As we recently blogged about here, efforts to ban inquiries related to applicants’ salary history have gained momentum across the country. Last Friday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio joined this trend by signing into law a bill prohibiting New York City employers from inquiring about prospective employees’ salary history. When it takes effect on October 31, 2017, the law will prohibit employers from communicating “any question or statement to an applicant, an applicant’s current or prior employer, or a current or former employee or agent of the applicant’s current or prior employer, in writing or otherwise, for the purpose of obtaining an applicant’s salary history, or to conduct a search of publicly available records or reports for the purpose of obtaining an applicant’s salary history.” “Salary history” includes the applicant’s current or prior wage, benefits or other compensation.
We had such a spirited panel discussion on pay equity at our Third Annual Employment Law Summit recently that we wanted to follow up with a post addressing the current state of play on pay equity legislation, particularly with respect to salary history disclosure laws. This is a rapidly advancing area of the law in which we continue to see new developments.
Over the next two weeks we will release our Year in Review segment, which will look at the key labor & employment law developments from 2016 in New York, the DC Metro Area, Massachusetts, and California while offering our thoughts about 2017. Today we kick off this segment with New York. In addition, please join us in NYC on April 6, 2017 for Mintz Levin’s Third Annual Employment Law Summit as we address some of the key labor & employment issues impacting employers in 2017. Register here.
2016 brought big changes for New York State and City employers, including expansive new discrimination protections and substantial increases in the minimum wage and exempt salary thresholds. While New York employers who successfully navigated 2016’s rush of legislative, regulatory and judicial obstacles might feel they’ve earned the right to shift their focus back from compliance issues to running their businesses, they should not lose sight of the additional challenges expected in 2017.
As 2016 came to a close, New York City became the first in the nation to enact a law establishing payment protections and remedies for freelance workers. On November 16, 2016, Mayor de Blasio signed into law the Freelance Isn’t Free Act, which will go into effect on May 15, 2017. This new law imposes several significant requirements on freelance work arrangements, which we discuss below.
Since a Texas federal judge blocked the U.S. Department of Labor’s overtime rule from taking effect in November, human resource managers, payroll professionals and employment attorneys (including over here at Employment Matters) have been abuzz about the fact that, at least for now, employers do not need to make sweeping changes to their compensation practices to comply with the rule. What has been less discussed, however, is the impact on New York employers of the New York State Department of Labor’s amendments to New York’s Wage Orders, which become effective on Saturday, December 31, 2016, and which will, among other things, significantly increase the State’s minimum wage rate as well as its the minimum salary thresholds for individuals classified as exempt executives and administrative employees.
The NYSDOL had proposed these changes several months ago and the comment period ended back on December 3rd. But the final rule was issued just yesterday, unchanged from its proposed form. With the clock ticking, New York employers must and should pay immediate attention to these changes and should act quickly to fulfill their ongoing notice and posting obligations while adjusting compensation levels accordingly. We summarize the Wage Order amendments below.
The New York City Human Rights Law now prohibits discrimination based on an individual’s actual or perceived status as a caregiver. Below, we briefly summarize the law and gauge its potential impact on the workplace.
Sometimes a judge says what many of us are already thinking. In Rivera v. Crowell & Moring L.L.P., Katherine B. Forrest was that judge.
Being a headliner is great but nothing beats being tapped as the opening act. Join me and my panel of corporate counsel and human resources professionals as we warm up the audience at Mintz Levin’s Second Annual Employment Law Summit.
The warm up for our headliner, Carmelyn P. Malalis, Commissioner and Chair of the New York City Commission on Human Rights (who will be addressing new protections and new initiatives in the New York City Human Rights Law), may have a swanky title (“Managing Workplace Policies in a Rapidly Changing Regulatory Environment”) but it will be grounded in practicality.
Today’s workforce is mobile, virtual, transient and litigious. What is a reasonable employer to do? Should multi-jurisdictional employers practice “most-favored” diplomacy? Or should they continue to stitch together a patchwork of employment policies?
Join us in New York on January 28 as our panel tackles these and other challenging issues. You can read more about these issues in advance of the seminar here.
By now, many of you have heard about our firm’s Second Annual Employment Law Summit in New York on Thursday, January 28th. The event features a keynote address by Carmelyn P. Malalis, Commissioner and Chair of the New York City Commission on Human Rights, and it also covers a variety of current employment-related topics.
You won’t want to miss my presentation, entitled “Affordable Care Act Reporting Requirements in Plain English,” which is particularly timely. While the IRS recently gave employers a modest reprieve (only a few months), much remains to be done in a relatively short period of time –an issue I recently addressed on this blog. I’d also encourage you to check out my 5 predictions about how compliance with the ACA reporting rules will unfold.
I look forward to seeing you on the 28th in New York.
PS—If you are not already subscribed to our blog, I invite you to do so here. We are planning to continue our weekly posts on the practical, real-world challenges and issues that employers and their advisors face as they navigate the Affordable Care Act.
New York City just finished off a strong year on the employment law front. The City Council passed laws that banned the box and all but eliminated credit checks. It also passed a law requiring employers to offer their employees pre-tax transit benefits and instituted a paired testing discrimination investigation program. The Department of Consumer Affairs continued to provide guidance on the paid sick leave law, while the Commission on Human Rights welcomed a new commissioner and implemented new initiatives designed to enhance the Commission’s enforcement efforts. It also released enforcement guidance on the ban the box and credit check laws. We cover the flurry of year-end activity in this three-part series. In our first installment, we looked at the Commission’s enforcement guidance on gender identity and expression. In our second installment, we covered the ban on caregiver status discrimination. In our final installment, we cover the City’s creation of an Office of Labor Standards and expected changes to the paid sick leave act rules.
New York City has established an Office of Labor Standards that will enforce the City’s paid sick leave and transit benefits laws, and create and promote programs on worker education, safety and protection. The Council Speaker said the new Office would help workers better understand their rights and assist employers in complying with the law. The move comes as New York City prepares to amend its rules clarifying, and establishing requirements to implement, the paid sick leave law.