As the New Year begins, there are several changes employers need to be aware of when it comes to employment practices. Some of these changes are already in effect, and some are coming later in the year. As always, if you have specific questions about these changes, please let us know.
Electronic Posters Compliance and Notice-
Employers in New York are now required to make their compliance postings, such as the minimum wage poster, available electronically to all employees. An employer can place the posters on a shared company drive or a company website or distribute them via email. In addition to having the posters available electronically, employers must also notify employees that they are available. Emailing employees with a link to the posters will satisfy the requirements for most employers.
Prohibition on Retaliation for Lawful Absences
An employer may not take action against an employee for absences protected by law, such as NYS Safe and Sick Leave. This may get complicated for some employers if they have a points system associated with attendance that impacts consideration for pay increases, promotions, etc. In those cases, the employer must revise their attendance policy to ensure it complies with the new law. This law takes effect on February 19.
NYS Pay Transparency
The New York State pay transparency law would apply to employers with four or more employees. It will require any ads or postings for open jobs or promotion opportunities to include a compensation range for the position. This will go into effect in September, and we will have more compliance information later this year.
Minimum Wage and Salary Threshold
Effective December 31, 2022, the minimum wage and salary thresholds have been increased. For full details see our previous HR enews.
NYS Paid Family Leave Now Covers Siblings
Employees in New York may now apply for Paid Family Leave benefits to provide care for a sibling with a serious health condition. This includes biological, adopted, half, and step-siblings. Employees are eligible for up to 12 weeks of Paid Family Leave at 67% of their wages, up to $1131.08 per week.
Employers are still required to provide paid (in most cases) job-protected time off to employees who are under a quarantine or isolation order and who test positive for COVID-19. There is no expiration date for this program. Paid time off for COVID-19 vaccinations was set to expire on December 31, 2022, but it was extended through December 31st of this year. Employers must provide employees with up to four hours of paid leave to vaccinate against COVID-19 (including any boosters). Employers can still require notification and/or proof of vaccination before employees receive the leave.
Nursing Mothers Accommodation Expansion
Expanding and clarifying the existing accommodations for new mothers to express milk, employers must make sure that in addition to providing a time and a private place for lactation breaks, the physical space contains a place to sit, a work surface, an electrical outlet, and is near running water. Employers must comply by June 7. Employers may not designate restrooms as the location.
Anti-discrimination Protections for Immigration Status
Governor Hochul signed an expansion of the NYS Human Rights Law that prohibits employers from discriminating against employees because of their citizenship or immigration status. Under the federal Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, employers may still verify an employee’s work authorization.