New York labor and employment law update for 2021

BY Tara E. Daub

As we approach year end, please be sure your organization is ready for the changes taking effect in New York in 2021.

Here are some specific developments you should keep in mind as you prepare for the next 12 months:

  • With employees entitled to take paid sick leave beginning January 1, now is the time to ensure that your written sick leave or paid time off (PTO) policy complies with the New York Paid Sick Leave law. Having some way to track employees' covered absences will be essential to complying with the law and ensuring that employees are not retaliated against for taking protected leave.
  • Stay vigilant and on top of wage policies. While minimum wage and exemption salary tests are only changing annually, proper practices and application of the law need to be reviewed more frequently. With expected increased enforcement actions and a reinvigorated plaintiff's bar, it is imperative that employers review their wage policies to assure compliance.
  • COVID-19, unfortunately, is likely to continue to dominate employer agendas. Employers should be prepared with response plans for employee infections and continue enforcing their existing safety protocols to minimize the spread of the virus in their workplaces.
  • Employers can be sure that the direction of federal workplace law and policy will change when the Biden administration takes the reigns after January 20, 2021. The President-elect has stated his support for various legislative and other priorities in support of workers, including paid leave benefits, increasing the federal minimum wage, gender pay equity rules, other worker protections, and union organizing rights.
  • Major legislative initiatives in Congress are unlikely in the near term, even if the Senate ends up split 50/50 after the Georgia runoff elections in January. However, the new administration will more likely pursue other Executive branch options, such as enforcement and rulemaking.

Please reach out to me, your Nixon Peabody Labor & Employment attorney, or any of the presenters with questions or to inquire about any other topics mentioned in the following recording.

New York Labor & Employment Law Update presenters:

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Tara E. Daub


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