by New York Employment Law Letter
New York City employers need to be ready for the city’s new Earned Sick Time Act by the April 1 effective date.
Beginning April 1, the law, passed last summer over the veto of then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg, requires private-sector employers with 20 or more employees in New York City to offer at least 40 hours of annual paid sick leave to each employee. Employers with fewer than 20 employees in the city will be required to offer at least 40 hours of unpaid sick leave to each employee per year.
As of October 1, 2015, private-sector employers with 15 or more employees will have to offer at least 40 hours of annual paid sick leave to each employee, and private-sector employers with fewer than 15 employees will be required to offer at least 40 hours of unpaid sick leave to each employee per year.
by Colin Leonard and James Rooney
A new law going into effect on January 1, 2014, will increase New York employers’ contributions to the state’s unemployment compensation program.
Earlier this year, legislation was enacted in response to the insolvency of the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund and the state’s need to repay $3.5 billion borrowed from the federal government to cover increased costs during the recession.
One of the changes involves employer contributions based on the Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA). Under the old law, the employer tax was based on the number of employees and the employer’s experience rating. The tax was assessed on the first $8,500 of each employee’s earnings. Beginning January 1, 2014, the tax will be assessed on the first $10,300 of each employee’s earnings, and the amount will gradually rise each year.
by Peter A. Jones
A new law going into effect October 29 means employees of New York hospitals and residential healthcare facilities may not smoke anywhere on the grounds or within 15 feet of any entrance or exit to a building or the grounds of such facilities. The law allows a narrow exception for patients of residential healthcare facilities and their visitors or guests, but there’s no exception for employees.
Although the New York Clean Indoor Air Act has prohibited smoking by employees in the workplace for years, that law doesn’t prohibit smoking outside an employer’s premises. The new amendment, signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo on July 31, requires general hospitals and residential healthcare facilities to prohibit their employees from smoking on their grounds and within 15 feet of all entrances to or exits from their grounds.
Over the veto of Mayor Michael Bloomberg, New York City will soon have what’s being called the nation’s toughest law against discrimination based on a job applicant’s employment status. The city council passed the law on March 13 despite Bloomberg’s veto. It will take effect in mid-June.
Currently, New Jersey, Oregon, and Washington, D.C., have laws against job advertisements that require applicants to be employed. New York City’s law goes a step further and allows applicants to file a complaint with the city’s Commission on Human Rights (CHR) or file suit if they believe they were rejected because of their unemployed status. Also, the law allows employers to inquire about an applicant’s employment status only if they have a job-related reason for doing so.
by Katherine Ritts Schafer
An amendment to New York state’s Social Security Number Protection Law goes into effect today, and employers need to understand its implications.
Although there are a number of exceptions, employers generally are prohibited from requiring an individual to disclose or furnish his Social Security number (SSN) “for any purpose in connection with any activity.” The amendment also bars employers from refusing any service, privilege, or right to an individual, in whole or in part, because he refuses to disclose or furnish his SSN.
A reminder for New York employers: If you haven’t already completed the Notice of Wage Payment forms required under the New York Wage Theft Prevention Act (WTPA), time is running out. The law, which took effect on April 9, 2011, requires covered employers to give written notice of wage rates to all new hires at the time of hire and annually to all employees by February 1. This year is the first year in which the annual notice has been required.
by Traycee Ellen Klein and Erin Carney D’Angelo
On Monday, December 13, New York Governor David Patterson signed the Wage Theft Prevention Act (WTPA). According to the governor’s press release, the new law:
- enacts more stringent and transparent record-keeping and employee notification requirements;
- increases the amount of wages that can be recovered as damages in a suit for nonpayment over and above the lost wages themselves — from 25 percent to 100 percent, the amount allowable under federal law;
- creates stronger collection tools;
- raises criminal penalties for failure to pay minimum wage to up to a year in prison and a $5,000 fine; and
- strengthens protections for whistleblowers in cases involving wage violations.
On September 5, 2008, New York Governor David A. Paterson signed into law Bill No. A10625, which amends New York’s General Business Law. Effective immediately, the amendment clarifies who must abide by New York’s Disposal of Personal Records Law, which relates to the disposal of records containing personal identifying information.
Personal identifying information consists of personal information, such as a name, number, personal mark, or other identifier, that can be used to identify a natural person, coupled with one or more data elements. Data elements range in type and are enumerated in the statute.