December 2022: New York Enacts Law to Bring Worker-Rights Poster Requirements into Digital Age

28 Dec

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Update Applicable to: 
All employers in the state of New York

What happened?
On December 16, 2022, Governor Hochul signed Bill A7595/S6805 into law, which expands employee-rights poster requirements to be made available on an employer’s website, or by email to employees to the current requirement to place physical posters in a conspicuous location in the workplace.

What are the details? 
Effective Immediately, the new law amends New York Labor Law Section 201, which previously stated:

Wherever persons are employed who are affected by the provisions of this chapter or of the industrial code, the commissioner shall furnish to the employer copies or abstracts of such provisions, rules, and orders as he may deem necessary affecting such persons. The copies or abstracts shall be in such language as the commissioner may require and shall be posted by the employer in a conspicuous place on each floor of the premises.

The amendment now adds the following provision to the end of the statute:

Digital versions of such copies and abstracts shall also be made available through the employer’s website or email. Employers shall provide notice that documents required for physical posting are also available electronically. All documents required to be physically posted at a worksite pursuant to state or federal law or regulation shall also be made electronically available in the manager described pursuant to this section.

The scope of digital posting requirements under this law includes New York Labor Law posting requirements. It purports to require employers to digitally post all documents posted at a worksite under any other state or federal law. Notably, the law’s plain language does not limit the requirement to federal “employment or labor” laws, such as the Fair Labor Standards Act and Family and Medical Leave Act. It can broadly be read as any federal law.

Additionally, the law does not consider basic differences in businesses and assumes that all businesses have a website and that all employees have email. While many businesses do have websites, and many employees do have emails, that certainly is not the case for all businesses and all employees across industries. The law does not explain what, if anything, is required for employers that do not currently have websites or employees that do not have emails.

Employers that fail to comply with state and federal employment law posting requirements may be subject to fines. Compliance with these requirements also can be used to rebuff claims from employees that they were unaware of their rights.

Employers are well advised to perform an internal audit with employment counsel to confirm that all state and federal employment and labor posting requirements are met. Specifically, employers should ensure that it has a physical poster with any and all mandatory posters located in a conspicuous place, that the laws on those same posters are now made available on the company website or by email to employees, and that employees are made aware of the existence of such electronic notices.

For more information, please see the links below:

A7595/S6805

Posting Requirements

Article

What do employers need to do?
Employers should review the links above and perform an internal audit with employment counsel to confirm all state and federal employment and labor-posting requirements are met.

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