In 2023, New York State and New York City amended several labor and employment laws about which employers should be aware to ensure that their policies and procedures remain compliant.  For more detailed information, check out the article here.

Employees Not Required to Disclose Access to Personal Social Media Accounts

Effective March 12, 2024, employers will be prohibited from requiring employees and applicants to turn over information that allows employers to access any “personal account.”  The statute also prohibits employers from penalizing or threatening to penalize employees or applicants for refusing to disclose such information.  Certain exceptions apply.

Limitation on Employers’ Rights to Employees’ Inventions

Effective September 15, 2023, employers in the State of New York may not require an employee to assign the employer the rights to an invention that the employee developed “on his or her own time without using the employer’s equipment, supplies, facilities, or trade secret information.” 

Discrimination Based on Refusal to Participate in Political and Religious Matters at Work

On February 17, 2023, Section 201-d of the New York Labor Law was amended to prohibit employers from discriminating against employees for refusing to attend employer-sponsored meetings, listen to speeches, or view communications that are intended to convey the employer’s opinion concerning political or religious matters.  Employers must post a sign informing employees of their rights under the amendment.

Notice to Employees of Eligibility for Unemployment Benefits

Effective November 13, 2023, an amendment to Section 590 of the New York Labor Law requires employers to notify employees of their right to file an application for unemployment benefits when the employee is permanently or temporarily separated from work or has a reduction in work hours.  Employers may use the Department of Labor’s approved form found here.

Amendments to Rules Related to the NYC Earned Safe and Sick Time Act

Effective October 15, 2023, the New York City Earned Safe and Sick Time Act regulations (“ESSTA”) were updated.  The new updates provide needed guidance for employers on such topics as which employees are considered “employed for hire within the City of New York,” what work hours count toward safe and sick time, and what notice can be required, among others.

Employers should carefully review the adopted changes to the regulations governing the ESSTA to ensure compliance with the requisite safe and sick time policies and notification procedures.

*Stephanie Merkrebs is a Law Clerk. A Law Clerk is not licensed to practice law and is supervised by Vedder Price P.C. attorneys licensed and in good standing.