As we close the books on 2018, New York employers really cannot relax after the bombardment of last year’s employment law changes. Many of these laws will require new levels of compliance in 2019, not to mention the new laws on the horizon.
This post will provide employers with a brief recap of what we saw in 2018, and what we can expect in 2019.
LOOKING BACK ON 2018
As we mentioned in our blog post last January – The New Year Brings New Rules to New York – New York State and City lawmakers were busy in 2018 enacting sweeping employment legislation regarding a variety of topics.
New York State
Paid Family Leave
New York State kicked off 2018 with the implementation of New York’s Paid Family Leave law (“PFL”). We covered the roll-out of this law in November 2017 in our post A New Headache – New York’s Paid Family Leave. The law has now been effect for an entire year, and covered employers should have well-established policies and procedures in place to provide PFL to employees. This includes distributing to employees a written policy regarding PFL, ensuring the employer is covered to provide PFL payments either through an insurance carrier or a self-insured fund, and complying with workplace posting requirements.
Anti-Sexual Harassment Legislation
The #MeToo movement dominated the headlines in 2018, and New York State lawmakers took notice. Throughout the year, the state implemented anti-sexual harassment legislation that touched on everything from employment policies and training, to mandatory arbitration clauses and settlement agreements. We covered these new laws at length in July with our client alert – Fall is Coming! New York’s New Anti-Sexual Harassment Laws Just Around the Corner.
The new State laws are in effect. This means all New York State employers should have already issued a written anti-sexual harassment policy that includes an investigation procedure and complaint form for sexual harassment complaints. Employers should be focused on implementing anti-sexual harassment training that meets all state requirements, which must be completed by October 9, 2019.
Employers should also revise mandatory arbitration agreements to specifically exclude sexual harassment claims. Also, employers cannot require confidentiality in settlement agreements regarding a sexual harassment claim by an employee, unless the employee prefers to have the provision. Continue Reading