A quick update on key legal developments for employers with employees in New York.
- Whistleblower Protections. Expanded whistleblower protections under New York Labor Law Section 740 are now in place. Effective January 26, 2022, the amendments to Section 740 expand private-sector whistleblower protections beyond reports of public health and safety concerns and health care fraud. As amended, the law’s protections extend to individuals (including former employees and independent contractors) who report, or threaten to report, any activity they reasonably believe is a violation of law, rule, or regulation or a substantial and specific danger to public health and safety. In addition, the amendments extended the statute of limitations for a New York whistleblower claim from one to two years, and expanded the definition of retaliatory action, among other changes.
- HERO Act. The HERO Act has been extended through March 17, 2022. Due to continued transmission of COVID-19, New York extended the HERO Act, which requires employers to adopt an industry specific workplace health and safety plan to protect employees against exposure from COVID-19.
- Employee Monitoring. Effective May, 7, 2022, New York employers that monitor employee electronic activity must notify employees of that electronic monitoring. Employers that electronically monitor phones, emails, and/or internet usage (among other sources) will be required to give written notice of that monitoring to new employees upon hiring, obtain written acknowledgement of that notice, and must post a notice of those monitoring efforts in the workplace in a “conspicuous place which is readily available for viewing by its employees who are subject to electronic monitoring.” For purposes of this notice, employees must be advised that “any and all telephone conversations or transmissions, electronic mail or transmissions, or internet access or usage by an employee by any electronic device or system, including but not limited to the use of a computer, telephone, wire, radio or electromagnetic, photoelectronic or photo-optical systems may be subject to monitoring at any and all times and by any lawful means.”
- Publishing Salary Ranges. As of May 15, 2022, employers employing four or more workers must include a good faith salary range (i.e., the minimum and maximum salary for any position) in any advertisements for a job, promotion, or transfer opportunity performed in NYC.
- State Paid Family Leave Expanded. As of January 1, 2023, New York State’s Paid Family Leave will permit employees to take leave to care for a sibling with a serious health condition.
Ballard Spahr’s Labor and Employment attorneys are here to provide guidance and answer questions about issues facing employers with employees in New York.