On July 7, 2021, the New York Department of Labor (DOL) published the NY Hero Act airborne infectious disease exposure prevention standard (the Standard) and industry-specific model airborne infectious disease exposure prevention plans as required under the NY Hero Act (the Act). As we previously discussed, the Act requires New York employers to implement extensive new workplace health and safety protections in response to a “highly contagious communicable disease” as designated by the New York State Commissioner of Health (Designation). Notably and significantly, while the NY Department of Health continues to deal with COVID-19 and a risk still exists, the DOL clarified that there is no current Designation for COVID-19 by the Commissioner and therefore, no New York employer is required to put a plan in effect at this time due to COVID-19.

Continue Reading NY DOL publishes Hero Act standards and prevention plans, but immediate implementation not necessary

As we previously discussed, on May 5, 2021, Governor Cuomo signed the NY Hero Act (the Act) into law, codifying health and safety protocols in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. On June 7, 2021, the New York State Legislature passed amendments (the Amendments) to the Act to address certain ambiguities, in particular regarding the logistics of complying with the Act’s terms. If the Amendments are signed by Governor Cuomo, as is expected, they will push back the effective date of the majority of provisions of the Act from June 4 to July 5, 2021, with the exception of the workplace safety committee provision, which will take effect November 1, 2021.

Continue Reading New York set to amend the New York Hero Act

UPDATE:  On May 5th, 2021, Governor Cuomo signed the legislation into law.  The law will go into effect on June 4, 2021.

On April 21, 2021, both houses of the New York Legislature announced passage of the NY Hero Act, which will require employers to implement extensive new workplace health and safety protections in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Governor Cuomo is expected to sign the Act into law in the coming weeks.

The NY Hero Act will go into effect 30 days after the Governor signs it into law. When it does, all New York employers, regardless of size, will need to take action to comply with the new obligations that this law will impose.


Continue Reading New York set to require new workplace health and safety protections

[UPDATE: On March 12, 2021, Governor Cuomo signed the bills into law, providing for paid COVID-19 vaccination leave for New York employees, effective immediately.]

The New York State Legislature recently passed bills (Bill S2588A; A3354B) that would provide all public and private employees in New York with up to four hours of paid leave to obtain the COVID-19 vaccine. The legislation is expected to be signed by Governor Cuomo shortly.

The proposed law provides that the paid vaccination leave may not be charged against any other leave that the employee is entitled to, such as any paid sick leave or leave pursuant to any collectively bargained agreement. An employee will be entitled to up to four hours for each COVID-19 vaccination through December 31, 2022.
Continue Reading Paid vaccination leave coming to New York

As we previously discussed, employers with fewer than 500 employees will no longer be legally required to provide employees with leaves of absence under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). As of January 1, 2021, covered employers may choose to voluntarily provide such leave through March 31, 2021, and continue to take tax credits for doing so.

Although FFCRA leave may now be an employer elective, covered employers in states and local jurisdictions that have passed their own COVID-19 leave laws may remain obligated to provide their eligible employees with COVID-19 leave. We previously discussed an expansion of Washington D.C.’s COVID-19 leave obligations through March 31, 2021. To a similar end, New York employers also have continuing COVID-19 leave obligations into 2021, and perhaps beyond.
Continue Reading NY employers’ continuing COVID-19 leave obligations…for the foreseeable future

Governor Cuomo is sending new legislation related to the coronavirus to New York State lawmakers today. The legislation would protect employees who are required to stay home from work because they are being isolated or quarantined as a result of the COVID-19 coronavirus.
Continue Reading New York State Governor Cuomo to send coronavirus protections under New York State Paid Sick Leave Act to legislature

New York employers – New York State has gifted you an early holiday present – a requirement to update your handbook, comply with a new law immediately or potentially face steep consequences.

On November 8, 2019, Governor Cuomo signed into law a bill prohibiting employment discrimination based on an employee’s or a dependent’s “reproductive health

Later this week, on October 11, 2019, several important changes are coming to the New York Human Rights Law (“NYHRL”).

As you may recall, last year the New York legislature enacted legislation prohibiting employers from requiring nondisclosure sexual harassment claims in Nondisclosure Agreements (“NDA”) unless the employee requests confidentiality.  As of next week, that prohibition

Last week, the New York State Legislature passed a bill prohibiting employers from asking about the salary history of prospective and current employees. Aimed at curtailing wage discrimination and pay disparity, the bill applies broadly. The bill, in its current form, applies to all employers along with recruiters or similar entities that connect applicants with