In April 2020, Governor Cuomo signed new laws which amend the Wage Theft Prevention Act (WTPA). First passed in 2011, and amended in 2014, the WTPA mandates that employers provide employees with notices at their time of hire containing pay information and include related pay information on employee pay stubs. The amendments add new requirements to the WTPA notices and pay stubs for employees on public work contracts throughout the state who receive prevailing wage supplements and for home care aides in New York City and Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester counties.
The budget bill signed by Governor Cuomo on April 3, 2020, includes an amendment to the Labor Law that requires New York employers to provide sick leave to employees. The legislation becomes effective 180 days after it was enacted, which appears to be September 30, 2020.
New York State recently published some answers to frequently asked questions regarding the COVID-19 paid sick leave law that was enacted last week. The FAQs clarify some aspects of the law that were not clear from the text of the statute and give some insight into the manner in which the law will be interpreted and enforced.
Last week, New York enacted new legislation regarding leave and other benefits for certain employees relating to COVID-19. (The federal government also passed the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act and the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act, which we have covered in a prior blog post). Unlike the federal laws, which take effect on April 2, the state law took effect immediately. Here is a summary of what employees are entitled to receive under this new law.
In his daily press briefing, Governor Cuomo stated this morning that all non-essential businesses will be required to reduce their workplace staffs to zero. He stated that this will be enforced. Violations of the workplace reduction will result in civil fines and even mandatory closure for any business not in compliance. NOTE: ESSENTIAL SERVICES DO NOT HAVE TO BE REDUCED.
Governor Andrew Cuomo issued Executive Order 202.6 late on March 18th. Under the order, effective as of March 20th at 8 p.m., all businesses and not-for-profit entities are to use any telecommuting or work from home procedures that they can safely utilize to the maximum extent possible. This order does not apply to government entities, municipalities and public schools. This order requires every employer, unless exempted, to reduce its in-person workforce at any work locations by 50% by today, March 20th, at 8 p.m.
On March 19th, the Governor issued Executive Order 202.7. This order requires every employer, unless exempted, to reduce its in-person workforce at any work locations by 75% by tomorrow, Saturday, March 21, at 8 p.m.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo issued Executive Order 202.6 late on March 18. Under the order, effective as of March 20 at 8 p.m., all businesses and not-for-profit entities are to use any telecommuting or work from home procedures that they can safely utilize to the maximum extent possible.
Most importantly, unless excepted, each employer is to reduce the in-person workforce at any work locations by 50% by tomorrow, Friday, March 20, at 8 p.m.
On February 6, 2020, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an amendment to New York Labor Law § 592 that reduces the period of time that striking workers must wait before receiving unemployment insurance benefits. The amendment took effect immediately.
The New York State Department of Labor, after holding multiple hearings across the state regarding the impact of tip credits for employees covered by the Minimum Wage Order for Miscellaneous Industries and Occupations, issued a report recommending the elimination of the tip credit for all miscellaneous industry workers. Governor Cuomo recently announced that this recommendation will be implemented in two phases. Effective June 30, 2020, the tip credit will be cut in half. Effective December 31, 2020, the tip credit will be eliminated entirely. This will affect an estimated 70,000 employees, in occupations such as car wash attendants, nail and hair salon workers, tow truck drivers, dog groomers, wedding planners, tour guides, and valet parking attendants. This will not affect employees covered by the Hospitality Industry Wage Order, such as service employees and food service workers in hotels and restaurants.
Employers in New York will be required to comply with the new state minimum wage rates and the new state salary thresholds to qualify for the executive and administrative exemptions, effective December 31, 2019.
On November 8, 2019, Governor Cuomo signed legislation that provides certain protections for employees based on “reproductive health decision making.” Under the new legislation, which is codified in New York Labor Law Section 203-e, “reproductive health decision making” includes, but is not limited to, “the decision to use or access a particular drug, device or medical service" related to reproductive health. Simply put, employers in New York cannot take adverse employment actions against employees based on decisions such as obtaining fertility-related medical procedures, using birth control drugs or contraceptive devices, or having an abortion.