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).
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.
On March 6, 2019, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit decided Fox v. Costco Wholesale Corporation, eliminating any uncertainty concerning whether an employee can assert a hostile work environment claim under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The New York City Council recently passed two bills addressing lactation rooms for breastfeeding mothers
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 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.”
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.”
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.
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.
In 2019, a number of states’ minimum wage rates will increase.
Effective December 31, 2018, the salary basis thresholds for some executive and administrative exempt employees, the minimum wage rate, and the permitted tip credits and uniform maintenance pay, among other things, will increase.
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 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.
Twenty years ago, on a warm summer day, Hawaii enacted a restriction on employer inquiries into an applicant’s work history until after a conditional offer of employment. Intended to give applicants with criminal histories a fair shot at employment, the law—the first state “ban the box” law—crystalized a movement that, in time, would yield similar restrictions in 12 states and 17 localities (for private employers). The result is a crisscrossing jumble of requirements with little uniformity, putting employers in a difficult position when dealing with applicants (and sometimes even existing employees) in different jurisdictions.
As we previously reported, New York State and New York City each recently passed aggressive laws to combat sexual harassment in the workplace.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo recently signed into law the 2018–2019 New York State budget, which includes components aimed at combating sexual harassment in the workplace that impose significant new obligations on private and public employers. The New York City Council similarly introduced the Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act, which is also aimed at combating sexual harassment in the workplace and imposes substantial new obligations on most employers in New York City, in addition to the new New York State laws.
The New York State Legislature and New York City Council have proposed, passed, and implemented significant laws governing a wide range of workplace issues at a dizzying rate. For private employers, trying to keep up with the flurry of new laws is a daunting task.
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.
On February 26, 2018, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals rendered an en banc decision in Zarda v. Altitude Express that significantly expands employees’ rights under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Effective July 18, 2018, New York City employers will be required to allow employees who have been employed for at least 120 days and who work at least 80 hours in New York City in a calendar year to make two temporary schedule changes per year for certain personal events.
In 2018, the federal minimum wage will remain at $7.25 per hour for non-tipped employees and $2.13 per hour for tipped employees. The following table summarizes the statewide minimum wage increases that have been announced for 2018, along with the related changes to the maximum tip credit permitted and minimum cash wage allowed for tipped employees.
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.
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.
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).
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 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.
On November 6, 2017, Mayor de Blasio signed New York City Council legislation Int. 1313-2016 (also referred to as Int. 1313-A or the Earned Safe and Sick Time Act) into law, expanding the New York City Earned Sick Time Act.
As we previously reported, New York City retail and fast food employers must prepare for the Fair Workweek Law set to go into effect on November 26, 2017. On October 16, 2017 the Department of Consumer Affairs Office of Labor Policy and Standards (DCA) published much anticipated proposed rules to implement the Fair Workweek Law and provide needed guidance to covered employers.
As we previously reported in April of 2017 and May of 2017, New York City employers may want to prepare for the New York City salary history law, which will go into effect on October 31, 2017. With limited exceptions, the law prohibits employers from asking applicants about their current or prior compensation, or relying upon salary history to determine an applicant’s compensation. In advance of the law’s effective date, the New York City Commission on Human Rights published fact sheets and answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) to clarify the scope of the new law. The law itself will be codified under the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) at New York City Administrative Code Section 8-107(25).