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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.

Westchester County, New York, Passes Earned Sick Leave Law

Westchester County recently joined the growing list of jurisdictions all over the country mandating time off for employees. The details will be quite familiar to those who have followed the myriad of such laws which have sprung up over the last few years.

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.