On March 3, 2023, a bill amending the New York State pay transparency law was signed into law by Gov. Hochul, reflecting changes that the governor requested in exchange for her approval of the law in December 2022. The effective date of the amendments are the same as the original version of law, Sept. 17, 2023.
As covered in our previous blog post, in January 2023, Onondaga County Supreme Court Justice, Hon. Gerard J. Neri, struck down a regulation adopted by the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) – 10 N.Y.C.R.R. § 2.61 (the Regulation) – requiring covered healthcare entities to ensure that their “personnel” are “fully vaccinated” against COVID-19. The NYSDOH, the Commissioner of Health, Governor Hochul (collectively, Respondents) filed a Notice of Appeal, indicating their intention to appeal Judge Neri’s decision in its entirety. Shortly thereafter, on Jan. 27, 2023, Respondents moved for a stay of enforcement of Judge Neri’s Order during the pendency of their appeal.
On Feb. 22, 2023, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) decided Hewitt v. Helix Energy Sols. Grp., Inc. In granting certiorari, the Court addressed the following question: Is a supervisor, who makes over $200,000 annually, calculated on a daily rate, considered a “Highly Compensated Employee” (HCE) who is overtime exempt under the FLSA? In a 6-3 decision, the Court ruled that the supervisor is not an HCE and is not overtime exempt.
With 2022 nearing its end, many states and counties look to pass new employment laws and regulations at the turn of the year. While this is not intended to be a complete update of New York employment law, this article details a few highlights in this area.
Changes are on the horizon for Albany County after the county Legislature passed several laws in October, including legislation meant to provide greater salary transparency for job seekers. Local Law “E,” sponsored by Albany Democrat Carolyn McLaughlin, requires county employers to post the minimum and maximum salary range when advertising an open position, promotion or transfer. Adopted on Oct. 11, 2022, this law amends Local Law No. 1 for 2013, “An Omnibus Human Rights Law for Albany County” and is set to go into effect 90 days after being signed by the Albany County executive.
Late last year, the New York City Council passed Local Law 144, which regulates employers and employment agencies’ use of “automated employment decision tools,” (AEDT), in making employment decisions. This new law is set to take effect on Jan. 1, 2023. In summary, the new law prohibits an employer or employment agency from using automated employment decision tools in making employment decisions unless, prior to using the tool, the following requirements are met: (1) the tool has been subject to a bias audit within the last year; and (2) a summary of the results of the most recent bias audit and distribution data for the tool have been made publicly available on the employer or employment agency’s website. Please see our prior blog post for a more thorough summary of the law.
New York City’s new Salary Transparency Law will go into effect on Nov. 1, 2022. With this deadline for compliance fast approaching, we wanted to offer an update on the most recent guidance and interpretation to help our clients prepare for implementation of the new law.
The First Department of the Supreme Court, Appellate Division, in a matter of first impression, interpreted New York City’s Freelance Isn’t Free Act (FIFA) in the context of a motion to dismiss (Chen v. Romona Keveza Collection LLC). The Plaintiffs (a photographer and a model), sought to recover payments for services rendered to the Defendant (a high-end luxury fashion brand), claiming the defendant violated FIFA by improperly withholding payments. The Appellate Division ruled that an individual’s representation by an agency or agent does not necessarily disqualify the worker from FIFA’s freelance worker protections.
On June 3, 2022, the New York State Legislature passed Senate Bill S9427/Assembly Bill A10477 (the Bill)—a new wage transparency law that would amend the New York Labor Law to add new Section 194-b. If enacted, the new law would require covered employers to disclose compensation or a range of compensation to applicants and employees upon issuing an employment opportunity for internal or public viewing, or upon employee request. The Bill is intended to enhance transparency around compensation and reducing any existing wage disparities among employees.
On May 12, 2022, Mayor Adams signed into law the NYC Council Amendment to the recently enacted Salary Transparency Law. In addition to postponing the law’s effective date to Nov. 1, 2022, this amendment also clarifies three other aspects of the law:
Earlier this month, the federal court for the Western District of New York issued a decision in Charter Communications, Inc. v. Derfert, No. 20-cv-915, 2021 WL 37726 (W.D.N.Y. Jan. 4, 2021) holding that an employment arbitration agreement did not preclude a hearing before the New York State Division of Human Rights (the Division) on an employee’s discrimination claim.
Following the trend of other counties and municipalities throughout New York State who have adopted “fair chance” or “ban the box” legislation, the Westchester County Board of Legislators passed a local law on December 3 which would prohibit employers from inquiring about an applicant’s criminal conviction or arrest record in employment applications. The law, which will go into effect 90 days after it is signed by the County Executive, also bans employment advertisements, solicitations, or publications containing any “limitation, or specification in employment based on a person’s arrest record or criminal conviction.”