On March 1, 2022, the New York State Senate passed a suite of landmark employment legislation. Though several of the bills still need to be passed by the State Assembly – and, of course, ultimately signed into law by Governor Kathy Hochul – Empire State employers should nevertheless review the measures now so they will
New York State Human Rights Law (“NYSHRL”)
New York State and City expand Human Rights Law protections to freelancers and independent contractors
Independent contractors have long been excluded from the protections afforded by traditional workplace anti-discrimination laws. That is no longer the case in New York State and City. In recent months, legislators in both Albany and Manhattan have extended substantial workplace-related protections – once only afforded to traditional employees – to freelancers, consultants, and the like (that is, independent contractors). We will discuss these measures below.
New York State
Effective October 2019, the antidiscrimination provisions of the New York State Human Rights Law (NYSHRL) now protect nonemployees, such as contractors, subcontractors, vendors, consultants, temporary workers, “gig” workers, and other non-employee persons providing services pursuant to a contract. In practice, this means that independent contractors may now pursue claims of workplace discrimination, harassment, and retaliation under the NYSHRL. This change is particularly impactful when considered in conjunction with the recently lowered standard for proving claims of harassment.
At present, these laws only apply to entities with four or more employees. However, effective February 8, 2020, the protections will cover all businesses operating within the state.
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Fall to bring more than just foliage for New York employers
New York lawmakers had a busy summer overhauling many of the state’s existing workplace laws. Many of the newly enacted changes, as well as others enacted within the past year, become effective in October 2019. Below we will highlight the new laws taking effect in October and discuss measures employers should take to ensure their workplaces are compliant.
Already in effect:
- All New York State employers must provide new hires with a notice containing the company’s sexual harassment policy. In addition, at the required annual sexual harassment prevention training sessions, employers must again furnish to all employees a notice containing the sexual harassment policy and, also, the information presented at the training.
While the law does not indicate precisely what information presented during the training must be provided, we recommend that employers provide new hires with the handouts and a copy of the presentation (presumably, PowerPoint slides) used at the training program.…
Continue Reading Fall to bring more than just foliage for New York employers