New York Law

Update Regarding New York’s Healthcare Vaccine Mandate

January 31, 2023

By Adam P. Mastroleo and Hannah K. Redmond

On Jan. 13, 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.[1] Judge Neri invalidated the Regulation on several grounds, holding that the NYSDOH exceeded its authority in implementing the Regulation and that the Regulation lacked a rational basis given the NYSDOH’s acknowledgement that the mandate does not prevent transmission.[2]

Read More >> Update Regarding New York’s Healthcare Vaccine Mandate

Governor Hochul Signs Warehouse Worker Protection Act Into Law

January 25, 2023

By Aarti Chandan, Mark A. Moldenhauer, James J. Rooney, and Thomas G. Eron

On Dec. 21, 2022, Gov. Kathy Hochul signed the Warehouse Worker Protection Act (WWPA), S.8922/A 10020, into law. This new legislation aims to protect warehouse distribution workers from undisclosed or unlawful work speed quotas and includes protections for workers who fail to meet these quotas. The law takes effect 60 days after its signing, i.e., Feb. 19, 2023.

Read More >> Governor Hochul Signs Warehouse Worker Protection Act Into Law

New York Releases Revised Sexual Harassment Prevention Model Policy for Public Comment

January 23, 2023

By Kristen E. Smith and Theresa E. Rusnak

On Jan. 12, 2023, the New York State Department of Labor (DOL), in consultation with the New York State Division of Human Rights, released a revised sexual harassment prevention model policy for public review and comment. The agencies collected public input regarding the policy revision in late 2022, and DOL is providing a 30-day comment period for feedback prior to the revision being finalized. The comment period will run through Feb. 11, 2023.

Read More >> New York Releases Revised Sexual Harassment Prevention Model Policy for Public Comment

New York’s Healthcare Vaccine Mandate Comes Under Fire . . . Again

January 17, 2023

By Adam P. Mastroleo and Hannah K. Redmond

In August 2021, the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) implemented an emergency regulation – 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 Commissioner permanently adopted the regulation in June 2022. Commonly referred to as a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for healthcare workers, the Regulation has been the subject of several legal challenges in both state and federal courts.

Read More >> New York’s Healthcare Vaccine Mandate Comes Under Fire . . . Again

New York Amends Its Labor Law Restricting Mandatory Overtime for Nurses

January 9, 2023

By Sanjeeve K. DeSoyza and Rebecca J. LaPoint

On Dec. 30, 2022, Gov. Hochul signed a bill (A.286/S.1997) that amends New York Labor Law § 167. Originally enacted in 2009, Section 167 restricts “healthcare employers” from requiring nurses to work beyond their regularly scheduled hours, with four limited exceptions, where the overtime is during or due to:

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New York Expands Retaliatory Workplace Safeguards for Protected Leave

December 6, 2022

By Stephanie H. Fedorka and Jackson K. Somes

On Nov. 21, 2022 New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed a Bill A8092-B/S1958 into law that expands retaliatory workplace protections for employees. The newly signed law amends New York Labor Law (NYLL) Section 215 to prohibit an employer from punishing or disciplining an employee who takes time off work for a “lawful absence” protected by federal, state or local law.

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Additional Developments to New York’s Concealed Carry Improvement Act

November 22, 2022

By Nicholas P. Jacobson

On June 23, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down New York’s requirement that individuals demonstrate an individualized need for protection to obtain a permit allowing them to carry a firearm for self-defense outside their home or business. In response, on July 1, 2022, Gov. Kathy Hochul signed new legislation – the Concealed Carry Improvement Act (CCIA) – which modifies the requirements for obtaining a conceal and carry permit and prohibits the possession of firearms in areas deemed “sensitive” or “restricted.” Under the CCIA, places of employment and business constitute restricted areas in which the possession of firearms is only permitted with express permission from the property owner or lessee.

Read More >> Additional Developments to New York’s Concealed Carry Improvement Act

Recreational Marijuana Use in the Workplace: An Update

October 31, 2022

By James M. Taglienti

Overview

In March of 2021, New York passed the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA), which legalized the recreational use of cannabis for individuals over the age of 21. When passed, the MRTA amended Labor Law § 201-d to protect an employee’s right to use “consumable products,” which now includes cannabis. However, the employee’s right to use cannabis is protected only if the use is (1) outside of work hours; (2) off of the employer’s premises; and (3) without use of the employer’s equipment or other property.

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New York Lowers Overtime Threshold for Agricultural Workers

October 18, 2022

By Patrick V. Melfi and Gianelle M. Duby

On Sept. 30, 2022, State Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon announced that she has accepted the New York Farm Laborers Wage Board’s recommendation to lower the overtime threshold for agricultural workers from 60 hours down to 40 hours. During its Sept. 6, 2022 meeting, the Board voted 2-1 in favor of submitting its report recommending a 10-year phase in schedule for a 40-hour threshold. The overtime threshold will be reduced by four hours every two years beginning on Jan. 1, 2024 until it reaches 40 hours in the year 2032.

Read More >> New York Lowers Overtime Threshold for Agricultural Workers

New York Announces Increase to Minimum Wage for Upstate Employers

October 11, 2022

By Hannah K. Redmond and Subhash Viswanathan

Effective Dec. 31, 2022, the minimum wage in upstate New York (i.e., every part of the state except New York City, Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester counties) will increase from $13.20 to $14.20 per hour. The New York State Department of Labor recently announced this one dollar increase – which is approximately a 7.5% increase.

The minimum wage for employees working in New York City, Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester counties remains unchanged at $15.00 per hour. The minimum wage for fast food employees across the state also remains unchanged at $15.00 per hour. The minimum wage for upstate New York will continue to increase on an annual basis until the statewide minimum wage rate reaches $15.00 per hour regardless of locale. A chart summarizing the minimum wage rates throughout the state is available here.

Employers should keep two important things in mind as they prepare to comply with this forthcoming minimum wage increase. First, the minimum wage increase for goes into effect on Dec. 31, 2022. Therefore, non-exempt employees who work on New Year’s Eve should be paid the increased minimum wage for any hours worked. Second, the applicable minimum wage rate is determined with respect to where the work is performed – not where the employer is located. Thus, an employee working in New York City must be paid at the minimum wage rate applicable to downstate even if his or her employer is headquartered in upstate where the minimum wage has not yet reached $15.00.

An increase to the salary threshold for employees who are classified as exempt under New York’s executive and administrative exemptions has not been finalized for 2023. However, proposed regulatory text issued by the Department of Labor suggests the minimum weekly salary threshold for the executive and administrative exemptions will increase from $990 to $1064.25 per week (inclusive of board, lodging and other allowances and facilities) in upstate New York effective Dec. 31, 2022. Historically, the exempt salary threshold has been 75 times the minimum wage rate; this proposed increase, which will likely be implemented, roughly follows that pattern. There is no proposed increase to the salary threshold for exempt executive and administrative employees working in New York City, Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester counties, so that threshold will remain at $1,125 per week. There is still no state salary threshold to qualify for the professional exemption, so the federal threshold of $684.00 per week remains applicable for the professional exemption. Employees must continue to meet specified duties requirements to qualify for an exemption.

For any questions about this minimum wage increase, please contact Hannah Redmond, any attorney in Bond’s labor and employment practice or the Bond attorney with whom you are regularly in contact.