2019 Continues to Bring More Changes to New York's (and New York City's) Employment Laws

As readers of this blog are aware, over the past couple of years both New York State and New York City have been active in passing laws governing the workplace. That trend is continuing in 2019 as new laws go into effect and others are implemented by the State and City. Employers must remain vigilant in keeping abreast of new laws and ensuring compliance with them to avoid potential legal liabilities.

Two laws that recently became effective are New York City’s lactation room law and its mandatory sexual harassment training requirement. New York City’s lactation room law went into effect on March 18, 2019 and requires that employers provide a lactation room for nursing mothers and implement a written lactation room policy. Similarly, the City’s requirement that employers provide yearly sexual harassment training became effective on April 1, 2019. We previously wrote about those laws here.

In connection with the annual training requirement, the New York City Commission on Human Rights (NYCCHR), recently published a free online interactive training module designed to assist employers in satisfying the training requirement. The NYCCHR’s training module can be found here. Under NYC’s law, all employees must be trained by December 31, 2019. However, employers should take note that under New York State’s similar law, the first year of sexual harassment training must be completed by October 9, 2019. Thus, employers in New York that have not started to implement the required sexual harassment training should immediately begin to do so.

New York State also recently amended its Election Law to provide that all registered voters may request up to three hours of time off, regardless of their schedule, to vote in any public election. Under the amended law, employees must be given time off to vote without a loss of pay, but the law is silent as to whether an employer can charge an employee’s paid time off for time used to vote. The amended Election Law continues the existing requirement that New York employers must post a conspicuous notice setting forth the entitlement to time off to vote, at least ten days before a public election.

Employers in New York, and particularly in New York City, continue to face constantly changing employment law obligations and should consult experienced employment counsel to ensure that they comply with both existing and new laws. If you have questions about your business's employment law obligations, please contact us at (201) 345-5412 / (646) 503-5358 or through our online calendar to schedule a complimentary consultation.