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As we previously reported, New York State adopted the New York Paid Family Leave Law (“Paid Leave Law”) back in April 2016. The Paid Leave Law, which requires employers in New York State to provide up to 12 weeks of paid leave benefits to employees, becomes effective beginning on January 1, 2018. With the effective date fast approaching, this article will provide an overview of key aspects of the Paid Leave Law in order to help employers as they attempt to comply with the new requirements of the Law.
Continue Reading Update: New York Paid Family Leave Law Becomes Effective on January 1, 2018

Earlier this year, we reported that New York City adopted The Establishing Protections for Freelance Workers Act, also known as the Freelance Isn’t Free Act, (the “Freelance Law”). As explained in our prior blog, under the Freelance Law, a company must: (1) provide a written contract when it contracts with a freelance worker for services worth $800 or more, (2) ensure that all payments to freelance workers are made on a timely basis and paid in full, and (3) prohibit any type of retaliatory or adverse action against freelance workers for exercising the rights granted to them under the Freelance Law.
Continue Reading UPDATE: NYC Adopts New Rules Implementing Freelance Law

The Establishing Protections for Freelance Workers Act, also known as the Freelance Isn’t Free Act, (the “Freelance Law”), which was touted by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio as the first law in the nation aimed at protecting wage payment rights of freelance workers, became effective last Monday, May 15, 2017. The Freelance Law imposes specific requirements on companies located in New York City that contract with freelance workers, including requiring a written freelance contract, requiring companies to pay freelancers timely and in full, prohibiting retaliation against freelancers who exercise their rights under the Freelance Law, and creating penalties against companies who fail to comply with these requirements.  
Continue Reading New Freelancer Law Imposes Additional Requirements For NYC Companies Contracting With Freelancers

The Court’s opinion in Scott v. Chipotle Mexican Grill demonstrates how employers can successfully combat class action claims that employees were misclassified as exempt. The successful defense of the class certification motion relied chiefly on deposition and declaration testimony to highlight inconsistencies, variations, and individualized inquiries that prevented resolution of the claims at issue on a class-wide basis.
Continue Reading Sheppard Mullin Secures Major Victory for Chipotle in Nationwide Misclassification Action By Demonstrating Variations Among Proposed Class Members

[UPDATE] On December 29, 2016, the New York State Department of Labor (“NYSDOL”) adopted its proposed rule increasing overtime exempt salary thresholds for New York employees. The new rule is
Continue Reading Update: New York State Department of Labor Proposes Increases to Overtime Exempt Salary Threshold

[UPDATE] On December 29, 2016, the New York State Department of Labor (“NYSDOL”) adopted its proposed rule increasing overtime exempt salary thresholds for New York employees. The new rule is set to take effect in just two days on December 31, 2016. The NYSDOL made no changes to the version of the proposed rule published on October 19, 2016 and discussed in this article. Employers in New York should plan to comply with the new overtime salary thresholds as outlined below on January 1, 2017. The United States Department of Labor’s proposed rule to increase the national overtime exempt salary threshold is still under a nationwide preliminary injunction and is set to be decided in the first half of 2017.  However, this preliminary injunction had no effect on the December 31, 2016 effective date of the New York State rule.
Continue Reading New York State Department of Labor Proposes Increases to Overtime Exempt Salary Threshold

On April 4, 2016, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation adopting a 12-week paid family leave policy for New York employees (the “Paid Leave Law”). (The text of the Paid Leave Law can be found in Part SS of recently passed New York State Budget at the following link:  Budget). Once fully implemented, the Paid Leave Law will provide New York employees with up to 12 weeks of paid family leave for the purpose of (1) caring for a new child, (2) caring for a family member with a serious health condition, or (3) relieving family pressures when a family member, including a spouse, domestic partner, child or parent, is called to active military service.
Continue Reading New York State Passes 12-Week Paid Family Leave Law

This month a new law requiring certain New York City employers to provide pre-tax commuter benefits to their employees went into effect. Under the law, covered New York City employers must give full-time employees the opportunity to use up to $255 per month in pre-tax income to purchase qualified transportation fringe benefits. (N.Y. City Local Law 53 (2014)).  Although the law went into effect on January 1, 2016, the law provides a six-month grace period until July 1, 2016 for employers to begin offering commuter benefits to employees.  After July 1, 2016, the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs will begin enforcement of the NYCCBL which includes the authority to fine employers up to $250 per violation.
Continue Reading New York City Commuter Benefits Law (NYCCBL) Makes Changes For Employers With a Workforce On the Go (Compliance Required by July 1, 2016)

This past year the New York legislature and New York Department of Labor amended several employment laws implementing changes that are set to take effect at the end of 2015 or in early 2016. This update summarizes the new and updated legal requirements imposed by those amendments to help New York employers prepare and comply in 2016.
Continue Reading New Year, New Rules for Employers Doing Business in New York

In Visecchia v. Alrose Allegria LLC, a recent decision from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, the court granted in part and denied in part a motion to dismiss claims of gender discrimination and retaliation brought by a hotel chef against his former employer alleging that the employer selectively enforces a hair policy in a manner that discriminates against male employees. In his complaint, plaintiff Richard Visecchia Jr. alleged he had long hair since he began working for the Allegria Hotel (the “Hotel”) as a line cook in 2009. He also stated that, in 2012, Hotel management directed him to cut his hair because it was “too long” under the Hotel’s hair policy, which reads as follows:

Hair must be clean, trimmed, well brushed and neat at all times, Extreme style flowers [sic], colored ribbon’s [sic], beaded, braided or streaked hair is not permitted. Color should be maintained at neutral tones. Men’s hair must be above the shirt collar. Side burns should not exceed one inch in length and should be neatly trimmed. No other type of hair covering should be worn unless considered a part of the uniform.


Continue Reading District Court for the EDNY Denies Motion to Dismiss Selective Enforcement Gender Discrimination and Retaliation Claims Related to Enforcement of Employer’s Hair Policy

On April 16, 2015, the New York City Council (the “Council”) passed a bill (Int. 0261-2014) prohibiting employers from requesting or using the consumer credit history of an employee or job applicant when making employment decisions (the “Bill”).  More specifically, the Bill would make it a discriminatory practice to request or use the consumer credit history of applicants or employees by amending the City’s Human Rights Law to include the following provision:
Continue Reading NYC Council Votes to Ban Employers from Conducting Credit Checks