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New York: Get Ready for Expansive State Discrimination Law Reforms

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The New York legislature recently passed an omnibus bill that will amend a number of existing laws, greatly expanding the state’s expansive workplace harassment and discrimination protections.  In addition, the amendments will cover all New York employers of any size. Governor Cuomo is expected to sign the bill shortly. Key changes are noted as follows.

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New York: Tax Credit for Hiring Recovering Substance Abusers

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January 1, 2020

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The state budget for 2020 includes an Employer Recovery Hiring Tax Credit. Specifically, employers will receive a credit of up to $2,000 for each person in drug abuse recovery it employs, including in full-time and part-time positions. Eligible employees are those who have worked a minimum of 500 hours for the employer, have a substance use disorder, are in a state of wellness without signs and symptoms of active addiction, and have completed a course of treatment or are being treated for the substance use disorder.

To be certified for the tax credit, employers must provide a recovery-supportive environment for their employees evidenced by a formal working relationship with a state-certified, local recovery or treatment provider. Employers must also apply for the credit by January 15th each year for credits claimed in the previous year. Applications for the first year of the tax credit are due by January 15, 2021 for credits claimed during the 2020 tax year. A tax credit certificate will be issued by March 31st if approved.

Action Items

  1. Review Part W of Bill No. S1509-C
  2. Have substance abuse policies reviewed for coordination with hiring recovering substance abusers.
  3. Prepare for implementing recovery-supportive procedures and application deadlines.
  4. Subscribers can call our HR On-Call Hotline at (888) 378-2456 for further assistance.

Disclaimer: This document is designed to provide general information and guidance concerning employment-related issues. It is presented with the understanding that ManagEase is not engaged in rendering any legal opinions. If a legal opinion is needed, please contact the services of your own legal adviser.

© 2019 ManagEase

Westchester County, NY: Paid Safe Time Ordinance Adds New Protected, Paid Leave

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October 30, 2019

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Employers with employees in Westchester County should already be familiar with the local Earned Sick Leave Law, which outlines provisions for paid or unpaid sick leave.  A new ordinance, the “Safe Time Leave Law,” will require private employers to provide additional paid, job-protected leave for victims of domestic violence and human trafficking.

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New York, NY: New Sexual Harassment Prevention Training Video and FAQs Now Available

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April 1, 2019

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Last summer, the New York City mayor signed a packet of bills into law that greatly expanded employee protections and employer responsibilities with regard to sexual harassment prevention.  Among these bills was a new requirement to provide sexual harassment training to employees incorporating specified topics on an annual basis.  Training must be completed by December 31, 2019, although New York state regulations also contain a training requirement that must be fulfilled by October 9, 2019.

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May Updates

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This Short List addresses the following topics:
  1. California: Registered Fictitious Business Names May Be Listed on Pay Stubs
  2. Indiana: Leaving Work to Voluntarily Testify is Not Protected
  3. Kentucky: Attorneys Must Represent Employers at Unemployment Proceedings
  4. New York, NY: Bans Pre-Employment Marijuana Testing in 2020
  5. New York, NY: Prohibits Discrimination Based on Employee Sexual and Reproductive Health Decisions
  6. Westchester County, NY: Updated Guidance Issued on Paid Sick Leave

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Second Circuit: ADA Protects Against a Hostile Work Environment

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March 6, 2019

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In Fox v. Costco Wholesale Corp., the Second Circuit Court of Appeals stated that hostile work environment claims may be brought under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). There, an employee who had Tourette’s Syndrome and OCD claimed he was subject to a hostile work environment because of his medical conditions, including mocking his disability over a significant period of time and with the employer’s knowledge. Specifically, the court stated that the prohibition of discrimination under the ADA includes prohibiting workplace harassment, similar as with Title VII claims. The court indicated that there was sufficient information alleged that would allow the case to proceed. Employers should take care to consistently enforce anti-discrimination and harassment policies.

Action Item

  1. Review the decision here.
  2. Have discrimination and harassment policies reviewed for compliance.
  3. Have employees regularly trained on discrimination and harassment prevention.
  4. Subscribers can call our HR On-Call Hotline at (888) 378-2456 for further assistance.

Disclaimer: This document is designed to provide general information and guidance concerning employment-related issues. It is presented with the understanding that ManagEase is not engaged in rendering any legal opinions. If a legal opinion is needed, please contact the services of your own legal adviser.

© 2019 ManagEase

New York: Voting Paid Time Off Leave Revised

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April 1, 2019

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New York Election Law § 3-110 now provides for up to three hours of paid time off to vote, provided a request is made at least two working days prior to an election. Employers may designate the voting time be taken at the beginning or end of a shift. These changes were made in passing the state’s yearly budget. Previously, two hours of paid voting leave was only required if an employee did not have a four hour window to vote before or after a shift. Now, the paid requirement is increased and there is no requirement of an inability to vote due to an employee’s shift.

Action Items

  1. Update projected budgets to account for paid voting leave.
  2. Have employee handbooks and voting policies revised for compliance.
  3. Revise voting leave processes in accordance with the new rules.
  4. Update voting posters for consistency with the new rules.
  5. Subscribers can call our HR On-Call Hotline at (888) 378-2456 for further assistance.

Disclaimer: This document is designed to provide general information and guidance concerning employment-related issues. It is presented with the understanding that ManagEase is not engaged in rendering any legal opinions. If a legal opinion is needed, please contact the services of your own legal adviser.

© 2019 ManagEase

April Updates

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This Short List addresses the following topics:
  1. OFCCP: Corporate Scheduling Announcement List Published for Federal Contractors
  2. VEVRAA Hiring Benchmark Lowered for Affirmative Action Plans
  3. Fifth Circuit: Independent Contractor Classification in Oilfield Industry Re-visited
  4. California: NEW Posting Requirement as of April 1, 2019
  5. California: Required Employee Pamphlets Updated
  6. California: Employers Are Liable for Wage and Hour Claims Without Accurate Time Records
  7. Reminder: San Francisco 2018 Employer Reporting Deadline is April 30, 2019
  8. San Francisco, CA: Minimum Wage to Increase July 1, 2019
  9. Massachusetts: State and Federal Overtime Exemptions are Not Identical
  10. Michigan: Paid Sick Leave FAQ’s and Poster Released
  11. New York: 24-Hour Home Care Pay Decided by Court of Appeal
  12. Oklahoma: Medical Marijuana Accommodations Clarified
  13. South Carolina: Labs Liable to Workers for False Positive Drug Tests

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New York, NY: Commission Publishes Enforcement Guide on Hair-Based Race Discrimination

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February 18, 2019

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The New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) protects individuals from discrimination based upon hairstyles associated with racial, ethnic, or cultural identities.  In February, the Commission tasked with enforcement of the NYCHRL published guidance on these protections. Specifically, hair-based discrimination is defined as a subset of race discrimination, pointing to historical bans on natural hair or hairstyles typically associated with the Black community (e.g., afros, cornrows, locs, etc.).  Employers should beware of dress and grooming policies that (intentionally or unintentionally) violate this right.  The guidance provides examples of unlawful grooming requirements, including:

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