Employment Law Update: Attention Employers

Employment Alert

If you have any questions regarding the employment law updates discussed in this alert, please contact a member of the HDRB&B Employment Group.

Staying ahead means staying informed.

New York State Pay Transparency Law

Are you in compliance with the NY State pay transparency law?

As of September 17, 2023, any employer with four or more employees must disclose the compensation, or range of compensation, in any advertisement for a job, promotion, or transfer opportunity. Employers must also disclose a job description, if one exists. This applies to both internal and external job listings, but not to temp agencies or independent contractors.

Employers are subject to fines from the New York State Department of Labor for violations. First time violations are punishable by a $1,000 fine, second violations are punishable by a $2,000 fine, and all subsequent violations are punishable by a $3,000 fine.

To ensure compliance, it is crucial that employers:

  • Determine pay ranges for all positions and document them going forward.
  • Consider conducting an internal pay audit to identify if there are any discrepancies between positions and employees. Any issues may be magnified when pay ranges are required to be posted in future job listings, so being proactive could significantly reduce exposure to liability.
  • Ensure that all job postings have job descriptions for positions, including internal job postings, if a job description exists.
  • Train the necessary personnel to comply with this law.
  • Ensure that any third parties used for recruiting comply with this law as well.

IMPORTANT: The law does not afford the opportunity to remedy an error before a fine is issued.

New York State Sexual Harassment Policy Updates

Has your sexual harassment policy been updated under the New York State Department of Labor’s (“NYSDOL”) new template?

NYSDOL recently released updates to the state’s “Sexual Harassment Model Policy” that provides a template for employers to comply with New York law. Additionally, NYSDOL has released an updated training video and model presentation slides designed for employers, encompassing the new inclusions in the policy.

The updates are part of an ongoing effort to ensure stronger protections against workplace harassment and abuse. These updates feature additional examples of sexual harassment, discrimination, and retaliation, along with providing more comprehensive insights into bystander intervention. The updates also give particular attention to the emergence of these issues in remote work environments or virtual platforms.

Notably, the updates emphasize the importance of addressing harassment and discrimination linked to gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation. Instances of inappropriate conduct are outlined, with the policy updates extending their focus beyond just sexual contact or suggestive behavior. The revisions also underline the issues that can surface concerning stereotyping or differential treatment based on individuals’ identities.

New York employers should have counsel review their sexual harassment policies to ensure they are in compliance with updated NYSDOL standards.

New Form I-9

Are you utilizing the new Form I-9?

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) has recently issued a revised Form I-9. Employers may use the previous version of the form until October 31, 2023, after which they are required to transition to the updated version. The new Form is intended to simplify the completion process.

New York State Manual Laborer Weekly Pay

Do you employ manual laborers who must be paid on a weekly basis?

In NY, any private sector worker who engages in “manual labor” for more than 25% of their working time must be paid on a weekly basis. Manual labor is interpreted broadly and can apply to workers exempt from overtime, unless they earn more than $900 per week or are employed by the federal, state, or local government.

Manual labor encompasses a variety of tasks constituting a worker’s daily activities, such as heavy lifting, shelf stocking, box moving and unpacking, purchase bagging, cleaning, and extended periods of standing or walking. Employers must examine both the specific daily tasks being carried out by workers and the content of an employee’s job description. This assessment is essential to determine, on a case-by-case basis, whether a worker should be categorized as performing “manual” labor and subsequently entitled to weekly compensation.

Employers should:

  • Evaluate whether they have any workers who qualify for weekly pay.
  • Verify whether any workers eligible for weekly payment fall under specific exemptions. In particular, employers with a workforce exceeding 1,000 employees may be eligible for certain exemptions.
  • Confer with counsel regarding employees whom you are not sure how to classify.

Violations can result in litigation resulting in liquidated damages for any payments that did not comply with the law.

QUESTIONS? If you have any questions or concerns regarding the employment law updates discussed in this alert, or other employment law questions, please contact:

Heather Adelman, Esq.hadelman@hdrbb.com | 201.649.8066
Maralee Sanders, Esq. | msanders@hdrbb.com | 201.649.8073