07 Sep

August 2020 New York HR Legal Updates

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New York State Sick Leave Effective September 30, 2020

What happened?
The date in which employers in New York state will be expected to provide paid sick leave to their employees has almost arrived.

What are the details?
On September 30, 2020, New York’s new statewide permanent sick leave goes into effect. This will require employers to provide unpaid and paid sick leave benefits to their employees. Under the paid sick leave law employers with:

  1. Fewer than four employees and a net income of $1 million or less in the previous tax year must provide each employee with up to 40 hours of unpaid sick leave in each calendar year;
  2. With four or fewer and a net income greater than $1 million in the previous tax year, or between five and 99 employees in any calendar year, must provide each employee with up to 40 hours of paid sick leave each calendar year, and
  3. With 100 or more employees in any calendar year must provide at least 56 hours of paid sick leave in each calendar year.

Employers are allowed to frontload the employee’s yearly allotment. If they decide to not frontload, employees must accrue at a rate no less than one hour for every 30 hours worked. Employers may restrict the use of any accrued sick time to January 1, 2021. Additionally, the law will require employers to maintain accurate payroll records for up to six years, showing the amounts of paid sick leave provided to any employees.

A more detailed breakdown of the New York paid sick leave can be found here.

The budget bill that introduces this paid sick leave program can be found here. Search for “Part J” to find the relevant information.

What do employers need to do?
Employers should begin training their employees on their rights for paid sick leave and management on how to administer the paid sick leave. Employers should review their recordkeeping processes to accommodate the six-year requirement of recordkeeping for payroll information.

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Suffolk County, New York Expands Anti-Discrimination Definitions

What happened?
Suffolk County, New York has expanded their anti-discrimination definitions in their human rights law to include race and religious discrimination based on hairstyle, hair texture, and religious garments.

What are the details?
Suffolk County’s human rights law prohibits discrimination based on gender and “group identity.” Prior to the amendment, the law defined “group identity” as the “actual or perceived race, color, creed, age, national origin, alienage or citizenship status, gender, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, or familial status of any individual, as well as the actual military status of any individual.” The amendment adds “visible traits of an individual, such as natural hair texture, protective hairstyles and the donning of religious garments or items,” to the definition of “group identity.” Protective hairstyles can include hairstyles like braids, locks, and twists.

The Commission on Human Rights has provided guidance on race discrimination on the basis of hair.

What do employers need to do?
Employers in Suffolk County should update their anti-discrimination policies to reflect the additions made by the amendment.

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