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New York and New Jersey Join Growing Ranks of States Penalizing Call Center Relocation

In response to growing public concerns over outsourcing and offshoring, state legislators across the country have recently introduced a spate of bills intended to crack down on businesses that move call center operations out of state. Many of these bills require employers to provide advance notice to the state of impending relocations and impose significant penalties for failure to comply. The proposals also typically obligate state officials to create and publish a list of employers transferring jobs out of state and render those employers ineligible for tax or other incentives for several years. Some bills also authorize government agencies to recoup incentives previously given to employers that relocate call center jobs.

New York City Issues Guidance Clarifying New Independent Contractor Protections under Human Rights Law

The New York City Commission on Human Rights (NYCCHR) has released a factsheet providing guidance on its view of the scope of the anti-discrimination protections provided to individuals performing services as independent contractors and freelancers under the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) that went into effect January 11, 2020.

Is the Gig Economy on Life Support? New York Proposes Process for Sweeping Changes to Worker Classification

In his 2020 budget proposal, Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed creating a 9-member marketplace worker classification task force to address seismic changes to the way independent contractors and other gig economy workers are classified. This task force will have until May 1, 2020 to propose legislation that addresses: wages; health and safety protections; specific categories of benefits; worker classification; criteria to determine if a worker is an employee; collective bargaining; anti-discrimination; opportunity; and privacy concerns. If the task force fails to make significant legislative proposals by May 1, 2020, the New York State Department of Labor will be authorized to promulgate regulations addressing these issues.

New York Sues DHS over Prohibition on New Yorkers’ Inclusion in Trusted Traveler Programs

New York Attorney General Letitia James is suing the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in federal court (State of New York v. Wolf et al, 1:20-cv-01127) over its new policy prohibiting New Yorkers from registering or re-registering for various Trusted Traveler Programs.

NYS DOH Responds In Q&A to Joint Employer Questions and Reveals the Challenge A Fiscal Intermediary Faces in Obtaining an Offer For A Contract in the State's CDPAP

Executive Summary. In our December 23, 2019 Legal Alert we reported that the NYS Department of Health’s (“DOH”) Request for Offers (“RFO”) required a “Joint Employment Attestation” in any offer to continue or first become a Fiscal Intermediary (“FIs”) under NYS’s Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program (“CDPAP”). We suggested the DOH be asked six questions, each of which has been answered, to some degree, in the Q&A the DOH issued on January 31, 2020. Below are our observations and opinion on the path forward and the DOH’s key answers on Joint Employer status in a chart accessible as a PDF from this Legal Alert.

New York Releases FAQs on Statewide Salary History Ban

Changes to New York state law that prohibit employer inquiries into the salary history of applicants and employees took effect on January 6, 2020. Recently, the New York Department of Labor released a series of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to further clarify this law. The FAQs provide insight on which employers and workers are covered, employers’ responsibilities under the law, and how employees or applicants can address potential violations.

New York City Set to Require Stores to Accept Cash

The New York City Council has approved, by a vote of 43-3, a bill that would make it unlawful for most businesses to refuse to accept payments in cash, with limited exceptions. The legislation aims to eliminate what supporters say is discrimination against low-income New Yorkers who lack bank accounts and credit cards. Many businesses, on the other hand, cited a variety of reasons for opposing the legislation, including a desire to appeal to card-toting consumers, speed up service, increase employee safety by reducing the chance of robbery, and eliminate the need to count cash or arrange for armored car pickups. The new law will take effect 270 days after Mayor de Blasio—who has expressed support for the bill—signs it into law.

New York Enacts Legislation Related to Board Diversity

New York recently enacted the “Women on Corporate Boards Study” law (S. 4278), joining a growing number of states requiring organizations to report their board composition. The new law applies to domestic and foreign corporations “authorized to do business” in the state. Given the expanse of companies doing business in New York, this law may have a broad reach and impact organizations based far from New York.

NY Governor Aims To Expand Workplace Laws In 2020

After a busy 2019 of expanding workplace protections in New York, Governor Cuomo just issued his 2020 State of the State to lay out his priorities for the coming year. And it should come as no surprise that several of the policy proposals announced on January 8 indicated an intent to continue New York State’s expansion of workplace laws into 2020 and beyond. Among the highlights to look for in the new year: paid sick leave, gig economy reforms, pay equity, and more.

New York Governor Vetoes Employee Wage Lien Bill

On December 31, 2019, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo vetoed the employee wage lien bill (colloquially referred to by its sponsors and supporters as the “Securing Wages Earned Against Theft” or “SWEAT” bill). Both the New York State Senate and Assembly (S2844B/A486B) passed the bill in June 2019. If enacted into law, the bill would have allowed current and former employees to obtain liens on their employers’ personal and real property for alleged wage and hour violations prior to any judicial determinations on the merits (or lack thereof) of the employees’ claims.
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