-12 schools are also at risk for cyber attacks as they rely more on technology for day-to-day operations and typically maintain a wealth of sensitive information about their students, teachers, administrators and other staff.

Compliance in a New York Minute: Top 10 New Year Resolutions for Employers

Devjani Mishra and Emily Haigh, of Littler’s New York City office, list their top 10 labor and employment compliance new year resolutions for businesses operating in the Empire State in 2019. They review several laws taking effect this year, offer practical guidance on how to juggle new requirements day-to-day, and identify legislative trends and court decisions to watch.

New York Legislative Update — 2019 Starts With a Roar

The New York State Legislature gaveled in for the 2019-2020 Legislative Session on January 9, 2019, with Democrats in control of all three chambers of New York State government for the first time since the 2008-2009 session. As expected, the Democrats are flexing their muscles and progressive legislation traditionally stalled in a Republican-controlled Senate has been given new life. For example, two long-stalled progressive pieces of legislation, Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA) and the Child Victims Act (discussed below), were quickly passed by the Legislature.

New York Employers Can Expect Significant Legislative and Regulatory Activity in 2019

It has never been easy for businesses to keep up with and ensure compliance with New York State’s and New York City’s employment laws, but calendar year 2018 presented a unique amount of new challenges for employers. The most significant change was the sexual harassment prevention laws the state and city passed that require covered employers to roll out mandatory anti-harassment policies and mandatory sexual harassment prevention training. In addition to these laws, various jurisdictions within New York State passed mandatory paid sick leave laws, and New York City passed a law requiring accommodations for lactating employees, “cooperative dialogue” requirements for employees who request certain types of accommodations, and “temporary schedule changes” for certain personal events.

New York State Passes Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act

Gender identity and gender expression will now be protected under New York State's anti-discrimination law. Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA) into law on January 25, 2019.

New Year, New Laws: Further Guidance on Complying With New York’s Anti–Sexual Harassment Laws

As we previously reported here, here, here, and here, New York State and New York City passed sweeping laws aimed at combating sexual harassment in the workplace last year. While many requirements of these laws already went into effect in 2018, the annual anti–sexual harassment training requirement under the Stop Sexual Harassment in New York City Act goes into effect on April 1, 2019. The New York City Commission on Human Rights has published a page of answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) to provide some clarity about the law and the new training requirements. Below are some highlights from this guidance and discussion of other aspects of the New York City law and the New York State law.

Governor Cuomo Vetoes Bereavement Leave Legislation in New York

In August we notified our clients that the New York State Legislature had proposed an amendment to the Workers Compensation Law that would allow employees to take up to 12 weeks of Paid Family Leave for bereavement after the death of a family member (a spouse, domestic partner, child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, or in-law, under this law).

A 2019 L&E Forecast for In-House Counsel, Part II: An Issue on the Horizon for New York Employers

Effective October 9, 2018, New York State requires all employers to (i) establish a sexual harassment prevention policy and (ii) provide all employees with annual sexual harassment prevention training that must initially be completed by October 9, 2019 (i.e., one year after the law’s effective date). New York State has published a model anti-harassment policy, model complaint form, and model training program that employers may adopt. Alternatively, employers may adopt a policy and training program that meets or exceeds the detailed minimum standards provided by the state.

New York Once Again Takes Aim At Employee Scheduling Practices

The New York State Department of Labor recently issued proposed regulations seeking to curb on-call scheduling, “call-in” shifts, and last-minute shift changes. The proposed regulations endeavor to provide employees with more predictable schedules, or compensate them for last-minute schedule changes. If implemented, the regulations will severely impact scheduling practices of New York employers. What do you need to know about these proposals?

New Year, New Laws In New York

As 2018 comes to a close, 2019 will bring new changes to the employment law landscape in New York City and the state of New York. New York employers should be cognizant of these impending new laws, as well as laws that went into effect in 2018, in order to ensure compliance with changing obligations.

NYC Council Bans Family Planning Discrimination In The Workplace

In its final session of the year, the New York City Council voted to prohibit employment discrimination based on an individual’s reproductive health choices. On December 20, the Council approved an amendment to the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) which will add “sexual and reproductive health decisions” to the list of protected classes under the law. The amendment was introduced to in response to the federal government’s efforts to curtail reproductive healthcare access.

Year-End Update on NYS and NYC Employment Laws

Over the past several years, both New York State and New York City have enacted significant new employment and labor laws.

New York State Comprehensive Lobbying Regulations Overview

New York State’s first-ever Comprehensive Lobbying Regulations were approved by the New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE) and will take full effect on January 1, 2019. The new regulations incorporate and replace a patchwork of guidance documents, advisory opinions, and interpretations of New York’s Lobbying Act, dating back to 1978.

New York City Moves to Prohibit Discrimination Based on Family Planning and to Protect Reproductive Choice

In case you missed it: On December 20, 2018, the New York City (NYC) Council added “sexual and other reproductive health decisions” to the list of protected classes under the NYC Human Rights Law. This measure is awaiting the mayor’s signature, which is expected. If signed, it will go into effect 120 days after enactment.

Year-End Update on NYS and NYC Employment Laws

Over the past several years, both New York State and New York City have enacted significant new employment and labor laws. This Update summarizes the key laws you should be following and the penalties for violations.

Ban the Box Legislation Gains Steam

The Westchester County Board of Legislation recently passed legislation banning the box — that is, removing the checkable criminal record box from employment applications. The law, which is expected to be signed by the Westchester County Executive and go into effect 90 days later, would prohibit inquiries about an applicant’s criminal conviction or arrest record on employment applications. Several states, counties, and cities across the nation have enacted Ban the Box legislation, and the trend is expected to continue to rise.

Ban the Box Legislation Continues to Gain Steam (Westchester County)

The Westchester County Board of Legislation recently passed legislation banning the box — that is, removing the checkable criminal record box from employment applications. The law, which is expected to be signed by the Westchester County Executive and go into effect 90 days later, would prohibit inquiries about an applicant’s criminal conviction or arrest record on employment applications. Several states, counties, and cities across the nation have enacted Ban the Box legislation, and the trend is expected to continue to rise.

Updated Proposed New York Call-In Pay Regulations Released

Just over a year has passed since the New York Department of Labor (DOL) released proposed regulations that would require employers to pay employees who are called in to work without appropriate notice or whose schedules are not set in advance, referring to this guarantee as “call in pay,” “on call scheduling,” or “just in time” pay

Suffolk County Enacts Salary History Ban

On November 30, 2018, Suffolk County of Long Island, New York joined other municipalities and states across the country when it unanimously enacted the Restricting Information on Salaries and Earnings (RISE) Act, prohibiting employers in Suffolk County from requesting or seeking wage histories of job applicants during the interview and hiring process.

New York State Department of Labor Issues Revised Proposed ‘Predictive Scheduling’ Regulations

The New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) has issued sweeping proposed regulations addressing worker scheduling practices that will affect most employers in the state (though employers covered by the Hospitality Wage Order — hotels and restaurants — are not covered by the current proposed regulations).

New York Agency Renews Effort to Promulgate State-Wide Predictable Scheduling

On December 7, 2018, the New York Department of Labor (NYDOL) proposed a new set of “predictable scheduling” regulations in an effort to discourage on-call shifts and require employers to pay employees for cancelled shifts.1 With this new proposal, employers have another opportunity to comment on the regulations before they are finalized.

Suffolk County Set to Become the Fourth New York Jurisdiction to Ban Salary History Inquiries

Suffolk County, New York has passed a law making it unlawful for employers and employment agencies with four or more employees to inquire about a job applicant’s salary history or otherwise to rely on such information in setting a new employee’s compensation. Entitled A Local Law to Restrict Information Regarding Salary and Earnings (“RISE Act”), this new law is designed to “help break the cycle of wage discrimination and close the wage gap” for statistically underpaid individuals, such as women and racial and ethnic minorities. This is similar to measures that have already been enacted in New York City, Westchester County, and Albany County. It will go into effect on June 30, 2019.

New York Revises Employee Scheduling Proposal

The New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) has revised its proposal for expanding the state's show-up time / reporting time requirements, which the NYSDOL refers to as "call-in pay."

Salary History Law Trend Continuing as 2018 Draws to a Close

Suffolk County, New York has become the latest locality to enact a law banning employers from asking job applicants about their salary history or relying on their salary history at any stage in the hiring process. The salary history inquiry ban takes effect June 30, 2019, and also extends to benefits.

A Cooperative Dialogue about NYC’s New Cooperative Dialogue Law – and More!

Emily Haigh and Devjani Mishra from Littler’s Manhattan office provide the inside scoop on some of New York City’s newest workplace regulations. Emily and Devjani first explore how the cooperative dialogue ordinance affects the procedures that employers use to evaluate employee accommodation requests. They discuss the law’s dialogue and documentation requirements plus how the law interacts with other NYC ordinances, including the paid sick and safe time and temporary scheduling laws. Emily and Devjani also review the city’s new lactation accommodation law, which takes effect on March 18, 2019.

Salary History Ban Arrives in New York’s Suffolk County

New York’s Suffolk County is the latest local jurisdiction to adopt legislation prohibiting employers from asking about the prior salary histories of prospective employees. The salary history ban amends the Suffolk County Human Rights Law, which defines an employer as persons or entities that employ at least four employees. The ban goes into effect on June 30, 2019.

NYC Council Passes 6 More Bills Protecting Ride-Sharing Drivers

On the heels of the NYC Council passing (and the mayor signing into law) a bill requiring minimum payments for ride-sharing drivers and a one-year freeze on the number of ride-sharing vehicle licenses issued, the NYC Council just passed another six new bills aimed at protecting both taxi drivers and ride-sharing drivers. The bills, approved by the Council on November 14 and expected to soon be signed into law by Mayor DeBlasio, are focused not only on drivers’ pay, but also on the financial and mental well-being of drivers in the wake of a spate of recent driver suicides and some of the more macro-economic issues facing the taxi and ride-sharing industries in NYC.

New York City Will Require Employers to Provide Greater Workplace Accommodations for Lactating Employees

On November 17, 2018, Sections 8-102 and 8-107(22) of the New York City Administrative Code were amended to require employers in New York City with four1 or more employees to (1) provide designated lactation room(s) for employees and (2) implement a lactation room accommodation policy. New York City law already prohibited discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions and obligated employers to provide reasonable accommodations to nursing employees and to display a poster to alert employees about their rights to express milk in the workplace.2 The new amendments—which will take effect on March 18, 2019—expand on these requirements, as well as on the 2007 New York State Nursing Mothers Rights at Work Law.3

Is Your Company Speaking the Right Language?

On October 17, 2018, the New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) released foreign language resources for employers and employees regarding the state’s new sexual harassment prevention laws and the necessary policy and training documents. As discussed in our August 29, 2018 Alert, earlier this year, New York State passed several new laws aimed at expanding employee awareness of sexual harassment. Among the new requirements placed on employers is mandatory annual anti-sexual harassment training and an anti-sexual harassment policy, which were required to be implemented by October 9, 2018. The state previously published English versions of a Model Sexual Harassment Policy, Model Complaint Form, Training Requirements, and FAQs, available at https://www.ny.gov/combating-sexual-harassment-workplace/employers.

Paid Sick Leave Changes in New York City and Westchester County Impact Empire State Employers

Recent developments in New York City and Westchester County, New York, may require employers to review their existing leave policies and procedures. Revised Earned Sick and Safe Time Act rules were adopted in New York City, and Westchester County enacted a new ordinance, the Earned Sick Leave Law. Below we highlight the most notable changes in New York City’s rules and the new requirements in Westchester County.

New York City to Require Private Employers to Establish Lactation Rooms and Policies

Private employers in New York City will have to find space for a “lactation room” under legislation expected to be signed by Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Westchester County Mandates Employee Sick Leave

Westchester County has just enacted an Earned Sick Leave Law which will soon require Westchester employers to provide sick leave to its employees. All Westchester employees—both full-time and part-time—who work more than 80 hours per year are eligible to earn sick time. The law, which was passed on October 1, will take effect 180 days from its adoption: March 30, 2019. What do employers need to know about this new law?

NYC Council Mandates Workplace Lactation Rooms

New York City employers will almost certainly need to provide lactation rooms to breastfeeding employees in the near future thanks to a slate of new laws passed by city lawmakers. On October 17, 2018, the City Council passed a package of bills—dubbed the Mother’s Day bills—aimed at helping mothers and children. Included among the legislation is a requirement that employers with 15 or more employees provide a lactation room to any employee needing to express breast milk, and provide employees with written information on the room’s availability. The newly passed legislation awaits the mayor’s signature, and he is expected to sign the suite of bills. If signed, the lactation room laws will take effect 120 days from the date of signature. What do New York City employers need to know about these new requirements?

New York City Bill to Give Commercial Tenants More Power Over Lease Renewals Will Get Hearing

A bill to amend New York City law to establish conditions and requirements for commercial lease renewals with the aim of preserving small businesses will have its first hearing in the City Council since 2009 on October 22, 2018.

New York Anti-Sexual Harassment Requirements Take Full Effect

Earlier this year, New York State adopted anti-sexual harassment legislation that the Governor described as the "strongest and most comprehensive" in the country, and that is now fully effective. As of October 9, 2018, employers must distribute to all New York-based employees an updated anti-sexual harassment policy that covers a number of key areas. Over the next 365 days, employers also must train all New York-based employees regarding sexual harassment and retaliation, and repeat such training annually thereafter. New York City has a similar sexual harassment training requirement that goes into effect on April 1, 2019. In this podcast, Littler attorneys Devjani Mishra and Emily Haigh help employers operating in New York State and City navigate these new requirements.

New York Law Requires Human Trafficking Informational Cards in Hotels, Considering Employee Training

All hotels in New York with at least five rooms will be required to post human trafficking “informational cards” throughout each hotel’s premises beginning October 14, 2018.

New York Releases Final Guidance on Sexual Harassment Legislation

New York State’s final guidance on sexual harassment legislation is out and will take effect on October 9, 2018. This is an update to guidance first enacted back in May of this year.

New York State Extends Deadline for Mandatory Sexual Harassment Training

Executive Summary: As previously reported, New York State and New York City have implemented laws mandating sexual harassment training to all employees on an annual basis. The original state deadline for completing training was January 1, 2019. The state just extended the deadline to October 2019. Employers covered by the New York City law must comply with its training requirements beginning April 1, 2019. The state extension ONLY applies to the training. Employers are still required to adopt and promulgate a sexual harassment prevention policy by October 9, 2018.

Racing Against the Clock: New York State Issues Final Guidance on Sexual Harassment Policies and Training

As we previously reported here, here, and here, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo recently enacted an aggressive anti-sexual harassment law with stringent requirements for employers’ anti-harassment policies and training. A key component of the new law goes into effect on October 9, 2018, and requires every employer in New York State to establish a sexual harassment prevention policy. In addition, New York State employers must provide employees with sexual harassment prevention training that, under the final guidance, must be completed by October 9, 2019 (i.e., one year after the law’s effective date).

New York State Issues Final Guidance Regarding Combating Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

The State of New York has issued final guidance on combating sexual harassment in the workplace. This includes updated guidance on the mandatory sexual harassment prevention policies and annual employee training applicable to employers in New York beginning October 9, 2018.

NY Pushes Back Sex Harassment Training Deadline to October 9, 2019

On Monday, October 1, 2018, the State of New York released final versions of a sexual harassment policy, complaint form, and employee training relating to sexual harassment, among other guidance, pursuant to legislation enacted in April 2018 targeting workplace sex discrimination and sexual harassment.1 Final versions of the State’s documents can be found here.

Restriction Friction: Illinois and New York Attorneys General Finalize Settlement with WeWork That Limits Noncompetition Provisions

On September 18, 2018, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood reached a settlement with WeWork a shared offices company that provides services around the world. Illinois and New York authorities had challenged WeWork’s widespread use of non-compete agreements for the vast majority of its employees, including low wage and non-skilled worked. The settlement with WeWork will impact approximately 3,300 employees across the US and end ongoing investigations in Illinois and New York.

New York City ‘Cooperative Dialogue’ Mandate Over Accommodations Requests Starts October 15

Employers covered by the New York City Human Rights Law (HRL) must engage in a “cooperative dialogue” with persons who may be entitled to reasonable accommodations under the HRL beginning October 15, 2018.

New York City Law Requiring Employers to Engage in a "Cooperative Dialogue" for Accommodation Requests Takes Effect October 15, 2018

In the past year, both New York State and New York City have been active in amending their human rights laws. Most notably, both the city and state passed comprehensive anti-sexual harassment laws that require most employers to distribute anti-sexual harassment policies and to conduct annual anti-sexual harassment training of all employees. While these harassment laws have attracted much attention, the New York City Council passed a bill on December 19, 2017 that has flown under the radar even though it will have profound consequences for employers that operate in New York City.

State Appeals Court Expands Scope Of NYC’s Marital Status Discrimination Law

The scope of New York City’s marital status discrimination law was just expanded by a state appeals court, meaning that employers need to be even more wary when it comes to any workplace decisions taken on the basis of who someone is married to. On September 6, the Appellate Division for New York’s First Department answered for the first time the following question under the New York City Human Rights Law (HRL): may an employer dismiss an employee simply because the employee’s spouse, also a former employee, had taken a job with the employer’s competitor?

Significant Compliance Challenges in New York State's Proposed Anti-Sex Harassment Rules: What Can Employers Do Now?

As addressed in our previous ASAP, New York State enacted new legislation in April 2018 targeting workplace sex discrimination and sexual harassment. The new Section 201-G of the State Labor Law will require all companies that have any employees in New York State to promulgate anti-sexual harassment policies, create and distribute a standard internal complaint form for employees to use, and provide annual anti-sexual harassment training for all New York-based employees. These requirements are effective on October 9, 2018.

Reminder: New York City Employers Must Distribute Fact Sheet, Post Notice on Sexual Harassment Law by Sept. 6

Beginning September 6, 2018, all New York City employers must distribute the New York City Commission on Human Rights’ mandatory fact sheet on the “Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act” to all new hires. Employers also may wish to distribute the fact sheet to existing employees, even though that is not expressly required by the law or by the city notice.

Proposed New York City Legislation Aims to Reduce Incidents of Late Payments to City Contractors

A bill to amend New York City’s contracting process to improve the promptness of city agency payments to contractors has been introduced in the New York City Council. The bill’s sponsors introduced the measure following a news report on the city’s history of late payments to some social service vendors.

The Wait is Over: New York State Model Policy and Training, and New York City Postings Are Here

As we previously reported here and here, New York State and New York City each recently passed aggressive laws to combat sexual harassment in the workplace. On August 23, 2018, the New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) released drafts of model materials in addition to supplemental information to aid in compliance with the new laws. These include (1) a model sexual harassment prevention policy; (2) a model sexual harassment complaint form; (3) a model sexual harassment prevention training program; (4) minimum standards for employer sexual harassment prevention policies and trainings; and (5) a list of draft frequently asked questions (FAQs) on the new requirements.

New York State Issues Draft Anti-Sexual Harassment Training

xecutive Summary: Earlier this year, in response to the #MeToo movement, New York State passed several new laws aimed at expanding employee awareness of sexual harassment. (FordHarrison previously reported the updates to the State law in our April 27, 2018 Legal Alert). Among the new requirements placed on employers is mandatory annual anti-sexual harassment training and an anti-sexual harassment policy, which must be implemented by October 9, 2018. As the summer draws to a close, the State has issued a draft model policy, draft model training, and minimum standards for the creation of an employer’s own policy and training, if they choose not to adopt the models. A public comment period runs through September 12, 2018.

New York City Offers the Country’s First-Ever Freelancers Hub

It should come as no surprise that New York City is home to a large number of freelancers—approximately 400,000 according to the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs. In order to assist this growing population, the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment of recently announced that a Freelancers Hub will be opening at the Made in NY Media Center in Brooklyn during the first week of October. Julie Menin, Commissioner of the Office of Media and Entertainment, said in a statement: “We’re extremely proud that The Freelancers Hub at the Made in NY Media Center will make New York the first city in the country to provide direct services and support to independent workers in the creative industries, demonstrating how cities and governments can help workers flourish and grow their business while maintaining the independence and flexibility that comes with freelance work.”

New York Releases Guidance and Model Policies and Training on Sexual Harassment

Last week, New York State released anticipated guidance regarding new sexual harassment legislation that was enacted in May with major provisions effective October 9. The new website provides a model policy, model training, frequently asked questions, and a sample complaint form. All documents have been released as drafts, and the state is seeking public comment on or before September 12, 2018.

NYC Law Mandates Employers Display Anti-Sexual Harassment Notice and Distribute Fact Sheet to Employees

As many New York City employers now know, on May 9, 2018, Mayor DiBlasio signed into law the Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act, which amended the NYC Human Rights Law to include mandates aimed at addressing and preventing sexual harassment in the workplace. The act effects a number of obligations, including one with a deadline of September 6, 2018 that maintains that employers must conspicuously display an anti-sexual harassment notice in employee breakrooms and other common areas in which employees gather. The NYC Commission on Human Rights, which enforces the act, published the poster at its website.

New York Releases Model Training And Policy To Comply With New Sexual Harassment Laws

Employers in New York have been eagerly awaiting the state’s anticipated model sexual harassment training and policies ever since the state passed significant new sexual harassment laws back in April. That day has finally arrived.

New York State Issues Draft Guidance on Required Sexual Harassment Prevention Policies and Training

The State of New York has issued draft guidance for employers on the mandatory sexual harassment prevention policies and annual employee training required by legislation passed earlier this year. Starting October 9, 2018, the enacted legislative package requires, among other things, that employers in New York adopt the state’s model sexual harassment prevention policy or modify an existing sexual harassment policy to meet the state’s minimum standards, and provide annual sexual harassment prevention training to all employees.

NY Agencies Publish Draft Sexual Harassment Model Policy, Complaint Form, and Training

On August 23, 2018, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order that contains a model policy, model complaint form, and model training in accordance with the state’s new sexual harassment law. As we reported in April and August of this year, New York State recently passed a number of sexual harassment-related initiatives in the state’s 2018-2019 budget. For example, New York State now requires employers to provide all employees with annual anti-sexual harassment and discrimination training. The law also requires employers to promulgate written anti-sexual harassment policies to employees. While the law indicated an effective date of October 9, 2018 for these components of the law, it did not contain specific examples of training programs or policies that employers will be required to adopt. Instead, the law indicated that the Department of Labor “shall consult with the Division of Human Rights to create and publish” the model training and model policy. The executive order provides these examples, meaning the October 9, 2018 compliance date stands.

Inartful Wording Dooms Employer’s Arbitration Agreement

A New York judge recently rejected an employer’s attempt to force an employment claim into arbitration due to a poor choice of wording in the written agreement. The August 7 decision might draw attention because of the identity of the employer—the Trump for President campaign organization—but it should be on your radar screen solely because it provides a lesson about the value of carefully drafted employment agreements.

New York City Commission on Human Rights Issues Mandatory Anti-Sexual Harassment Poster

Executive Summary: As part of the new anti-sexual harassment laws passed in response to the #MeToo movement this past spring, New York City now requires employers to post a notice of employees’ rights and remedies if they have been subjected to sexual harassment. (FordHarrison previously discussed the updates to the City law in our April 30, 2018 Alert.) The New York City Commission on Human Rights (“the Commission”) has issued a poster for use by employers: https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/cchr/downloads/pdf/materials/SexHarass_Notice-8.5x11.pdf. Employers must “conspicuously” display this poster “in employee breakrooms or other common areas employees gather” no later than September 6, 2018.

New York City Commission on Human Rights Publishes Poster and Fact Sheet on Sexual Harassment; Employers Should Prepare for Upcoming Deadlines

In April 2018, New York State and New York City each adopted expansive legislation directed at educating employees about workplace sexual harassment and reducing the incidence of harassment claims, as we reported in our prior article.

New York Moves on Bereavement Leave Legislation

New York is close to becoming the second state to enact legislation requiring employers to provide employees with bereavement leave. The legislation recently passed the New York Assembly and Senate and awaits the possible signature of Governor Andrew Cuomo.

New York Steps Closer to Legalizing Recreational Marijuana Use with Creation of Drafting Workgroup

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is setting the stage to begin debate over the legalization of marijuana for recreational use during the 2019 Legislative session. The current marijuana program, restricted to medical marijuana usage, was signed into law in 2014.

NYC Releases Posting Requirement for New Schedule Change Law

On July 18, 2018, the New York City Temporary Schedule Change Law took effect. As we previously reported, under the new law, eligible employees have a right to temporary changes to their work schedule for certain “personal events,” up to two times a year, for one business day per event. A temporary change means an adjustment to the employee’s usual schedule, and can include shifting work hours, swapping shifts, working remotely, or unpaid or paid leave. The employee can request a temporary schedule change if the employee needs to provide care to a minor child or care recipient or to attend a legal proceeding for public benefits, as well as for any other permissible use under the City’s Safe and Sick Time Act. Our previous alert contains additional details regarding the requirements under this new law.

New York City DCA Issues Guidance on Temporary Schedule Change Amendments to Fair Workweek Law

The New York City Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) Office of Labor Policy & Standards has released a mandatory posting, Frequently Asked Questions, and an overview for employers and workers called “What Employers/Workers Need to Know” as guidance on the temporary schedule change provisions of the New York City Fair Workweek Law. The temporary schedule change provisions require most New York City employers to grant employees two temporary changes to their work schedules each calendar year for certain “personal events.”

Sexual Harassment: New Protections for Independent Contractors in New York

Executive Summary. In New York State, the State Human Rights Law ("HRL") was recently amended to prohibit sexual harassment against independent contractors. This is a major extension of sexual harassment protection with significant liability exposure for employers. Freelancers, consultants, project contract workers, vendors and suppliers are now protected from sexual harassment on the job, the same as employees.

New York Legislature Approves Paid Family Leave Expansion for Bereavement and Organ Tissue Donation

On the last day of the 2018 New York Legislative Session, lawmakers approved a measure that would expand access to the current New York Paid Family Leave benefit to employees experiencing bereavement due to the death of a family member.

Temporary Schedule Change Amendments to New York City Fair Workweek Law Effective July 18

Starting on July 18, 2018, New York City employers are required to provide two temporary schedule changes to employees each calendar year for “personal events.” The law also protects employees from retaliation for making certain other schedule change requests.

New York Appellate Court Delivers Big Win to Gig Economy Business

On June 22, New York’s Third Department appellate court – which has jurisdiction over all state Unemployment Division appeals – issued a significant decision for “gig” economy companies with operations in New York. In Matter of Vega,1 the court found that a courier who performed delivery services arranged through Postmates’ web-based platform was as an independent contractor, and not an employee, for unemployment insurance purposes.

NYC May Start Enforcing its Law Requiring Fast Food Employers to Facilitate Payroll Deductions to Fund Contributions to Certain Not-For-Profit Organizations

Last June, New York City passed legislation that significantly reduced fast food and retail employers’ flexibility in crafting schedules to meet their legitimate business needs. This “Fair Workweek” legislative package also included a requirement that fast food employers set up a system allowing employees to request payroll deductions for voluntary contributions to authorized not-for-profit organizations. This "Deductions Law" required fast food employers to remit these contributions directly to the not-for-profit organizations.

https://www.jacksonlewis.com/publication/gig-economy-delivery-couriers-are-not-employees-new-york-court-rules-reverses-unemployment-board

A delivery courier fired by app-based food delivery service Postmates Inc. is an independent contractor, not an employee entitled to unemployment insurance benefits, the Third Judicial Department of the New York Supreme Court has ruled. Matter of the Claim of Luis A. Vega, No. 525233 (June 21, 2018). The case is one of many disputes across the country over the status of workers in the gig economy.

What are WPA Creditable Benefits?

Executive Summary. Home care agencies in New York are still experimenting with different ways to meet the State's Wage Parity Act ("Act" or "WPA") requirements. The Act requires a minimum basic wage (cash) of the applicable New York State minimum wage plus additional wages or supplemental wages (i.e., benefits) equal to another $4.09 per hour in NYC or $3.22 per hour in Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester counties (the "WPA Package").

The Wait is Over for Legalized Sports Gambling in New York

A provision in New York’s 2013 Racing, Pari-Mutuel Wagering and Breeding Law authorizing casinos to take bets on sporting events had been held in suspension because of the federal ban on state-regulated sports wagering. Now, as a result of the U.S. Supreme Court’s striking down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA), which prohibited state-regulated sports wagering, pending licensure by the New York State Gaming Commission, sports gambling in the state will become a reality.

New York State Enacted Budget Includes New Limits, Mandates for Licensed Home Care Services Agencies

The 2018-2019 New York State Budget seeks to advance the state’s strategic policies of encouraging the merger of existing Licensed Home Care Services Agencies (LHCSAs), reducing the number of new LHCSA providers entering the marketplace, and providing more state control over existing LHCSAs. The state has adopted a freeze on new LHCSAs and a registration requirement, among other provisions.

What’s Been Going on in New York Cyber Regulation since New York’s “first-of-their-kind” DFS regulations?

As reported in our blog post from November 6, 2017, the New York State Attorney General announced the release of the proposed Shield Act in early November, 2017. This new legislation (we have some links for you below) would make significant changes to New York’s cybersecurity provisions (primarily under General Business Law §899-aa and its sequential provisions), including the following:

New York State Enacted Budget Includes Opioid Legislation

As part of the 2018-2019 New York State Budget, the Governor and the Legislature have agreed to a package of legislation addressing the opioid crisis in New York that includes requiring opioid manufacturers and distributors to help fund treatment programs.

New York State Employers Face Significant New Sexual Harassment Laws

Employers operating in New York will soon face a raft of new sexual harassment laws. The state budget bill for the 2019 fiscal year approved by the New York State Legislature on March 31 and signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo late last week contains a host of significant provisions to strengthen the state’s sexual harassment laws.

Westchester County, New York, Joins Albany County and New York City in Prohibiting Salary History Inquiries

On April 10, 2018, Westchester Country Executive George Latimer signed into law the Wage History Anti-Discrimination Law, which was adopted by a unanimous vote of the Westchester County Board of Legislators a day earlier. The new law will take effect 90 days following its adoption.

Localities and the Salary History Ban: Next Stop, Westchester County, New York

New York’s Westchester County is the latest locality to adopt legislation prohibiting employers from asking prior salary histories of a prospective employee.

New York State Budget Includes Optional Employer Payroll Tax as a Potential SALT Cap Work Around

As part of the FY 2019 NY State Budget, lawmakers recently enacted a program to potentially circumvent the recent Federal Tax Law change that imposes a $10,000 cap on the State and Local Tax Deduction (SALT) for individuals who itemize their deductions. The potential workaround, called the Employer Compensation Expense Program (ECEP), would allow employers to voluntarily opt in to a new ECEP structure that, when fully effective, would impose on employers a five percent payroll tax on all annual payroll expenses in excess of $40,000 per employee. The five percent would be phased in over three years beginning on January 1, 2019, starting at one and a half percent, three percent for Tax Year 2021 and five percent for 2021 and annually thereafter.

NY and NJ Bills Banning Confidential Settlement and Arbitration Agreements Speed Toward Passage

One of the outcomes of the #MeToo movement is that state legislatures are revisiting the use of arbitration agreements, confidential settlement agreements, and jury waivers, as well as the scope of anti-discrimination and anti-harassment laws, in the employment setting. Most recently, on March 12, 2018, the New York State Senate passed a bill (Senate Bill S7848A) which includes a ban on confidential settlements and mandatory arbitration clauses of sexual harassment claims. This bill is now headed for the Assembly, and if passed (which appears likely) it will make its way to the desk of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, who is likely to sign it in some form.

Certainty is on the Horizon for the New York Home Care Industry

The home care industry has faced collapse since a series of New York Appellate Division decisions invalidated New York Department of Labor (NY DOL) policy and held that home care attendants working 24-hour shifts who are employed by third-party agencies had to be paid for every hour of the shift and employers could not deduct sleep and meal periods.

New York City Legislation Would Mandate Sexual Harassment Training, Expand Employer Coverage under Human Rights Law

The New York City Council has introduced a package of legislation aimed at preventing sexual harassment in the workplace and strengthening the City’s anti-sexual harassment policies.

New Guidance for the New York Paid Family Leave Payroll Deduction

The ever-moving target that is the New York Paid Family Leave law (“PFL”) has, unsurprisingly, shifted yet again. We recently received confirmation from the New York State regulators that employers do not need to cap the weekly employee payroll deduction for PFL at .126% of the New York State Average Weekly Wage (NYSAWW) (approximately $1.65 per week in 2018).

New York Lawsuit Alleging Corporate Cover-Up at The Weinstein Company is a Lesson in What Not to Do

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has filed a civil rights lawsuit against Harvey Weinstein, his brother Robert Weinstein, and their company, The Weinstein Company (TWC).

New York Paid Family Leave – One Month Check Up

The New York Paid Family Leave (NY PFL) law has been in effect for over a month, yet reports indicate that many New York employers are not prepared for the operation requirements of the law. The basics of the law shouldn’t be news to employers with employees in New York. The NY PFL law provides employees with job-protected, paid leave to bond with a new child, to care for a family member with a serious health condition, or due to a qualifying exigency that arises when a family member is deployed abroad on active military duty. If you need a refresher on the law’s basics, review this NY PFL At-A-Glance and watch Jackson Lewis’s recorded webinar.

The New York City Council Continues To Pass Laws Granting Employees The Power To Dictate Their Schedules

On December 19, 2017, on the heels of the effective date of the New York City Fair Workweek Act, the New York City Council passed another scheduling law that provides employees with additional rights to demand changes to their work schedules, with little flexibility for employers to reject such changes. The scheduling law, as discussed below, became effective on January 19, 2018.

Proposed Amendment to New York Alcoholic Beverage Control Law Affects Hotels in State

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has proposed language in his budget amending the definition of a “Hotel” under the state Alcoholic Beverage Control (“ABC”) Law Section 3(14) to eliminate the requirement for hotels to have a restaurant in the building of the hotel.

NYC Fast Food Deductions Law Stayed Pending Resolution of Constitutional Challenge by Restaurant Groups

Enforcement of the Fast Food Deductions provisions in New York City’s Fair Workweek Law has been stayed by a federal judge pending resolution of a constitutional challenge brought by two restaurant advocacy groups.

New York City Employers Must Grant Temporary Work Schedule Changes Beginning July 18

Starting on July 18, 2018, New York City employers will be required to provide temporary schedule changes to employees for a “personal event.”

New York Court Says Retailer Not Responsible For Unforeseeable Violence Against Patron

A federal district court in Brooklyn recently held that an employer does not owe a duty to protect patrons from assault unless the attack was “reasonably foreseeable,” specifying that businesses would only be put on such notice if similar attacks had occurred on or near the premises in the past. This decision should provide a measure of relief to New York retail operations, but also serves as a warning to take workplace safety concerns seriously (Cort v. Marshalls Department Store).

New York Governor Takes Aim at Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

New York employers should expect proposals to “combat sexual harassment in the workplace” in the 2018-2019 Executive Budget or as standalone proposals, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced in his 2018 State of the State address on January 3, 2018.

New York Legislators Introduce Bills on Workplace Sexual Harassment, Retaliatory Action

Preventing sexual harassment in the workplace and clarifying the definition of retaliatory action are the topics of two bills introduced on the first day of New York’s 2018 legislative session.

New York City Council Passes Bill Requiring Employers to Engage Employees in Accommodations Dialogue

The New York City Council has passed a bill requiring entities covered by the New York City Human Rights Law (HRL) to engage in cooperative dialogue with individuals who may be entitled to reasonable accommodations under the Law. Passed on December 19, 2017, Int. 804-A applies to employers, providers of public accommodations, and providers of housing accommodations.

New York City Employers Must Grant Temporary Work Schedule Changes under Bill Passed by City Council

he New York City Council has passed a bill to protect employees in the City who seek temporary changes to their work schedules for a “personal event.” The bill also protects employees from employer retaliation for making certain other schedule change requests.

New Year, New Laws In New York

The New Year will bring a number of new employment laws to the Empire State and Big Apple. All employers with operations in New York should take note of these new laws — as well as significant laws that went into effect in late 2017— to ensure compliance with changing obligations.

Localities and the Compensation History Ban: Next Stop Albany County

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has long supported measures related to pay equity. In 2015, he signed a pay equity law that prohibited an employee from being paid a lower wage on the basis on gender. Similarly, in early 2017, Cuomo signed an executive order prohibiting state agencies from making pre-employment offer inquiries about a candidate’s prior or current salary.

New York Releases Paid Family Leave Statement of Rights and Model Policy Language

As we previously reported, the New York State Paid Family Leave Law (PFL) will go into effect on January 1, 2018, requiring virtually all private employers in New York to provide paid family leave benefits to eligible employees.

New York State’s Minimum Wage and Tip Credits Will Increase Effective December 31, 2017

As we have previously reported, New York State’s Minimum Wage Orders set forth a schedule that provides for the automatic annual increase of, among other things, the salary basis thresholds for overtime exempt employees, the minimum wage applicable to all New York employers, and the permitted tip credits and uniform maintenance pay for New York hospitality employers. Below is a summary of some of the increases that will take effect on December 31, 2017.

New York’s Highest Court Establishes Lowered Threshold for Punitive Damages Under New York City Law

In Chauca v. Abraham, No. 113 (November 20, 2017), the New York State Court of Appeals clarified the standard for awarding punitive damages under the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL). Unlike Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which provides for punitive damages where a plaintiff proves malice or reckless indifference, the NYCHRL does not articulate such a standard. In rejecting the Title VII standard for punitive damages, the New York State Court of Appeals held that “the standard for determining punitive damages under the NYCHRL is whether the wrongdoer has engaged in discrimination with wilful [sic] or wanton negligence, or recklessness, or a ‘conscious disregard of the rights of others or conduct so reckless as to amount to such disregard.’”

Albany County: The Newest Jurisdiction to Prohibit Salary History Inquiries

The Albany County Legislature recently amended the Human Rights Law for Albany County to join New York City, Philadelphia, Massachusetts, Delaware, Oregon, Puerto Rico, California, and San Francisco in banning inquiries into salary histories. On November 6, 2017, County Executive Daniel P. McCoy signed the bill into law. It will go into effect 30 days after it is filed with the office of the New York secretary of state.

DOH Extends Deadline for Fiscal Intermediary Authorization Application to Dec. 15

Notice of Extension. The New York State Department of Health (DOH) has extended the deadline from November 30 to close of business on December 15, 2017 for currently operating Fiscal Intermediaries under the Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program (CDPAP) to submit their Applications for Fiscal Intermediary Authorization.

New York State Department of Labor Issues Draft Regulations Restricting Call-In Pay Practices

On November 10, 2017, the New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) released draft regulations that would amend the rules for scheduling employees covered by the Minimum Wage Order for Miscellaneous Industries and Occupations (Miscellaneous Wage Order). Specifically, the proposed rules would revise Sections 142-2.3 and 142-3.3 of the Miscellaneous Wage Order regarding call-in pay.

CDPAP Fiscal Intermediaries Must File an Application for Authorization With DOH or Cease Operations

Executive Summary. On November 1, 2017, the NYS DOH issued its "Application for Fiscal Intermediary Authorization" and implementation guidelines. Significantly, DOH imposed a very short timeframe, stating: "As of November 1, 2017, all existing FIs will have thirty (30) days to submit their FI Authorization application to the Department." If no filing is made, the FI must cease operating under CDPAP. Those who wish to begin operating an FI may also want to file by this date. A copy of the application can be obtained at https://www.health.ny.gov/health_care/medicaid/redesign/mrt_10003.htm

New York Department of Labor Proposes Scheduling Regulations

Big changes may be in store for employers in New York who require employees to be “on call” or who are accustomed to making quick changes to employee schedules, including canceling shifts when customer or client demand changes.

New York State Jumps on the Predictive Scheduling Bandwagon and Issues Proposed Scheduling Rules

On the eve of the November 26, 2017 effective date of New York City’s own predictive scheduling regulations that affect retail and fast food employers,1 the New York State Department of Labor has issued proposed predictive scheduling regulations for certain industries. The proposed regulations would revise the Minimum Wage Order for the Miscellaneous Industries and Occupations to limit employers’ ability to schedule employees for on-call shifts and require employers to pay employees for cancelled shifts and newly issued shifts. If the proposed regulations become effective, New York State would become the second state in the country to implement state-wide predictive scheduling rules.

New York State to Address Employee Scheduling

New York City’s Fair Workweek Law takes effect on November 26, 2017, thereby limiting the scheduling options and reducing the flexibility of retail and fast food employers. Not to be outdone, New York State is about to add additional restrictions regarding on-call practices statewide. On November 10, Governor Cuomo proposed statewide regulations targeting “on-call” scheduling. The regulations seek to curb employers’ ability to require an employee to be available to work only if needed, and to either contact the employer or wait to be contacted by the employer about whether to report to work – even if just shortly before the shift is scheduled to start.

New York City Issues Proposed Rules for Fast Food, Retail Workers Scheduling Law

The New York City Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) has issued proposed rules for the implementation of the Fair Workweek Law in an attempt to clarify and assist employers with compliance. The Law is intended to reform scheduling practices for fast food and retail workers in the City and will go into effect on November 26, 2017.

New York City Expands Types of Leave Covered by Paid Sick Leave Law

Slightly one year after the New York City Council introduced a bill that would expand the city's paid sick leave requirements to cover "safe time" leave, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed it into law on November 6, 2017. The law, Int. 1313-A, expands the list of covered reasons for which paid sick leave can be used to include “when the employee or a family member has been the victim of a family offense matter, sexual offense, stalking, or human trafficking.” As a result, many existing provisions have been amended to address safe time use, including documentation, confidentiality and notice to employees. Additionally, the law expands the list of covered family members for whom paid sick and safe leave can be used. The law takes effect on May 5, 2018, which is 180 days after the bill becomes law.

New York Introduces New Data Protection Legislation

Citing a sixty percent increase in data breach notifications from 2015 to 2016, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman recently introduced the Stop Hacks and Improve Data Electronic Security Act (SHIELD) bill. The legislation would require companies that handle sensitive date of New York residents to adopt “reasonable administrative, technical and physical protections for data.”

New York AG Announces SHIELD Act

On November 2nd, New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced his proposal of the SHIELD Act – Stop Hacks and Improve Electronic Data Security Act – a bill that would heighten data security requirements for companies and better protect New York residents from data breaches of their personal information.

Rules Proposed For NYC’s Fair Workweek Law

New York City’s Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA), the agency tasked with enforcing the city’s new “Fair Workweek Law,” recently issued proposed rules to implement the legislation and provide guidance to covered employers and workers. Given that the law is scheduled to take effect in just a few weeks on November 26, 2017, you should familiarize yourself with the relevant statutes and examine the proposed regulations so that you are in a position to be in full compliance.

New York City Repeals Prohibition-Era Cabaret Law

The New York City Council overwhelmingly voted on October 31, 2017, to pass legislation (Int. 1652) that repeals the City’s longstanding Cabaret Law. At the same time, Int. 1652 retains certain security requirements of the old law for large establishments.

The DCA Has Issued Proposed Rules for the New York City Fair Workweek’s Predictive Scheduling Laws

On October 16, 2017, New York City’s Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA)1 promulgated rules that further expand upon New York City’s Fair Workweek Law. These proposed rules add new and stringent restrictions on retail and fast food employers’ right to craft schedules for their employees. These rules also double down on the onerous regulatory and recordkeeping requirements that fast food and retail employers must follow.2 Written comments on the proposed rules are due on or before 5:00 p.m. on November 17, 2017. The public hearing is scheduled for November 17th at10:00 a.m. at 42 Broadway, 5th Floor, New York, NY 10004.

NYDOL Issues Explanatory Statement on Recent Wage Order Amendment Codifying its Longstanding Interpretation of the "13-Hour Rule"

As we reported earlier this month,1 the New York State Department of Labor (“NYDOL”) issued an amendment, effective October 6, to its Minimum Wage Order for Miscellaneous Industries and Occupations to clarify that bona fide meal periods and sleep times may be excluded from hours worked by home care aides who work a shift of 24 hours or more in accordance with federal Fair Labor Standards Act regulations (“13-hour rule”). Because the NYDOL issued the amendment pursuant to the State Administrative Procedure Act as an emergency regulation, it is effective for only 90 days, and requires the publication of a statement explaining why the emergency regulation was necessary. The NYDOL issued that explanation today.

New York Department of Labor Issues Emergency Minimum Wage Regulations Regarding Home Healthcare Attendants, Controverting Recent Appellate Court Rulings

Citing the need “to preserve the status quo, prevent the collapse of the home healthcare industry, and avoid institutionalizing patients who could be cared for at home,” the New York Department of Labor (NYDOL) has issued emergency regulations to ensure consistency with longstanding opinion letters issued by the Department and to clarify that time spent sleeping and on meal breaks is not compensable time for home healthcare aides who work shifts of 24 hours or longer at a client’s home.

NYC Issues Additional Guidance on Upcoming Salary Inquiry Prohibitions

Effective October 31, 2017, New York City employers generally may not inquire about or rely upon a job applicant’s salary history in making employment decisions. The New York City Commission on Human Rights (NYCCHR) previously released an Employer Fact Sheet and a Job Applicant Fact Sheet to assist employers and employees with understanding the law.

Applying the WPA to CDPAP -How Do You Do It?

Introduction. HOW you do things, it is said, is as important as WHAT you do. Operating a Fiscal Intermediary ("FI") under New York's Consumer Directed Personal Assistant Program ("CDPAP") epitomizes this. Do you know the difference between operating as a "Fiscal/Employer Agent" and an "Agency with Choice"? Do you know how to incorporate the Wage Parity Act ("WPA") into your wage and benefits package under CDPAP? The risks for getting it wrong are enormous. Here is a summary of what you need to know. Our goal is to teach how to get it right, with all the agreements, documents, and consumer orientation materials you need.

NY DOL Issues Amendment to the Regulation Governing the Payment of Wages to Home Care Aides Who Work a Shift of 24 Hours or More

On October 6, 2017, the New York State Department of Labor (“NYDOL”) issued an amendment to its Minimum Wage Order for Miscellaneous Industries and Occupations (“Wage Order”)1 in response to recent court decisions finding that non-residential 24-hour home care attendants, also referred to as aides, must be paid for their sleep and meal periods. The new amendment states that bona fide meal periods and sleep times may be excluded from hours worked by home care aides who work a shift of 24 hours or more in accordance with federal Fair Labor Standards Act regulations.

And Now, in Recent New York Cybersecurity Action...

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Department of Financial Services (“DFS”) have been busy on the cybersecurity front. In a press release on September 18, 2017, building upon the state’s pride in its “first-in-the-nation” cybersecurity regulations that were passed earlier this year, (which we previously discussed on our blog and in our articles Getting Prepared for the New York Department of Financial Services’ Proposed Cybersecurity Regulations, and New York Releases Revised Proposed Cybersecurity Regulations) the Governor directed that new regulations be put in place to require consumer credit reporting agencies to register with DFS (thus making them an entity subject to the DFS cybersecurity regulations). The Governor’s press release stated “[o]versight of credit reporting agencies will help ensure that personal information is less vulnerable to cyberattacks and other nefarious acts in this rapidly changing digital world.”

NYC Legislation Prohibiting Employer Inquiry Into Applicant’s Salary History Will Go Into Effect Later This Month

Earlier this year, Mayor de Blasio signed a bill prohibiting all New York City employers from inquiring about an applicant’s salary history. The bill is set to go into effect on October 31, 2017, and employers should be prepared to implement new hiring policies, procedures, and documents by that time.

New York Court: Minimum Wage Due for All On-Premises Hours Required of Non-Resident Home Care Attendants

In a significant blow to the home health care industry in New York, non-resident home health care attendants must be paid minimum wage for all hours they are required to remain at the client’s home, including hours when they may be sleeping, eating, or performing other personal tasks, the Brooklyn-based Appellate Division, Second Department, has held.

The 2nd Department Rejects NYSDOL's "13 Hours Rule" For 24-Hour Shift Workers

Executive Summary. Yesterday, in two long-awaited decisions, the New York State Appellate Division, Second Department ruled that home care workers who worked 24-hour shifts, commonly referred to as “live-in” shifts, were required to be paid for all 24 hours, regardless of the sleep and meal times they were afforded. The two cases are Andryeyeva v. New York Home Attendant Agency and Moreno v. Future Care Health Services, Inc.

Another New York State Appellate Court Finds 24-Hour Non-Residential Home Care Attendants Must be Paid for Sleep and Meal Periods

A pair of New York state appellate decisions has serious implications for employers that offer 24-hour home care for clients by ruling that sleep and meal periods must be included in the hourly wages of home care attendants. On September 13, 2017, the Appellate Division (Second Department), in Andryeyeva v. New York Home Attendant Agency,1 upheld a trial court’s decision that certified a class of over 1,000 home care attendants who worked 24-hour shifts. In doing so, the court affirmed that sleep and meal periods had to be included in the hourly wages of home attendants who do not reside in the home of his or her client.2

New York Paid Family Leave Benefits Law Deadline for Employers to Apply for Approval as a Self-Insured Employer Rapidly Approaching

The New York Paid Family Leave Benefits Law requires all employers covered by the New York Workers’ Compensation Law to provide coverage for paid family leave (PFL) benefits for their employees on or before January 1, 2018.1

New York State Paid Family Leave Law Update: Tax Guidance Issued

The New York State Paid Family Leave Law (PFL) will go into effect on January 1, 2018, requiring virtually all private employers in New York to provide paid family leave benefits to eligible employees. As employers begin the complicated process of complying with the PFL, including taking payroll deductions from employees (as employers were permitted, but not required, to do beginning July 1, 2017), the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance (DTF) finally released guidance on the tax implications of PFL benefits and contributions.

New York State Issues Guidance on Tax Treatment of Paid Family Leave Contributions and Benefits

The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance (DOTF) issued much-needed guidance regarding the tax treatment of deductions from employee wages used to finance paid family leave premiums, and the tax treatment of paid family leave benefits to be received by eligible employees.

First Compliance Hurdle for New York Department of Financial Services Cybersecurity Regulations due August 28

The New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) has set cybersecurity regulations that require minimum standards for protecting the customer information and information systems of the financial services industry. Unless an exemption applies, the deadline to comply with the first set of requirements under the new DFS Cybersecurity Regulations is August 28, 2017.

New Guidance on Taxation of Contributions and Benefits Under New York State’s Paid Family Leave Program

The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance (the “Department”) recently provided guidance regarding the taxation of contributions made under, and benefits paid under, New York State’s new paid family leave program (“Program”). After reviewing applicable law and other guidance, and after consulting with the Internal Revenue Service regarding the appropriate tax treatment of Program contributions and benefits, the Department provided the following guidance:

NY Continues Trend of Rebuffing Online Legal Service Providers

New York has joined a growing list of states with ethics boards limiting an attorney’s ability to participate in online legal service providers like Avvo and LegalZoom. Similar to other jurisdictions, the New York ethics board authored an opinion honing in on the so called “marketing fee” charged by Avvo for attorney use of its website. Although the opinion declines to decide a list of other potential ethical issues with the company, it concludes that the “marketing fee” is actually a referral fee in violation of Rule 7.2(a) of the New York Rules of Professional Conduct.

Comprehensive Analysis of New York Paid Family Leave: What Must Employers Do Now to Comply?

Are you an employer located in New York? Or might you employ even one worker in New York?

Everything Else You Need to Know About New York City’s FCA—New Rules Effective August 5, 2017

New York City has issued new rules interpreting the city’s Fair Chance Act (FCA). These rules, which went into effect on August 5, 2017, provide clarification and guidance on how employers can comply with the requirements of the FCA, the city’s restrictive “ban the box” law which prohibits (with few exceptions) employers from inquiring about or considering an individual’s criminal history until after a conditional offer of employment is extended.

NYC Pay History Ban to Take Effect October 31, 2017

Executive Summary: Starting October 31, 2017, a New York City law will make it illegal for employers to “inquire” into an applicant’s salary history. The law also prohibits employers who are aware of an applicant’s salary history from relying on that history in determining his or her compensation.

New York Issues Final Paid Family Leave Law Regulations

The New York Paid Family Leave Benefits Law (“PFLBL”), passed last year and effective January 1, 2018, will provide eligible employees with a paid, job-protected leave of absence, starting at 8 weeks in 2018 and eventually reaching 12 weeks by 2021. Employees may use paid family leave to bond with a new child, to care for a family member with a serious health condition, or to assist with family obligations when a family member is called to active military service. The wage replacement benefits, with certain exceptions, will be funded through payroll deductions, cover 50% of the employee’s average weekly wage commencing in 2018, subject to a statutory cap, and reach 67% or the statutory cap by 2021.1

Final Regulations Clarifying and Expanding New York City "Ban the Box" Law Take Effect on August 5, 2017

New York City’s Fair Chance Act (FCA), which took effect October 27, 2015, imposes affirmative obligations on covered employers and employment agencies regarding when they may conduct criminal background checks on job applicants, and what process must be followed before making an adverse decision on the basis of an applicant’s criminal history. It is one of the nation’s most comprehensive "ban the box" laws restricting employers’ use of criminal history in the employment process.1 The New York City Commission on Human Rights ("the Commission") released comprehensive interpretive Enforcement Guidance regarding the FCA on November 5, 2015. In February, 2016, the Commission issued proposed regulations, and a public hearing regarding the proposed regulations was held on March 21, 2016.2

New York Paid Family Leave Regulations Finalized

In Spring 2016 we notified you of legislation enacting a 12-week paid family leave policy in New York. The New York Paid Family Leave Act (PFL) is a series of amendments to the state Workers’ Compensation Law set to take effect on January 1, 2018. PFL allows eligible employees to take paid leave time to care for a newborn, a covered service member, or a family member who has a serious health condition.

New York State Appellate Court Finds Arbitration Agreement Requiring Employees to Bring Claims Individually Violates The National Labor Relations Act

On July 18, 2017, in Gold v. New York Life Ins. Co., New York’s Appellate Division, First Department1 issued a decision that directly contradicted the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Sutherland v. Ernst & Young, LLP.2

New York Employment Law Changes Expand Worker Rights and Employer Obligations

When it comes to state and municipal employment legislation, the Empire State and the Big Apple are leading the way in seeking to level the playing field between employers and employees by ensuring workers a fair wage, added leave protections and predictable schedules. Thus, it is critical for New York State and New York City employers to be up to speed and know how these laws will affect the workplace in 2017 and going forward.

Final New York Paid Family Leave Regulations Released: What Employers Need to Know

The Workers’ Compensation Board adopted the final regulations for New York’s new Paid Family Leave Benefits Law (PFL) on July 19, 2017. Final Regulations were issued previously by the Department of Financial Services on May 16, 2017.

New York State Releases Draft Compensation Reporting Documents for State Contractors

In January, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed Executive Order 162, which requires most state contractors and subcontractors to disclose employee job title and salary data, in addition to the equal employment opportunity information (such as sex, race, and ethnicity) already required.

New Rules Applicable to NYC’s Freelance Isn't Free Act Prevents Covered Employers from Utilizing Arbitration Provisions and Class Action Waivers

New York City’s Freelance Isn’t Free Act goes into effect on July 24, 2017. Anticipated rules to “clarify” the Act, which amend Title 6 of the City’s Rules by adding a new chapter 12, have now been promulgated by the Department of Consumer Affairs.1

The Trend Continues: New York State Assembly Advances Bill Prohibiting Salary History Inquiries

On June 21, 2017, the New York State Assembly advanced Assembly Bill A2040C, which would restrict an employer’s ability to ask job applicants about their salary histories. If passed, the legislation would amend the New York Labor Law and apply to all New York State employers, including all public and private employers.

New York City to Regulate Fast Food, Retail Employee Scheduling

New York City recently passed a package of "Fair Workweek" laws that will limit how fast food and retail employers' may schedule employee work shifts.

NYC Enacts "Fair Work Week" Laws for Retail and Fast Food Employees

Executive Summary: New York City’s new package of “Fair Work Week” laws, which go into effect on November 27, 2017, will create new and burdensome scheduling and record-keeping requirements for retailers and fast food establishments, including an obligation to pay a “schedule change premium” to fast food employees. Select highlights of the new laws are explained further below.

NYC’s “Fair Workweek” Package Set to Cause Major Disruption and Headaches for Retail and Fast Food Employers

Scheduling employees in retail and fast food establishments will now be a costly and confusing obstacle for employers. On May 30, 2017, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed into law a legislative package consisting of five bills, collectively dubbed the “Fair Workweek” legislation. The legislation amends the New York City Administrative Code, Title 20, Section 1, Chapter 12, and imposes significant constraints on fast food and retail employers throughout New York City.

New NY Paid Family Leave Proposed Regulations Released

Last spring we notified you of legislation enacting a 12-week paid family leave policy in New York. With amendments set to take effect at the start of 2018, employers should examine the latest proposed regulations and plan ahead for implementation.

New York DOL Appeals Decision Invalidating Final Payroll Debit Card Regulations

The New York State Department of Labor (DOL) has filed an appeal in New York State Supreme Court (Reardon v. Global Cash Card and New York State Industrial Board of Appeals, Petition No. 02643-17, 4-17-17) of the decision that invalidated and revoked final DOL regulations governing payroll debit cards before they could go into effect this past March.

Contracts Now Required for NYC Employers Using Freelancers

With the Freelance Isn’t Free Act (FIFA) scheduled to go into effect May 15, New York City employers must now prepare contracts — under the threat of potentially stiff penalties for noncompliance — in order to utilize independent contractors, as many of them do for a broad range of services.

A Primer on New York's Impending Paid Family Leave: Are Employers Prepared?

On April 4, 2016, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the New York Paid Family Leave Benefits Law (PFLBL), guaranteeing job protected, paid family leave (PFL) for virtually all private sector employees, effective Jan. 1, 2018.

New York City Set to Ban Inquiries About Salary History

The New York City Council has approved a bill that makes it an “unlawful discriminatory practice” for employers to inquire about the salary history of a prospective employee, or to rely upon salary history unless the applicant offers the information voluntarily. The legislation is aimed at eliminating what supporters say is one of the reasons the wage gap between men and women is perpetuated. The new law will take effect 180 days after Mayor de Blasio signs it, which is expected shortly, as the Mayor has publicly expressed his approval of the legislation.

New York City Employers Will Soon Be Restricted in Asking Applicants About Salary Histories

On April 5, 2017, the New York City Council passed Intro No. 1253-2016 restricting an employer’s ability to ask job applicants about their salary, benefits, or other compensation history during the hiring process.

New Paid Family Leave Benefits for New York Employees: What Employers Need to Know

New York’s Paid Family Leave Benefits Law (PFL) will provide broad paid family leave benefits through the state’s existing Disability Benefits Law for all employees who have worked at least 26 consecutive weeks (or 175 days for part-time employees) for the employer. The law also will provide such employees with the right to a leave of absence and guaranteed reinstatement even if they are not protected by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

New York's Far-Reaching Cybersecurity Law Takes Effect March 1 - Are You Ready?

New York’s Department of Financial Services Cybersecurity regulation became effective March 1. According to the press release issued with the regulation, the regulation is intended to require banks, insurance companies and "covered entities" to "establish and maintain a cybersecurity program designed to protect consumers' private data and ensure the safety and soundness of New York State's financial services industry.” This regulation is the first of its kind in the U.S, and will likely serve as a model to other states looking to address cybersecurity.

New York Proposes Regulations on State Paid Family Leave Law

s we previously reported, the New York State Paid Family Leave Law (PFL) will go into effect on January 1, 2018, and will require virtually all private employers in New York to provide paid family leave benefits to eligible employees. (Public employers are not required to participate, but may opt in to the program.)

Non-Compete News - New York Will Not Stop Fired Employees from Competing

Executive Summary: A company that terminates an employee — even if it offers the employee the chance to apply for a position with the company’s successor — cannot enforce restrictive covenants over that employee, a New York appeals court recently held. In Buchanan Capital Markets, LLC v. DeLucca, 144 A.D.3d 508 (2016), the First Department affirmed a lower court’s denial of a preliminary injunction seeking to enforce non-compete and non-solicitation agreements against four employees. The lower court found the employees were terminated without cause prior to a corporate merger. The appeals court held that allowing the employees the chance to apply to the successor entity, with no guarantee of future employment, was insufficient to show a continued willingness to employ the employees that merited the protection of injunctive relief.

Participating in New York's CDPAP Is Necessary to Maintain Your Caseload

Publicity. Radio, newspaper, and subway ads are driving Medicaid home care clients and home care workers to abandon traditional home care agency programs for the greater flexibility and freedom of choice of New York’s Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program (“CDPAP”). Managed care companies are also on board, offering this as an alternative to traditional home care. The benefits to all are many and the restrictions are few, unlike traditional home care.

New York State and Seattle Lead Discussion on Portable Benefits

In an effort to head off litigation by workers claiming they have been misclassified as contractors, companies using a largely on-demand workforce have been working with the New York State Assembly to develop a system of portable benefits to provide occasional workers with some level of benefits that would be available to them despite not being attached to a particular employer.

New York Bars Insurers from Denying Commercial Crime Coverage Due to Employee’s Prior Criminal Conviction

The New York State Department of Financial Services (NYSDFS) has promulgated a regulation that requires insurance companies to provide Commercial Crime Coverage to employers who have prior knowledge of an employee’s prior criminal conviction. Commercial Crime Coverage is defined as coverage under a policy of commercial risk insurance that provides burglary and theft insurance or fidelity insurance.

Governor Cuomo Signs Executive Orders to Close the Wage Gap as part of “New York Promise” Agenda

There is no doubt that pay equity and pay data have both been a major focus of the federal government enforcement agenda during the Obama administration. While we wait to see if and how the Trump administration will address equal pay enforcement, several states continue to advance measures on pay equity. For example, Texas is considering a pay equity bill prohibiting employers from asking about an applicant’s wage history. Earlier this week, on January 9, 2017, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed two executive orders “to put New York on the fast track to eliminate the wage gap.” The executive orders, which Governor Cuomo signed as part of his 12th proposal of the 2017 State of the State Agenda, prevent employers from asking applicants about their salary histories and require certain government contracts to include data on employees’ job titles and salaries.

New York Releases Revised Proposed Cybersecurity Regulations

The New York State Department of Financial Services (“DFS”) has released a revised version of its proposed cybersecurity regulations, which set regulatory minimum standards for protecting the customer information and information systems of the financial services industry. The Revised Proposed Regulations will become effective on March 1, 2017.

Two International Entrepreneurs Start under New York’s International Innovators Visa Program

Understanding the scarcity of H-1B visas, early in 2016, the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), in partnership with the City University of New York (CUNY), launched the International Innovators Initiative (IN2NYC) to build a pathway to help international entrepreneurs grow companies and create jobs in the United States, specifically in New York City.

New York Adopts Revised Wage Regulations Effective December 31, 2016

The New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) recently proposed amended regulations that would significantly alter the salary levels for some executive and administrative exempt employees, as well as alter the permitted tip credits and uniform maintenance pay for New York hospitality employers. Just in time for the new year, the NYSDOL adopted the proposed regulations and released the final orders, which will be effective as of December 31, 2016.It also issued FAQ guidance on the increased minimum wage level levels.

Labor Law Update Fall/Winter 2016 (New York Scaffold Law)

Beastly burden: Courts continue to address the sole proximate cause defense It’s personal: Required knowledge for an effective defense witness Can §241(1) apply even if the plaintiff does not fall to the ground? Plus analysis of more than 50 cases from New York’s appellate courts

New York City Council Seeks Major Workplace Reforms for Fast Food, Retail Workers

The New York City Council has introduced six bills as part of a legislative package intended to reform scheduling and workplace practices for fast food and retail workers in New York City.

New York Adopts Pathologists’ Assistants Law

New York State has adopted a new law that establishes the profession of licensed pathologists’ assistant.

New York State Announces Expanded App To Locate Substance Abuse Treatment Programs

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the launch of a newly upgraded web-based search tool to help connect New York State residents struggling with addiction to treatment. The OASAS Treatment Availability Dashboard application allows New Yorkers to access any service in the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services continuum of care, including crisis, residential, inpatient, and now — outpatient and opioid treatment programs. By using the online and mobile-friendly platform, any New Yorker, including treatment providers, care coordinators, and health insurance professionals, can easily find a treatment bed or other available services, anywhere in the state and in real time.

NYC Employers Should be Aware of Stringent Local Laws

Executive Summary: New York City employers should be aware of local laws that directly affect a company’s hiring and termination practices, including a recent one that makes it illegal for employers to discriminate based on “caregiver status.”

New York Adopts Advanced Home Health Aide Law

New York State has adopted new law that establishes the advanced home health aide (AHHA) job designation. The AHHA program was first recommended in 2011. Governor Andrew Cuomo signed S. 8110/A.10707 into law on November 28, 2016.

Getting Prepared for the New York Department of Financial Services’ Proposed Cybersecurity Regulations

Taking aim at the growing threat posed by cyber-attacks to the financial services industry, the New York State Department of Financial Services (“DFS”) has proposed a first-of-its kind, far-reaching, rigorous cybersecurity framework that could become the national standard.

New York City to Pass Protections for Freelance Workers

On October 27, 2016, the New York City Council approved a bill that would establish protections for freelance workers. It is expected that Mayor Bill de Blasio will sign the bill into law in the near future.

How to Run a Successful CDPAP Without Undue Risks

Executive Summary. Participation in Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Programs (“CDPAPs”) in New York has steadily increased since the NYS Department of Health announced that effective April 2016, relatives of consumers may be hired as the consumer’s personal assistants, so long as they are not “legally responsible” for the consumer’s “care and support.” This created an opportunity for children to get paid for taking care of their own parents and vice versa. The number of CDPAPs has also grown as NYS contracts with more traditional home care agencies, allowing them to expand their service options and accept CDPAP referrals from managed care organizations. However, undue risk exists if the CDPAP is operated in the wrong way without legal advice.

Election 2016: A Reminder About New York’s Voting Leave Law and Posting Requirements

On November 8, 2016, voters across the country will cast their votes for president and vote in state and local elections. In New York, employers should ensure that they comply with New York’s voting leave law. Under N.Y. Election Law § 3-110(1), employers must provide their employees with “sufficient time” for “any election” so that employees may vote. Pursuant to N.Y. Election Law § 3-110(2), employers are not required to provide leave if an employee has four consecutive hours to vote either from the opening of the polls to the beginning of his or her work shift, or if the employee has sufficient time between the end of a working shift and the closing of the polls.

New York City Council Passes Retention Bill for Cafeteria Workers

The New York City Council has overwhelmingly passed a bill that mandates a 90-day transition period for displaced food service workers when a new owner or operator takes over a city building.

HOME CARE PROFESSIONALS SERIES Part 4 - How Do You Construct WPA Creditable Benefits?

Executive Summary. Home care agencies in New York are experimenting with different packages of additional wages and benefits to meet the State’s Wage Parity Act requirements. This Act requires a minimum wage rate of $10.00 per hour and additional wages or benefits – a $4.09 per hour package in NYC and a $3.22 package in Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester counties (the “WPA Package”).

New York City May Ban Questions about Salary History

A bill in the City Council of New York City would prohibit employers from inquiring about a prospective employee’s salary history. The bill’s purported aim is to close the gender pay gap by reducing the likelihood that women will be prejudiced by prior salary levels.

New York State Proposes Cybersecurity Regulation Impacting Banks, Insurance Companies & Other Financial Services Institutions

New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced yesterday a new proposed regulatiNYDFS-Logo-300x300on to address the growing threat posed by cyber-attacks. According to the State’s press release, the proposed regulation, which is subject to a 45-day notice and public comment period before final issuance, “aims to protect consumer data and financial systems from terrorist organizations and other criminal enterprises.” In the past 18 months, several other states – including Connecticut, Nevada, and Washington – have also taken legislation action to promote greater protection against cyber-threats.

New York Makes Some Workplace Assaults a Felony

New York has beefed up protections for certain private and public sector employees, designating assaults against them as Class D felonies, rather than just Class A misdemeanors.

New York Expands Independent Contractor Task Force

A wide variety of new enforcement personnel - from state police to liquor investigators - will be joining New York's labor department in the fight against the misclassification of independent contractors.

Understanding New York's New Paid Family Leave Law

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo executed sweeping legislation on April 4, 2016, that will gradually raise the minimum wage in New York to $15 an hour1 and provide a phased-in system of paid family leave benefits providing covered employees up to 12 weeks of paid family leave – currently the most comprehensive paid family leave program in the nation. This Insight discusses the leave provisions, benefits schedule, coverage and other essential details of the new paid family leave law,2 referred to as the New York Paid Family Leave Benefits Law (“PFLBL”).

New York Enacts Paid Family Leave Law and Increases Minimum Wage Rate

Executive Summary: On March 31, 2016, New York State lawmakers finalized a budget deal that included: (1) a bill mandating paid family leave for most employees (the "Paid Family Leave Law") and (2) a statewide incremental increase to a $15 per hour minimum wage.

New York State Introduces Paid Family Leave

By 2018, employers in New York will be required to provide their employees with paid family leave. The federal Family Medical Leave Act requires employers with more than 50 employees to provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for certain qualifying conditions such as the birth or adoption of a child or for the treatment of a serious health condition. Many states, such as Connecticut, have passed their own medical leave statutes which provide additional leave, on top of the 12 weeks guaranteed by federal law. In addition, those state statutes typically require fewer than than 50 employees for an employer to be covered under the act. Prior to this week, New York did not have its own medical leave statute supplementing the federal FMLA, but on April 4, it joined California, New Jersey and Rhode Island as the only states to offer their employees paid family leave. As part of the state’s 2016-2017 budget, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed legislation which enacts a statewide $15 minimum wage plan and a 12-week paid family leave policy.

New York Provides Paid Family Leave, Sets Course for $15 Minimum Wage

New York's governor on April 4 signed into law legislation that will establish new paid family leave requirements and increase the minimum wage to $15.00.

Paid Family Leave Becomes Law in New York Through an Insurance-Style Scheme. Will Other States Follow?

Could this be a game-changer when it comes to paid family and sick leave?

Background Checks in Banks, Conflicts with New Laws

The New York City Council recently passed two amendments to the New York City Human Rights Law that substantially limit New York City employers' ability to run criminal and credit checks on employees and applicants. At the same time, banks and financial services companies are in many cases obligated by law to conduct background checks on employees.

New Year, New Commuter Benefits for New Yorkers: FAQs on the New Law

On January 1, 2016, New York City’s Mass Transit Benefits Law, Local Law 53, went into effect, requiring employers with 20 or more full-time employees working in New York City to offer commuter benefits to those full-time employees. Specifically, the law requires employers to offer full-time employees the opportunity to elect a pretax salary reduction to purchase qualified transportation fringe benefits (other than qualified parking). Although the law went into effect on January 1, 2016, employers will not be subject to penalties for violations that take place before July 1, 2016. In addition, employers will be permitted a 90-day cure period to correct a violation before the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) imposes penalties.

HOME CARE PROFESSIONALS SERIES Part 1 – NYS Domestic Workers' Bill of Rights

Executive Summary. As most home care agencies know, the United States Department of Labor ("USDOL") eliminated the companionship exemption for home care agency workers on October 13, 2015 in its Final Rule on the Application of the FLSA to Domestic Service Workers ("Final Rule"). What they may not have considered, however, is that following the Final Rule, the NYS Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, which originally only applied to home care workers directly employed by individual households, now also applies to agency employed home care workers. For NYC agencies, in particular, coming into compliance with Domestic Workers Bill of Rights requires changes to the benefits they provide to their home care workers.

Don't Get Lost in the Weeds: Medical Marijuana is Now Legal in New York

On January 6, 2016, the Commissioner of Health of the State of New York certified that the medical marijuana program established by New York’s Compassionate Care Act could be implemented in accordance with public health and safety interests. The next day, the first dispensaries offering medical marijuana in New York opened.

Why New York Employers Need to Get Ready for Changes

New York may be leading the way when it comes to new laws affecting the workplace. Today, the Women’s Equality Act takes effect in New York State, an employment law aiming to increase opportunities and benefits for women in the workplace.

Significant Changes to New York State Hospitality Industry Wage and Hour Laws Effective 12/31/15

New York State Hospitality Industry employers face several significant changes to employee compensation, effective December 31.

New York City Council Adds Caregiver Status to List of Protected Classifications

Following other recent pro-employee legislation enacted in New York City, the New York City Council on December 16, 2015, passed a bill banning employment discrimination based on an individual’s actual or perceived status as a caregiver. (See our articles, New York City Issues Enforcement Guidance Related to City’s Fair Chance Act and City Agency Issues Guidance on New York City’s Newly Effective Credit Check Law.)

New York City Publishes Additional Guidance on Paid Sick Leave Law

Under New York City’s Earned Sick Time Act (Paid Sick Leave Law), employers with five or more employees must provide at least one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, up to 40 hours of paid sick leave per year. Employers with fewer than five employees must provide sick leave on an unpaid basis.

New York State Clarifies Rights of Working Mothers

New York State has amended its Public Health Law through enactment of two pieces of legislation relating to breastfeeding and expression of breast milk. The legislation includes specific provisions applicable to employers.

New York City’s Pre-Tax Transportation Benefit Mandate

A New York City ordinance requiring most employers to provide qualified pre-tax transportation benefits to their employees becomes effective on January 1, 2016.

New York City Enacts "Ban the Box" Legislation

As we previously reported, the New York City Council recently passed the Fair Chance Act (Intro No. 318-A, 2014) that—among other requirements—prevents employers from inquiring about job applicants’ criminal arrests and convictions prior to hire. As expected, on June 29, 2015, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed the legislation, meaning that the law will be effective as of October 27, 2015. At a signing ceremony, Mayor de Blasio stated that the new law “will open the door to jobs to New Yorkers who have paid their debt to society rather than condemning them to constant economic struggle.”

Employer Hiring Practices Undergo Novel Test in New York City

New York City employers may soon find their hiring practices going under the microscope. Under a law recently signed by Mayor Bill de Blasio, the New York City Commission on Human Rights will conduct discrimination testing to determine if targeted employers are using illegal bias when screening job applicants for employment.

New York City Bans Most Employers From Using Credit Checks

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has signed a law prohibiting most employers from using credit reports or bankruptcies to disqualify job candidates from being hired or when making any other sort of employment decision regarding current employees. The law also gives aggrieved applicants and employees the right to sue, so Big Apple employers should immediately review their background check policies.

New York Court of Appeals Applies Federal Impact Analysis Under State Law

Margerum v. City of Buffalo, 24 N.Y.3d 721 (N.Y. Feb. 17, 2015): The New York Court of Appeals held that, where an employer has allegedly engaged in intentional discrimination to avoid or remedy an unintentional disparate impact, liability under the New York State Human Rights Law (NYSHRL) should be assessed under the federal standard developed by the Supreme Court of the United States in Ricci v. DeStefano.

New York City Passes Bill Prohibiting Employers From Requesting or Using Credit History in Employment Decisions

On April 16, 2015, the New York City Council passed a bill to amend the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) to prohibit employers from requesting or using an individual’s credit history in making employment decisions. The bill (Intro. No. 261-A, 2014) would make it an unlawful discriminatory practice under the NYCHRL for any employer, labor organization, or employment agency to request or use the consumer credit history of an employee or an applicant for the purpose of making any employment decisions, including those related to hiring, compensation, or any other terms of employment. The bill defines “consumer credit history” to include an individual’s credit worthiness, credit standing, credit capacity, and payment history as indicated by a consumer credit report, credit score, or any information an employer obtains directly from an individual.

Workers' Compensation Quarterly - Winter 2015

Timely summaries of decisions from across New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania concerning workers' compensation matters. It also provides the latest news regarding litigation, changes in interpretive language used by the courts, permanency determinations, and more.

New York eAuthority (February 2015)

New York Department of Labor Increases Minimum Tipped Wages; Second Circuit Finds Highly Individualized Damages Inquiry Won’t Spoil Rule 23 Class Wage Claims; Second Circuit Critical of DOL Test in Pending Unpaid Intern Cases; New York Appellate Division Permits Worker to Establish Membership in Protected Class Based on Association with Another; New York Court Holds That Alcohol Treatment Is Not Compensable Time.

New York eAuthority (December 2014)

A Late Holiday Present from Governor Cuomo: Annual New York Wage Theft Prevention Act Notices Are Not Required Beginning in 2015; New York Employers Must Provide Unpaid Leave to Volunteer Emergency Responders During Declared Emergencies; The New York City Department of Consumer Affairs Provides Guidance Regarding the Earned Sick Time Act; Reminder: New York’s Minimum Wage Is Increasing to $8.75 Per Hour on December 31, 2014.

Internships out of Fashion? Wage Lawsuits on the Rise in New York

Internships and training programs have been a staple of the fashion industry (among many other industries) for years. Luxury retailers have traditionally offered internships in the areas of communications, marketing, merchandising, production, and public relations. The continuing role of such internships in teaching students, recent graduates, and others who aspire to careers in fashion about the fashion business is, however, under attack. In the aftermath of a 2013 ruling by a New York federal court that a film studio had violated minimum wage laws by not paying production interns on a film, New York plaintiffs’ lawyers have escalated the battle over “unpaid internships” in the fashion, media, and entertainment industries. In just the past year, intern wage actions have been filed in New York against at least five luxury retailers (including another titan of luxury just this past week); two media companies that are closely associated with luxury brands and fashion; and a dozen or so other entertainment, media, and events companies. Plaintiffs’ law firms have also created multiple websites for the sole purpose of recruiting interns to bring lawsuits against businesses in these industries.

Governor Cuomo Signs Bill Giving New York Interns Workplace Protection

On July 22, 2014, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation giving interns in New York State protections from sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace similar to those given to regular workers. The amendment to the state’s Human Rights Law clarifies the status of interns in the workplace and likely heralds the spread of similar changes in other states and jurisdictions to extend such protections to the growing body of unpaid interns in the workforce.

N.Y. Legalizes Medical Marijuana: What Employers Need to Consider

On July 7, 2014, New York became the 23rd state (plus the District of Columbia) to legalize medical marijuana, bringing the number of Americans who may lawfully use the drug with proper medical certification and/or supervision to approximately 100 million. The overwhelming acceptance by Americans of medical marijuana has even made its mark in the nation’s capital, where, in May, the U.S. House of Representatives amended an appropriations bill to prohibit the Drug Enforcement Administration from using taxpayer dollars to target and arrest patients and providers operating under state licenses.

New York eAuthority (July 1, 2014)

New York Legislature Repeals Annual Wage Theft Prevention Act Requirement; New York Legislature Passes Medical Marihuana Law; Rochester, New York Adopts “Ban the Box” Criminal Background Check Law; E.D.N.Y. Finds No Per Se Violation of New York Correction Law Where Employer Failed to Conduct Required Analysis.

New York eAuthority (April 2014)

New York City Human Rights Law Expanded to Protect Unpaid Interns; New York Court of Appeals Emphasizes Need for Interactive Process When Accommodating Employees’ Disabilities; New York Bankruptcy Court Strikes Defenses to Federal and State WARN Acts; Southern District of New York Judge Conditionally Certifies Another Unpaid Intern Collective Action.

New York eAuthority (March 2014)

New York City Mayor Signs Expanded Sick Time Law, Effective April 1, 2014; Nation’s Largest Background Check Agencies Will No Longer Automatically Disqualify New York Job Applicants Based on Criminal Convictions; Second Circuit Holds That EEOC Charge Does Not Toll State Law Tort Claims

New York eAuthority (February 2014)

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio Unveils His First State of the City Address and Budget and more.

New York eAuthority (January 2014)

New York State Passes Worker Misclassification Law for Commercial Transportation Industry; New York City’s New Administration Announces Proposed Changes to Impending Sick Leave Act; Second Circuit Emphasizes That Inconsistent Reasons for Employee Termination Can Be Sufficient to Overcome Summary Judgment; International Forum Selection Clause Enforceable Against Employee, Says the Second Circuit.

Mark Your Calendars: The New York City Earned Sick Time Act Will Go Into Effect on April 1, 2014

s we previously reported in our June 2013 issue, New York City recently became the largest municipality in the country requiring employers to provide sick time to employees under the “Earned Sick Time Act.” However, in order to become effective, the Act contains a unique provision that ties its effective date to the New York Coincident Economic Index. On December 13, 2013, the New York City Independent Budget Office announced that the economic thresholds were met and that the Act will go into effect on April 1, 2014. The letter on Coincident Indicators for the Paid Sick Leave Act is available on the Independent Budget Office of the City of New York’s website.

New York eAuthority (November 1, 2013)

A Reminder About New York’s Voting Leave Law and Posting Requirements for the Off-Year Election; New York Court of Appeals Creates Negligent Drug Testing Claim; New York Court Declines to Find Extraterritorial Reach of Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Protection; New York City and State Human Rights Laws Do Not Apply to Unpaid Interns; New York County Lawyers’ Association Issues Ethics Opinion Restricting Attorneys from Claiming Dodd-Frank Bounties

New York eAuthority (October 1, 2013)

New York City Council Expands Protection Against Pregnancy Discrimination; Second Circuit Dismisses Improper Deductions Class Action Suit Under CAFA and Holds That Liquidated Damages Under New York Labor Law Do Not Apply Retroactively; Southern District of New York Certifies Another Intern Misclassification Decision for Immediate Appeal to the Second Circuit.

New York eAuthority (June 2013)

New York City Council Passes Paid Medical Leave Effective April 2014; Reminder: “Unemployment” Status Is a Protected Category Under New York City Human Rights Law Effective June 11, 2013; New York Department of Labor Issues Proposed Guidance for Permissible Wage Deductions; Second Circuit Reaffirms that Private Prevailing Wage Claims Are Barred by Davis-Bacon Act; Southern District Continues Trend to Find Internship Programs Run Afoul of Wage and Hour Laws.

New Pension Ruling Is Good News for Municipal Employers

The New York State Court of Appeals had good news for municipal employers in the state when it clarified a provision of the 2009 law that created a contributory tier for newly hired police and firefighters in the state. In two decisions issued on April 2 of this year the New York State Court of Appeals ruled that police officers and firefighters hired after January 1, 2010, must make contributions toward their pensions — even if the language of the applicable collective bargaining agreements states that employees are not required to contribute toward their pensions.

New York City Council Overrides Mayor Bloomberg’s Veto and Passes Law Prohibiting “Unemployment” Discrimination

New York City will soon become one of only a handful of jurisdictions prohibiting discrimination on the basis of “unemployment” status and, in doing so, has adopted arguably the most stringent such law in the United States. As we previously reported our February 2013 issue, the New York City Council recently passed Bill No. 814-A that would modify the New York City Human Rights Law and create a private right of action prohibiting discrimination based on unemployment status. The bill was then vetoed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who called it a “misguided attempt to further protect the unemployed from discrimination” and stated that the bill “merely serves to add litigation, not jobs.” Despite Mayor Bloomberg’s strong objections, on March 13, 2013, the City Council overwhelmingly voted 43-4 in favor of overriding his veto. As a result, the bill goes into effect 90 days after final passage, or Monday, June 11, 2013.

New York eAuthority (March 1, 2013)

New York City Council Passes Bill Prohibiting “Unemployment” Discrimination; Mayor Bloomberg Indicated Intention to Veto Bill; Second Circuit Decision Emphasizes Importance of Having Clear Administrative Exhaustion Language in ERISA Plans; Eastern District Concludes that ERISA Preempts Negligent Misrepresentation Claim; Third Department Affirms Unemployment Insurance Appeal’s Board Finding of No Misconduct Due to Unintentional Internet Usage; Settlement of Equal Pay Act Claims by Female Workers Does Not Provide Complete Defense Against a Later Suit by Male Workers for Resulting Unequal Pay

New York eAuthority (January 2013)

Reminder: New York Wage Theft Prevention Act Requires Annual Notices for All Employees by February 1, 2013 Governor Cuomo Proposes Increased Minimum Wage and Significant Changes to New York’s Employment Law in State of the State Address E.D.N.Y. Rules That Private Postings on Social Media Relating to Plaintiff’s Mental State Are Fair Game for Discovery Employer’s Requirement That Unpaid Interns Receive College Credit Was Not an Unlawful Deduction from Wages Under New York Labor Law New York Court Holds That Extended Leave of Absence May Be a Reasonable Accommodation Under New York City Human Rights Law First Department Appellate Court Reinforces Liberal Standard for Hostile Work Environment Claims Under the New York City Human Rights Law

New York Court of Appeals Affirms Flexibility Granted to Police Departments in Disciplinary Matters

In a decision issued October 25, 2012, the New York Court of Appeals affirmed and extended one its most significant rulings in the recent past relative to public sector disciplinary proceedings for police officers.

Court Rules Racial Slur May Not Be Placed in Firefighter’s Permanent Employment File

The New York State Court of Appeals recently issued a decision holding that a written determination that a firefighter violated his fire department’s Code of Conduct and Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Policy, made after a lengthy internal investigation, may not be placed in the firefighter’s permanent employment file. In this ruling that impacts both public and private employers, the court held that the firefighter’s due process rights were violated, as the firefighter had no opportunity to examine any of the witnesses interviewed or to present any witnesses on his own behalf.

New York eAuthority (October 2012)

Eastern District Refuses to Rely on Dukes to Kill Class Claims at Pleadings Stage of Sex Bias Lawsuit Law School Grad Working as Graphic Consultant Not Exempt from Overtime Requirements: Reinforces Need to Evaluate Primary Duties and Avoid Reliance on Job Titles Western District of New York Dismisses “Threadbare” FMLA and Discrimination Allegations at Initial Pleadings Stage Southern District of New York Dismisses NYSHRL Claims that Arose Outside New York and Retaliation Claims for Failure to Demonstrate Pretext Western District of New York Orders Limited Communications Between Defendant and Plaintiff in Wage and Hour Lawsuit Southern District of New York Holds that Issue of “Covered Employer” Wage and Hour Liability Not Yet Ripe for Summary Judgment

Time Is Running Out! November 2 Deadline to Request MTA Payroll Tax Refunds in Accordance with New Special Protective Refund Claim Procedures

In a case with far-reaching implications—including the potential for refund claims to be filed by any employer that has paid the Metropolitan Commuter Transportation Mobility Tax (the MTA Payroll Tax or MCTMT)—a Nassau County Supreme Court judge ruled that the MTA Payroll Tax was passed unconstitutionally. In anticipation of a flood of protective refund claims, the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance released special procedures for filing protective refund claims on October 17, 2012. Mangano v. Silver, No. 144440/10, New York Supreme Court (August 22, 2012).

It’s Election Time! A Reminder Regarding New York’s Voting Leave Law

With the general election fast approaching on Tuesday, November 6, 2012, now is the time for employers to ensure that they comply with New York’s voting leave law. Employers should be especially mindful that New York law requires the posting of a notice at least 10 working days prior to “every election,” meaning that the posting must go up by Tuesday, October 23, 2012 to ensure compliance for the upcoming general election. The New York State Board of Elections’ sample poster can be found here.

New York eAuthority (September 2012)

New State Law Expands Scope of Permissible Wage Deductions Second Circuit Finds that After-Hours Work is Considered “Hours Worked” for Purposes of Determining Eligibility for Leave Under the FMLA Second Circuit Allows Employer to Rely on Circumstantial Evidence After Death of Decision-Maker Eastern District of New York Dismisses Religious Discrimination and Disparate Treatment Claims Where Employer Provided Reasonable Accommodation and Never Disciplined Employee Southern District of New York Examines the Meaning of “Employer” for Related Company and Individual Defendants Under the FLSA

Legal Alert: New York Strengthens Law Protecting Social Security Numbers

Executive Summary: Two new amendments to New York General Business Law Section 399-dd, commonly known as the Social Security Number Protection Law, have been passed for the purpose of further safeguarding employees' social security numbers. Signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo on August 14, 2012, the first change becomes effective on November 12, 2012, while the effective date for the second change is December 12, 2012. The two amendments will be codified as Section 399-ddd.

New York Commissioner Of Labor Issues Guidelines Regarding The Rights Of Nursing Mothers To Express Breast Milk In The Workplace; Sets Notice Requirements.

New York law requires employers to provide nursing mothers reasonable unpaid break time or paid break time or meal time to express breast milk in the workplace for up to three years after the birth of a child. Recently, the New York Commissioner of Labor issued guidelines requiring employers to provide written notice of this right to employees who are returning to work following the birth of a child. Notice can be provided individually to the affected employees, or to all employees, in either a handbook or a posting. An employee wishing to take this leave must give her employer advance notice.

New York Commissioner Of Labor Issues Guidelines For Employee Blood Donation Leave; Sets Notice Requirements.

New York law requires that employers (with 20 or more employees) provide employees three hours of leave time each year for the purpose of donating blood. Recently, the New York Commissioner of Labor issued guidelines for implementing this leave.
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