New York Clarifies that Employees Can Utilize Existing Paid Sick Leave If They Experience Side Effects from the COVID-19 Vaccine

May 28, 2021

By Shannon A. Knapp and Adam P. Mastroleo

At his press briefing on Thursday, May 27, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that employers will be required to provide paid sick leave to any employee who experiences side effects from the COVID-19 vaccination. Today, the New York State Department of Labor (DOL) issued guidance concerning such leave. 

Read More >> New York Clarifies that Employees Can Utilize Existing Paid Sick Leave If They Experience Side Effects from the COVID-19 Vaccine

Two New Pieces of Legislation Will Require “Safe Staffing” Measures in New York Hospitals and Nursing Homes

May 10, 2021

By Michael E. Hickey and Mary E. Moran

The New York legislature has introduced two pieces of legislation that will greatly impact how healthcare facilities in the state are staffed. The first bill, A108/S1168, pertains to hospitals, and the second bill, S.6346/A.7119, pertains to nursing homes. Both proposed laws have passed the Senate and Assembly and await the governor’s signature. 

Read More >> Two New Pieces of Legislation Will Require “Safe Staffing” Measures in New York Hospitals and Nursing Homes

Governor Cuomo Signs HERO Act Into Law

May 6, 2021

By Stephanie H. Fedorka

On May 5, 2021, Governor Cuomo officially signed the New York Health and Essential Rights Act (HERO Act) into law. The HERO Act effectively imposes significant obligations on covered employers to provide and maintain a safe workplace in the face of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and for future airborne infectious disease outbreaks. As previously reported, the HERO Act amended the New York Labor Law by adding two new sections: (1) Section 218-b, which governs development and adoption of an airborne infectious disease prevention policy; and (2) Section 27-D, that requires employers to permit the creation of workplace safety committees. Both sections only apply to private sector employers. However, Section 27-D specifically only applies to private employers with at least 10 employees. 

Read More >> Governor Cuomo Signs HERO Act Into Law

The U.S. Department of Labor Withdraws Its Independent Contractor Regulations

May 6, 2021

By Subhash Viswanathan

On May 6, the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) withdrew its final regulations that would have revised the standard for determining whether a worker is an employee covered under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) or an independent contractor who is not subject to the FLSA’s minimum wage and overtime requirements. According to the USDOL, the independent contractor rule that was withdrawn “is inconsistent with the FLSA’s text and purpose, and would have a confusing and disruptive effect on workers and businesses alike due to its departure from longstanding judicial precedent.”

Read More >> The U.S. Department of Labor Withdraws Its Independent Contractor Regulations

New NYC Sexual Harassment Reporting Requirement for Human Services Contracts

May 5, 2021

By Mallory A. Campbell

On March 3, 2021, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed Executive Order No. 64 that requires outside entities that contract with New York City agencies for “human services” to report information related to sexual harassment complaints. 

“Human services” is defined as services provided to third parties, including social services such as day care, foster care, home care, homeless assistance, housing and shelter assistance, preventive services, youth services, and senior centers; health or medical services; legal services; employment assistance services, vocational and educational programs; and recreation programs. N.Y.C. Admin. Code § 6-129(c)(21). 
 

Read More >> New NYC Sexual Harassment Reporting Requirement for Human Services Contracts

Dismissing Non-Willful Claims Under the FLSA – the Second Circuit Rules on an Issue of First Impression

May 3, 2021

By Michael D. Billok

Everybody knows that the statute of limitations for claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is two years, unless the claim is for a willful FLSA violation, in which case the statute of limitations is three years. Okay, maybe everybody doesn’t know that—but attorneys who regularly bring or defend wage-and-hour claims certainly do (and if you’re reading this blog, you probably do as well). So an FLSA claim filed in 2021 based on allegations from 2017 can be easily dismissed at the outset of litigation, because such a claim is clearly beyond the longest possible statute of limitations of three years. Now, consider this: what if a plaintiff files a claim in May 2021, alleging an FLSA violation from June 2018? In that case, the only way the plaintiff can bring a valid FLSA claim is if the claim is willful, because then the plaintiff could utilize the three-year statute of limitations.

Read More >> Dismissing Non-Willful Claims Under the FLSA – the Second Circuit Rules on an Issue of First Impression

New York State Legislature Passes HERO Act – Significant Workplace Health and Safety Obligations for Employers are on the Horizon

April 30, 2021

By Stephanie H. Fedorka

On April 20, 2021, the New York Legislature passed the “New York Health and Essential Rights Act” or “HERO Act.” To date, the bill has not been signed by the Governor, but we expect it to be executed in the near future. The bill, as written, would impose significant obligations on employers, regardless of size, in an effort to prevent exposure to airborne infectious diseases. 

Read More >> New York State Legislature Passes HERO Act – Significant Workplace Health and Safety Obligations for Employers are on the Horizon

Updated Guidance Regarding Tax Credits Under the American Rescue Plan

April 28, 2021

By Hannah K. Redmond

Under the American Rescue Plan (ARP), certain private-sector and governmental employers may claim refundable tax credits which provide reimbursement for the cost of providing Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) style paid sick and family leave to employees, including leave for COVID-19 vaccination related reasons. The ARP does not require employers to provide paid leave; however, it provides tax credits for employers that voluntarily opt to do so. The tax credits are available to eligible employers who provide leave from April 1, 2021 through Sept. 30, 2021.

Read More >> Updated Guidance Regarding Tax Credits Under the American Rescue Plan

New York Officially Lifts Travel Quarantine Requirement for Domestic Travelers

April 1, 2021

By Adam P. Mastroleo

On April 1, 2021 the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) officially updated its Interim Guidance for Quarantine Restrictions on Travelers Arriving in New York State to remove the quarantine requirement for domestic travelers arriving in New York State from other U.S. States or territories. This updated guidance document has been anticipated since Governor Cuomo announced on March 11, 2021, that the domestic traveler quarantine requirement would be lifted on April 1. 

Read More >> New York Officially Lifts Travel Quarantine Requirement for Domestic Travelers

What the Legalization of Recreational Marijuana Means for New York Employers

April 1, 2021

Following in the footsteps of more than a dozen other states, on March 31, 2021, New York passed legislation legalizing the recreational use of marijuana for individuals over the age of 21.

The Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (the Act) legalizes the licensed cultivation and distribution, as well as the use and possession, of recreational marijuana in New York State. Though medical marijuana has been legal in New York since the Compassionate Care Act was passed in 2014, the Act significantly expands the lawful use of marijuana in the state. 

Read More >> What the Legalization of Recreational Marijuana Means for New York Employers

New York Department of Labor Issues Guidance on Paid Leave for COVID-19 Vaccinations 

March 30, 2021

By Mary E. Moran

On March 12, 2021, Governor Cuomo signed a new law that grants paid leave to employees to get vaccinated for COVID-19. Under the statute, employees may take up to four hours of paid time off per vaccine injection. A link to our prior post discussing the statute is available here

Read More >> New York Department of Labor Issues Guidance on Paid Leave for COVID-19 Vaccinations 

Extension and Expansion of Payroll Credits for FFCRA Style Paid Sick and Paid Family Leave

March 26, 2021

By Stephanie H. Fedorka and Shannon A. Knapp

On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) into law. Notably, the law did not create a new mandate of paid sick and family leave. Instead, the ARPA simply extended and expanded the availability of payroll tax credits for covered employers who voluntarily choose to continue offering “FFCRA” style paid sick and paid family leave. 

Read More >> Extension and Expansion of Payroll Credits for FFCRA Style Paid Sick and Paid Family Leave