New York Governor Signs Law Banning Mandatory ‘Captive Audience’ Meetings

On September 6, 2023, New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed a law that prohibits employers from requiring employees to attend employer-sponsored meetings the “primary purpose” of which is to communicate the employer’s opinions on religious or political matters, including relating to joining a labor organization. The new law, which took immediate effect, comes amid a wider push against so-called “captive audience” meetings.

Reminder for Employers—New York Statewide Pay Transparency Law Takes Effect

The New York state law requiring employers to disclose expected compensation ranges in advertisements for jobs, promotions, and transfers takes effect on September 17, 2023. The law requires employers with four or more employees to disclose the minimum and maximum annual salary or hourly wage in advertisements for jobs, promotions, and transfers, including in electronic job postings.

New York State Bill Proposed to Restrict Electronic Monitoring, Automated Employment Decision Tools

Under a recently introduced bill, employers across New York State could face new restrictions on the electronic surveillance of workers and the growing use of automated decision-making and artificial intelligence (AI) technology to make employment decisions. Senate Bill (S) 07623 seeks to address privacy concerns with electronic surveillance, or so-called “bossware,” and concerns that automated decision-making tools result in discrimination against individuals with disabilities or against other members of protected groups.

New York City Releases New Guidance on Law Regulating Use of Automated Employment Decision-Making Tools

On June 29, 2023, the New York City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) issued new guidance on the enforcement of the city’s law regulating the use of automated employment decision tools (AEDTs) ahead of the July 5, 2023, effective date for final rules implementing the law.

New York State Assembly Passes Non-Compete Bill

On June 20, 2023, the New York State Assembly approved one of two bills concerning non-compete agreements that the New York State Senate just recently passed. Bill No. S3100A, which would prohibit employers from using non-compete agreements, passed the Assembly and is on its way to the desk of Governor Hochul for signature.

New York State Senate Passes Prohibitions on Non-Competes

Monumental changes to New York law on non-compete agreements appear imminent. On June 7, 2023, the New York State Senate approved two bills concerning non-compete agreements. The first, Bill No. S3100A, proposes a ban on all non-compete agreements, while the second, Bill No. S6748, proposes a limited ban of certain non-compete agreements.

New York State Adopts Updates to Model Sexual Harassment Prevention Policy

On April 11, 2023, the New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) finalized updates to the state’s “Sexual Harassment Model Policy” that provides employers a template to aid their compliance with New York State laws prohibiting sexual harassment in the workplace. The department further released an updated training video and new model training presentation slides that incorporate the additions to the new policy.

New York City Adopts Final Rules on Automated Decision-making Tools, AI in Hiring

On April 6, 2023, the New York City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) adopted highly anticipated final rules implementing the city’s law regulating the use of automated employment decision tools (AEDT) tools in hiring that will take effect on July 5, 2023. The AEDT law, which took effect on January 1, 2023, restricts the use of automated employment decision tools and artificial intelligence (AI) by employers and employment agencies by requiring that such tools be subjected to bias audits and requiring employers and employment agencies to notify employees and job candidates that such tools are being used to evaluate them.

Ogletree Deakins OSHA Tracker City Feature: Seattle, Las Vegas Had Most OSHA Inspections

In December 2022, Ogletree Deakins launched its OSHA Tracker based on analysis of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) publicly available inspection and citation data, which dates back to the 1970s. Now, in addition to featuring individual state data and OSHA regional information, the OSHA Tracker has been enhanced with city information.

New York Lawmakers Modify Pay Disclosure Law’s Applicability to Remote Jobs

With the September 17, 2023 effective date for New York’s new pay range disclosure requirements approaching, state lawmakers recently amended the law to clarify the scope of remote jobs to which the law applies and to relieve certain information retention requirements for employers. On March 3, 2023, New York governor Kathy Hochul signed Senate Bill S1326, amending the new pay transparency law that will require employers to disclose minimum and maximum annual salaries or hourly wages in advertisements for jobs, internal promotions, or transfer opportunities.

Manhattan District Attorney Sets Sights on Allegations of Employer Wage Theft

On February 16, 2023, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin L. Bragg Jr. announced the creation of a special unit to “investigate and prosecute” wage theft, harassment, and exploitation of workers.  He also announced the establishment, in partnership with the New York State Department of Labor, of a fund to repay victims of such crimes. D.A. Bragg and his office further declared support for a proposed bill in the New York state legislature that would expand the existing crime of larceny to include wage theft.

States Continue to Target Restrictive Covenants

Connecticut, Indiana, New York, Rhode Island, and Utah are among the latest states to propose further limitations on the use of post-employment restrictive covenants. Connecticut’s House Bill (HB) 6594 and New York’s Senate Bill (S) 3100 would prohibit the use of noncompetes with a wide swath of employees and independent contractors. Indiana’s Senate Bill (SB) 7, Rhode Island’s House Bill (H) 5284, and Utah’s Senate Bill (SB) 170 are more narrow and would only prohibit the use of noncompetes for certain medical professionals.

New York HERO Act Amendment Establishes a Five-Day Deadline to Recognize Workplace Safety Committees

On December 28, 2022, Governor Kathy Hochul signed into law an amendment to Section 2 of the New York Health and Essential Rights Act (NY HERO Act). The amendment, which took effect immediately upon signing, provides that “[a]n employer must recognize within five business days the establishment of a workplace safety committee.”

New York Judge Blocks COVID-19 Vaccination Mandate for Healthcare Facilities

On January 17, 2023, a New York trial court judge struck down the state’s vaccine mandate for healthcare workers, ruling that the New York State Department of Health (DOH) acted outside its authority and noting that “the COVID-19 shots do not prevent transmission.”

New York State Publishes Proposed Updated Model Sexual Harassment Prevention Policy

In accordance with its quadrennial obligation to evaluate the impact of New York State’s Model Sexual Harassment Prevention Policy in the workplace, on January 12, 2023, the New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL), in consultation with the New York State Division of Human Rights, published a proposed updated model sexual harassment prevention policy.

Albany County, New York’s New Law Requiring Disclosure of Pay Ranges in Job Postings

Employers in Albany County, New York, will soon be required to disclose expected pay ranges in job postings under a new pay transparency law. The law, which is expected to go into effect on March 9, 2023, adds Albany County to the growing list of jurisdictions across New York State with similar pay transparency requirements.

New York City’s New Job Protection Bill: Will It End At-Will Employment?

New York City is considering a bill known as the “Secure Jobs Act,” which would prohibit employers from discharging employees without “just cause” and advanced notice in most cases. Introduced on December 7, 2022, Int 0837-2022 would further restrict employers’ use of electronic monitoring and biometric data in making discharge and disciplinary decisions, and provide other protections for workers.

New York State’s Requirement to Provide Workplace Notices and Posters Electronically: What Employers Need to Know

In an acknowledgement of the increase in remote work, on December 16, 2022, New York State Governor Kathy Hochul signed into law Senate Bill S6805, which amends section 201 of the New York Labor Law to require New York State employers to make available electronically notices and posters that are required by law to be physically posted in the workplace.

New York City Updates Proposed Rules for Automated Employment Decision Tools: What’s New and What’s Next

On December 23, 2022, the New York City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) published updated proposed rules to implement the city’s automated employment decision tools (AEDT) law (Local Law 144). The law conditions the use of automated employment decision tools to screen candidates for employment or employees for promotion within the city on compliance with certain requirements, including the performance of a bias audit, and the furnishing of notifications to candidates and employees.

State and Major Locality Minimum Wage Updates for 2023

Several state and local minimum wage rates will increase in 2023, with a majority of the changes effective on January 1, 2023. The following chart lists state and certain major locality minimum wage increases for 2023—and future years, if available—along with the related changes in the maximum tip credit and minimum cash wage for tipped employees.

New York City Postpones Enforcement of Automated Employment Decision Tools Law, Will Hold Second Public Hearing

With the January 1, 2023, effective date of New York City’s automated employment decision tools law looming, the city’s Department of Consumer and Worker Protection announced on December 12, 2022, that it intended to convene a second public hearing and postpone enforcement of the law until April 15, 2023.