United States: New York State And New York City Pass Landmark Employment Legislation: Will 2016 Be "The Year Of The Worker"?

Last Updated: April 12 2016
Article by Jill L. Rosenberg and Lisa Lupion

After agreeing last week on a 2016-17 Executive Budget that includes several key labor and employment provisions, New York State Independent Democratic Caucus Leader Jeffrey Klein declared that "[t]his truly is the Year of the Worker."  The ground breaking bills include an increase of the New York State minimum wage over the next few years to $15 per hour and paid family leave for employees for up to 12 weeks when caring for an infant, family member with a serious health condition or to relieve family pressures when someone is called to active military service.  The New York City Council was also busy on the employment front last week, passing several changes to the New York City Human Rights Law that impact New York City employers.  These recent State and City legislative developments are summarized below.

Minimum Wage Increase

The minimum wage in New York State will increase in annual steps beginning at the end of this year depending on (1) where the employer is located, and (2) how many employees they have.  For employers in New York City with 11 or more employees the minimum wage will increase as follows:

  • to $11.00 per hour on or after December 31, 2016;
  • to $13.00 per hour on or after December 31, 2017;
  • to $15.00 per hour on or after December 31, 2018.

Smaller employers in New York City (those with ten or less employees), will have to pay their employees a higher wage rate, but the minimum wage will increase at a slower rate.  The hourly wage rate will go to $10.50 per hour on December 31, 2016 and will hit the $15 per hour mark on December 31, 2019.

The hourly wage rate will increase at smaller increments for New York employers outside of New York City.  For the non-New York City employers in "downstate" New York, which includes Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester counties, the minimum wage will increase to $10.00 per hour on or after December 31, 2016 and increase an additional one dollar per hour each year until December 31, 2021 when the minimum wage will be $15 per hour.  Finally, for employers in the remaining counties of New York, the minimum wage will increase to $9.70 per hour on or after December 31, 2016, with an additional increase each year until 2020.  After 2020, the minimum wage will continue to increase based upon an indexed scheduled to be set by the Director of the Division of Budget in consultation with the New York State Department of Labor.

Paid Family Leave

Like the minimum wage, the paid family leave provisions will be introduced incrementally beginning in 2018, with the plan fully implemented by 2021.  Once fully-phased in, employees who have been employed for 26 or more consecutive weeks will be eligible for 12 weeks of paid family leave, with the benefits capped at 67 percent of the statewide average weekly wage.  The law will also prohibit retaliation against employees who take paid family leave and will guarantee reinstatement to the same or comparable position after the 12 weeks of leave.

The family leave benefits will be paid for exclusively by employee contributions made through payroll deductions.  Employers are not required to fund any portion of the family leave benefit.  The superintendent of financial services is responsible for setting the maximum employee contribution for this benefit.  Paid leave will operate similar to the existing state-mandated disability insurance for an individual's own disability, with the employer passing the employee's family leave benefit contributions to the employer's insurance provider or to the state fund.  The law permits an employer to offer an employee to use accrued but unused vacation time or other personal time, but the law makes clear that the decision of whether to supplement the statutory benefit with accrued time off is the employee's to make.

The term "family leave" mirrors the federal Family and Medical Leave Act and will cover care for a family member who has a serious health condition, child care for an infant during the first 12 months after birth or adoption of a child, and qualifying exigency for military families.  In New York, paid leave for an employee's own illness will continue to be covered through the state's disability benefits law.

New York becomes one of only 5 states that have paid family leave, joining California, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Washington.

Changes to the New York City Human Rights Law

In addition to New York State, New York City has also been expanding employee protections through legislation.  On March 28, 2016 alone, the New York City Council passed several amendments to the City Human Rights Law, including:

  • An amendment, which becomes effective on July 26, 2016, to make clear that the New York City Human Rights Law ("NYCHRL") should be liberally interpreted and that the exceptions and exemptions should be narrowly construed.
  • An amendment to give the New York City Commission on Human Rights, which is responsible for enforcing the NYCHRL, the ability to award attorneys' fees and costs, including expert fees, upon a finding of discrimination.  This provision is immediately effective.

An amendment to repeal a provision of the NYCHRL that addressed sexual orientation discrimination that was deemed to be antiquated and unnecessary.  Specifically, the now repealed language provided that the NYCHRL should not be construed to (a) restrict an employer's right to insist than an employee meet bona-fide job qualifications; (b) authorize or require affirmative action on the basis of sexual orientation; (c) limit or override any exemptions from the provisions of the NYCHRL; (d) make lawful any act that violates the New York Penal Law; or (e) "[e]ndorse any particular behavior or way of life."

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
Events from this Firm
21 Sep 2018, Conference, Florida, United States

Employment partner, Michael Weil will be participating in The Intellectual Property Law Institute’s 2018 Conference.

26 Sep 2018, Conference, New York, United States

Employment Partner, Mandy Perry and Chair of Orrick's Global Employment Law Practice, Mike Delikat will be participating in the Global Business Protections 2018: International Restrictive Covenants and Confidential Information Conference.

26 Sep 2018, Seminar, Tokyo, Japan

Orrick’s Global Japan Practice is hosting a series of “Orrick Library” seminars to explore legal issues in various fields in Japan as well as the United States, Asia and Europe

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP
Fisher Phillips LLP
Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP
 
In association with
Related Topics
 
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP
Fisher Phillips LLP
Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP
Related Articles
 
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions