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New York Law Brings Prohibitions to Captive Audience Meetings

12 Sep


Update Applicable to:

All employers who conduct such meetings with physical or remote employees in NY.

What happened?

On September 6, 2023, New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed legislation that prevents employers from taking disciplinary actions against employees who choose not to attend captive audience meetings, and took effect immediately.

What are the details?

Businesses can’t require employees to attend meetings where management voices its views on religion, health care, politics, or joining civic or fraternal organizations or labor unions, under the new law. This development was anticipated as Governor Hochul had expressed her intent to ban such meetings in late spring 2023. Subsequently, legislative measures were swiftly introduced in both chambers of New York’s legislature to support this objective.

This move aligns New York with a growing number of states that are implementing or considering legislation to restrict or outright prohibit captive audience meetings. Notably, the list of states taking such measures includes Connecticut, Maine, Minnesota, and Oregon.

This legislative change aims to protect employees’ rights to choose whether to participate in these meetings without facing repercussions from their employers.

For more information, please see the links below:

Official Law (S4982 / A6604)

Original Memorandum

Law Firm Article

What do employers need to do?

Employers should review the new law by reading the bill above. Employers who persist in conducting captive audience meetings now face the risk of being accused of unfair labor practices under the National Labor Relations Act. This risk is heightened by the recent enactment of these legislative changes.

Need help understanding how changes to employment laws will affect your business?

Learn more about how Vensure's New York PEO services can help you navigate complex employment laws and keep your business compliant.

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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