New York State Department of Labor has released proposed regulations under its recently enacted Wage Deduction Law. The Law, which went into effect in November 2012, permits employers to deduct certain amounts from employees’ wages, including deductions to recover wage overpayments, for repayments of employer loans, and to provide for the payment of items such as gym memberships, parking or mass transit passes and day care, among many other items. The proposed regulations, accessible here, focus on authorized deductions for the benefit of the employee and deductions for advances and overpayments.
New York City Passes Earned Sick Time Act; Expects to Override Mayor Bloomberg's Threatened Veto Yet Again
As expected, the New York City Council has passed the Earned Sick Time Act, which, if enacted, will require most City employers to provide job-protected sick leave, whether paid or unpaid, to the more than 1.6 million employees who currently do not receive this benefit. As with the recently-passed unemployment discrimination law, the Earned Sick Time Act passed with an overwhelming majority and we expect the Council to override any Mayoral veto.
Here we go again. Fresh off its passage of a law prohibiting unemployment discrimination, the New York City Council is now poised to pass a law requiring employers to provide paid sick leave to their employees. If passed, the law would likely affect more than 1 million New York City workers who do not currently receive this type of benefit.
New York City Council Overrides Mayors Veto; Discrimination Against the Unemployed Now Prohibited in New York City
Moments ago, the New York City Council voted to override Mayor Bloomberg's veto to its new law prohibiting unemployment discrimination. Our earlier post summarizing the law is here, and our update to that post is here. We strongly recommend that employers take steps now to position themselves to comply with the law when it goes into effect in 90 days.
New York City Council Likely to Vote This Week to Override Mayor Bloomberg's Veto of Law Prohibiting Discrimination Based on an Individual's Unemployment Status
Following up on our earlier posts (here and here), tomorrow, March 13, 2013, the New York City Council’s Committee on Civil Rights will determine whether to send the new unemployment discrimination law (No. 814-A) to the full New York City Council for a vote on whether to override Mayor Bloomberg’s veto of that law. If it does, the full Council will vote on whether to override the veto that same day. A spokesperson for Councilmember Leroy Comrie, one of the bill’s sponsors, stated that they are confident of an override, which needs 34 votes. The law had previously passed by a 44-4 margin. We will report back if and when a vote is held.
As we predicted in an earlier blog post, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has vetoed legislation aimed at prohibiting discrimination against New York City’s unemployed.
In a statement explaining his veto decision, Mayor Bloomberg said: “Hiring decisions frequently involve the exercise of independent, subjective judgment about a prospective employee’s likely future performance, and the creation of this ambiguous legal standard will make it harder for employers to make decisions that will benefit their businesses.” Unlike other protected characteristics, such as an applicant’s race, “the circumstances surrounding a person’s unemployment status may, in certain situations, be relevant to employers when selecting qualified employees,” Mayor Bloomberg said in his statement.
Also as predicted, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said today that the council would vote to override the veto of the measure. It is anticipated that the council has more than enough support to override Mayor Bloomberg’s veto. We will continue to monitor developments, and will keep you informed.
New York City on the Verge of Prohibiting Discrimination Based on an Individual's Unemployment Status
New York City employers beware: The New York City Council has once again acted to expand the nation’s broadest anti-discrimination law – this time to prohibit discrimination against New York City’s unemployed. While several other jurisdictions (such as New Jersey, Oregon and Washington D.C.) have recently passed similar laws, the New York City measure goes one (major) step further: if enacted, unemployed individuals who believe they have been discriminated against on the basis of their employment status will have the right to sue in court and recover compensatory and punitive damages, as well as attorneys’ fees.
This alert serves as a reminder that the New York Wage Theft Prevention Act requires employers to provide annual pay notices to all of their employees (whether full-time or part-time, exempt or non-exempt) no later than February 1, 2013. For seasonal employees who are not working during this period, employers must provide annual pay notices to these employees as soon as they return to work from their time away.
Several members of the New York City Council have introduced a bill that would amend the City’s Human Rights Law to permit employees to waive a Human Rights Law claim only where the waiver is “knowing and voluntary.” Such a statutory (rather than common law) knowing and voluntary requirement currently only applies to waivers of Federal age discrimination claims. The bill aims to capture not just the waiver of age discrimination claims under the City Human Rights Law, but also any other type of discrimination claim an employee may assert under the City law (e.g. race, gender, national origin, sexual orientation, etc.).
It’s that time of year when we look ahead at the employment and labor laws that will go in effect in the New Year. My colleagues Mike Arnold, Kate Beattie, and Brandon Willenberg have assembled this forecast of the new laws that employers and human resources professionals in California, Massachusetts, and New York may need to comply with in 2013. Click here for more.
Reminder: Amendment to New York's Wage Deduction Law Becomes Effective on Thursday, November 8, 2012
This is just a friendly reminder that starting Thursday, November 8, 2012, New York’s Wage Deduction Law will permit employers to deduct certain amounts from their employee’s wages, including deductions to recover wage overpayments, for repayments of employer loans, and to provide for the payment of items such as gym memberships, parking or mass transit passes and day care, among many other items. For more information about this law, click here. The complete amendment to the Wage Deduction Law can be accessed here.
New York Employers May Not Seek to Prevent Their Employees From Voting or Attempt to Improperly Influence Their Votes
Tomorrow millions of employees around the nation will head to the polls to vote in the general election. No matter who wins, employers should make sure they are aware of the applicable voting leave and coercion laws to ensure that they don’t lose.
Approximately two-thirds of the states have voting leave laws that require employers to provide their employees with sufficient time during the workday to vote. And many states (and Federal law) also prohibit employers from coercing or intimidating employees into voting or not voting for a particular candidate or regarding a ballot initiative. New York is no exception.
Governor Cuomo has finally signed a bill amending New York’s Wage Deduction law (Section 193) to permit employers to deduct certain amounts from employee wages to recover wage overpayments and for the repayment of employer loans. The law also permits employers to deduct certain amounts from an employee’s paycheck, for the payment of items such as gym memberships, parking or mass transit passes and day care, among many other items.
Employers have long been frustrated by their inability to make these types of deductions, especially as they often benefit the employee as well as employer. The law goes into effect on November 8, 2012.
The complete amendment can be accessed here.
New York Enhances Employee and Consumer Privacy Rights Under its Social Security Number Protection Law
Four years ago, New York enacted a Social Security Number Protection Law, N.Y. Gen. Bus. Law, §399-dd, aimed at combating identity theft by requiring employers to better safeguard employee social security numbers in their possession. (Click here for our summary of the law). Now, New York is going one step further with its passage of two new Social Security Number Protection laws.
New York employers will be pleased to know that Governor Cuomo is expected to sign a bill passed last week amending New York’s Wage Deduction law (Section 193) to permit employers to deduct certain amounts from employee wages to recover wage overpayments and for the repayment of employer loans. The law also permits employers to deduct certain amounts from an employee’s paycheck for the payment of items like gym memberships, parking or mass transit passes and day care, among many other items. Employers have long been frustrated by their inability to make these types of deductions, especially as they often benefit both the employer and employee. This change, which will take effect two months after the Governor signs the bill, is likely to be welcomed by employers and employees alike. The complete amendment can be accessed here.
On May 16th, Governor Cuomo announced the issuance of proposed regulations by several New York State agencies which limit administrative costs and executive compensation for entities receiving State funding or State-authorized payments. The proposed regulations arise from Executive Order No. 38, which generally restricts covered organizations from spending more than $199,000 in State funds on executive compensation.
The New York State Senate Passes Bill Eliminating the Annual Pay Notice Requirement Under the New Wage Theft Prevention Act
Quick update on the New York Wage Theft Prevention Act, which we reported about here, here and here. The New York Senate has passed a bill eliminating the requirement that employers provide their employees with an annual pay notice. The bill now goes to the New York State Assembly. We will report back after it votes.
New York Appellate Court Defines Summary Judgment Standard for New York City Human Rights Law Claims
My colleagues Jennifer Rubin and Michael Arnold recently authored a very interesting Alert, describing a recent New York appellate court decision outlining the evidentiary burden an employer must satisfy to win a New York City Human Rights Law claim at summary judgment. As a result of this decision, it is likely that more New York employees will have the opportunity to proceed to trial. Click here to read more.
Southern District of New York Judge Holds that Fair Labor Standard Act Collective Action Waivers in Arbitration Agreements Are Unenforceable As a Matter of Law
Employers should take notice of a recent case out of the Southern District of New York, Raniere v. Citigroup, Inc., 11 Civ. 2448, 2011 WL 5881926 (S.D.N.Y. Nov. 22, 2011) (Sweet, J.), in which the court concluded that a Fair Labor Standards Act collective action waiver included in an arbitration agreement is unenforceable as a matter of law. (As discussed in a previous blog entry, collective actions are distinct from the more-commonly discussed class actions.)
This alert serves as a reminder that the New York Wage Theft Prevention Act requires employers to provide annual pay notices to all of their employees (whether full-time or part-time, exempt or non-exempt) between January 1 and February 1, 2012. For seasonal employees who are not working during this period, employers must provide annual pay notices to these employees as soon as they return to work from their time away.