New Laws in New York State Strengthen Protections Against Workplace Harassment and Retaliation

On March 16, 2022, New York Governor Hochul signed two important laws to strengthen protections against workplace harassment and retaliation. S.5870 prohibits the release of personnel files as a retaliatory action against employees and S.812B establishes a toll-free confidential hotline for complaints of workplace sexual harassment Legislation S.812B requires the Division of Human Rights to…

Congress Ends Mandatory Arbitration of Sexual Harassment Claims

Both houses of the U.S. Congress overwhelmingly passed legislation that is now headed to President Biden’s desk to end forced arbitration of sexual assault and harassment claims. When signed, the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act of 2021 would amend the Federal Arbitration Act to essentially void and prohibit the enforcement…

What does New York State’s New Whistleblower Law Mean?

Effective January 22, 2022, New York State’s amended whistleblower law significantly expands section 740 of the New York Labor Law to provide greater protections to whistleblowers against employer retaliation. Under the recent amendments, employees include former employees and independent contractors. By including former employees, the new law protects employees against a former employer’s retaliatory actions…

Can I take paid time off when my child gets vaccinated?

On December 24, 2021, an amendment to New York City’s Earned Safe and Sick Time Act providing for paid leave for employees during their child’s COVID-19 vaccination time went into effect. The amendment, approved by the New York City Council in November 2021, requires private employers covered by the Earned Safe and Sick Time Act…

New York Employers Must Let Their Workers Know if They Plan to Monitor Their Calls, Emails, and Internet Use

On November 8, 2021, Governor Hochul signed a bill ( A.430/S.2628 ) that requires employers to let their employees know if the employer plans to monitor their phone calls, emails, or internet use. This bill covers “any individual, corporation, partnership, firm, or association with a place of business in [New York]” but does not cover…

How Does New York’s Legalization of Marijuana Affect Your Rights at Work? Labor Department Clarifies Interactions with Workplace Issues

On March 31, 2021, New York State enacted the Marijuana Regulation & Taxation Act (MRTA) which legalizes adult-use cannabis in New York. Recently, the New York State Department of Labor issued guidance to address common situations and questions relating to the legalization of adult-use cannabis and its effects on the workplace. MRTA prohibits employers from…