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December 2022: Governor of New York Signs Warehouse Worker Protection Act Into Law

28 Dec


Update Applicable to: 
All employers of 100 warehouse workers in a single warehouse or 500+ employees at one or more warehouse distribution centers in New York.

What happened?
On December 21, 2022, Governor Hochul signed the Warehouse Worker Protection Act (WWPA)  into law, which protects warehouse workers against unreasonable quotas.

What are the details? 
Effective February 19, 2023, the WWPA covers employers who employ 100 or more employees at a single warehouse distribution center or 500+ employees at one or more warehouse distribution centers. Covered employees include non-exempt and non-administrative employees who work at a covered employer and are subject to a quota. 

For purposes of the WWPA, a quota is defined as: 

  1. an employee assigned or required to perform: at a specified productivity speed; or a quantified number of tasks, or to handle or  produce a quantified amount of material within a defined time period; or 
  2. an employee’s actions are categorized between time spent performing tasks and not performing tasks. The employee’s failure to complete a task performance standard or recommendation may hurt the employee’s continued employment or the conditions of such employment. 

The WWPA does not cover employers that do not have such requirements.

Covered employers must provide each employee, upon hire or within 30 days of the effective date of this law, a written description of each quota and any potential adverse employment action relating to the same. Each time the quota changes, the employer must provide an updated description within two business days. Anytime an employee is disciplined, they must also be provided with the applicable quota.

The WWPA includes protections against quotas that prevent meal or rest periods or bathroom use compliance. It further states that paid and unpaid breaks cannot be counted as productive time for the quota or monitoring system.

WWPA imposes recorded keeping requirements on employers to maintain and preserve copies of the quotas or work speed data and further includes a mechanism for current and former employees to request copies of such records at no cost to the employee. The WWPA includes an anti-retaliation provision for employees that exercise their rights in “good faith” and creates a rebuttable presumption of retaliation if an employee is subject to an adverse employment action within 90 days of exercising the employee’s rights under the WWPA. Notably, “clear and convincing” evidence is required to rebut the presumption. 

Employers that violate the WWPA may be subject to civil penalties. WWPA expressly authorizes the New York State Department of Labor commissioner and Attorney General to enforce against violations.

For more information, please see the links below:

Assembly Bill A10020A

Governor Katy Hochul Announcement

Article 1Article 2

What do employers need to do?
Employers should review the links provided above, and employers that impose quota or work speed data should carefully review the WWPA with employment counsel to ensure compliance.

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This communication is intended solely for the purpose of conveying information. The present post might incorporate hyperlinks directing readers to websites managed by third-party entities. The inclusion of any links within this communication is meant to serve as points of reference and could encompass opinion articles from various law firms, articles from HR associations, official websites, news releases, and documents of government agencies, and other relevant third-party sources. Vensure has no authority over these external websites and bears no responsibility for their content. Furthermore, Vensure does not endorse the materials present on these websites. The contents of this communication should not be interpreted as legal advice or as a legal standpoint concerning specific facts or scenarios. Nor should it be deemed an exhaustive compilation of facts potentially pertinent to federal, state, or local laws. It is strongly advised that employers solicit legal guidance from an employment attorney when undertaking actions in response to any legal updates provided. This is due to the possibility of future alterations occurring in federal, state, and local laws, regulations, as well as the directives and guidelines issued by governing agencies. These changes may transpire at any given time, potentially rendering certain portions of the content within this update void or inaccurate.

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