September 13, 2019

Employers: Things you Need to Know

Several recent New York State laws and rules impacting employers have taken effect or will soon take effect. Please take a moment to review the following to ensure that you are in compliance with these requirements:

Mandated Sexual Harassment Prevention Training
NYS law now requires all public and private employers to provide annual sexual harassment prevention training along with written sexual harassment prevention policies. In the recently enacted sexual harassment law, all employers must implement annual training and specific procedures that meet or exceed requirements provided by the NYS Department of Labor and the Division of Human Rights. All employees must complete sexual harassment prevention training by October 9, 2019. The Chamber has partnered with Pinnacle Human Resources, LLC to provide interactive, on-demand training that exceeds the NYS requirements. Pricing is based on the number of employees. Click here for more information.

Salary History Ban
A new law that takes effect on January 6, 2020, prohibits employers from asking or relying on salary history of applicants and employees in making job offers or determining wages. The New York State Department of Labor will be including relevant information on its website.

Equal Pay
A new law that takes effect on October 8, 2019, expands the definition of “equal pay for equal work” to prohibit unequal pay on the basis of a protected class for all “substantially similar” work and prohibits pay differentials based on a person’s gender, race or other protected classes. Click here for more information.

Time Off to Vote
Legislation enacted in April 2019 allows employees to take up to three hours of paid leave to vote in any election in New York State. Specifically, employees, who are registered to vote and who provide at least two working days’ advanced notice, are allowed up to three hours of leave, without charge to leave accruals, to vote in any election. The benefit is immediately available and applies to any general election, special election called by the Governor, primary election, or municipal election. It does NOT include school district elections, library district elections, fire district elections or special town elections. There is no cap on the number of elections per year an employee may request Time Off to Vote. Employers must post notice of Time off to Vote at least ten workdays before any election. The notice must be conspicuously posted where it can be seen as employees come or go to their place of work.

Paid Family Leave
The New York State Department of Financial Services has set the rate for Family Leave Benefits and Maximum Employee Contribution for Coverage Beginning January 1, 2020. Specifically, the premium rate for Family Leave Benefits for coverage beginning January 1, 2020 will be 0.270% of an employee’s wages each pay period up to and not to exceed an annual maximum employee contribution of $196.72. If an employee’s contributions reach the annual maximum employee contribution of $196.72 before the end of the calendar year, the employee will not be liable for any additional contributions for that year. In 2020, employees taking Paid Family Leave will receive 60% of their average weekly wage, up to a cap of 60% of the current Statewide Average Weekly Wage of $1,401.17. The maximum weekly benefit for 2020 is $840.70. For more information please see: