New York Labor & Employment Law Blog

As the legal and regulatory schemes arising from COVID-19 continue to shift and evolve, it is crucial that employers stay up to date on the latest in compliance. To that end, certain agencies offer primers and fact sheets to help guide the way. Just this month, for instance, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) updated its online primer on COVID-19 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), the Rehabilitation Act, and more. These updates, which…
We previously blogged about a decision of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (SDNY) that invalidated portions of the U.S. Department of Labor’s (USDOL) final rule (Original Final Rule) relating to paid coronavirus leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). To recap, that ruling: (1) invalidated USDOL’s rule that paid leave is only available if an employer has work for an employee to take leave from, because USDOL…
Elementary and secondary school students throughout New York State have begun returning to the classroom—in some cases virtually—over the last several days. Whether or not students will attend school in person depends on a number of factors, such as the parameters of each school district’s reopening plan, the child’s grade level, whether or not the child has an individualized education plan and parental preference. As an outgrowth of this new educational landscape, employers must learn…
As businesses and offices reopen during the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, employers must ensure they do not violate employment discrimination laws and regulations as they develop plans and procedures to abide by social distancing and safety guidelines required by federal, state and local law. Recent technical assistance questions and answers from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) state that equal employment opportunity laws do not interfere with or prevent employers from following the guidance put…
In response to the novel coronavirus pandemic, Congress enacted the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Among other things, this law provides employees impacted by COVID-19 with paid emergency sick leave and paid emergency family leave in certain circumstances. The portion of the FFCRA that relates to paid emergency sick leave is referred to as the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA) and the portion that relates to paid emergency family leave is known as…
As the process of reopening continues across New York state, businesses are challenged to maximize safety of employees returning to work. Among those challenges is ensuring that they and their employees are up to date on New York’s guidelines for quarantine following interstate travel. Pursuant to Executive Order No. 205 (the “Order”), issued by Governor Cuomo and effective as of Thursday, June 25, 2020, individuals are required to self-quarantine for 14 days after traveling for…
            The Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) was enacted in 1938 to protect workers from substandard wages and oppressive working hours.  It has two principal features.  It requires employers to pay employees a federal minimum wage[1] and to pay overtime of one and a half times the employees’ regular rate of pay for hours worked in excess of forty hours a week.  Since the obligation is placed on the employer to comply with the…
Employers and public agencies utilize contracts in many ways with a variety of parties. In addition to employment contracts and collective bargaining agreements, many employers also enter into contracts with third-party vendors to provide specialized services. Unfortunately, many existing contracts failed to contemplate pandemic events such as COVID-19, which has left many employers with uncertainty regarding payment and performance obligations during state-wide closures. The present situation provides an opportunity to review contracts and to consider…
On April 22, 2020, during the first-ever remote hearing of the New York City Council (Council), several bills were introduced relating to employment matters and the COVID-19 pandemic. These bills, which have been referred to as the “Essential Workers Bill of Rights,” were sent to committees for further hearings. It is expected that the Council will vote on them in the coming weeks. This post contains summarizes the pending legislation in its current form. Job…
In a recent blog post, we provided an overview of New York State laws providing employees with leave under certain circumstances. In addition to these state laws, New York City and Westchester County have adopted their own leave laws. The following is a brief summary of these local laws; readers are advised to refer to the full text of the laws for a complete description of their terms. This post does not address the…