New York Labor & Employment Law Blog

This week the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) announced its full approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for use among people age 16 and older. Within just hours of that announcement, a string of employers private and public alike began declaring their intentions to put mandatory vaccination policies in place. Among the most notable early actors were the Pentagon, Goldman Sachs, CVS, the unions at Disney, the New York City School System, and the New York…
As I discussed in recent blog, a new addition to the New York City Administrative Code (2021 NYC Local Law No. 3, NYC Admin. Code Sections 22-1201 – 22-1205)(the “Biometric Privacy Law”) will go into effect on July 9 regulating the use of facial recognition technology. In a move to expand such regulations beyond commercial businesses, the City has also adopted a new law regulating the use of smart access technologies in residential buildings…
As we discussed in our previous blog post, Governor Cuomo recently signed the NY HERO Act, which (i) provides for the creation of joint labor-management committees to address workplace safety (New York Labor Law Section 27-D) and (ii) requires New York employers to have a plan to prevent exposure to airborne infectious disease in the workplace (New York Labor Law Section 218-B). This blog post focuses on section 27-D of…
On May 28, 2021, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently issued updated guidelines for employers seeking to implement office-wide policies requiring their employees to get vaccinated. Although vaccines are now widely available, many employers have been unsure about whether and to what extent they are permitted to mandate vaccinations. The updated guidelines clarify that federal Equal Employment Opportunity laws do not prevent an employer from mandating vaccinations for employees physically entering the workplace, subject…
On May 11, 2021, New York City enacted the Retirement Security for All Act, Int. Nos. 888-A and 901-A (the Act), which establishes a retirement savings program for private employers with five or more employees if those employers do not otherwise offer employees a retirement plan or defined benefit pension plan. The Act obligates New York City employers to automatically enroll eligible employees in an individual retirement account (IRA) program, deposit funds into the program for each…
On May 5, 2021, Governor Cuomo signed legislation requiring New York employers to have a plan to prevent exposure to airborne infectious disease in the workplace and providing for the creation of joint labor-management committees to address workplace safety. Sections 218-B and 27-D of the New York Labor Law were enacted pursuant to the new legislation. New York Labor Law Section 218-B, effective June 4, 2021, mandates that private employers establish an airborne infectious…
On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (the “Act”) into law. The Act mandates that employers provide 100% of an eligible employee’s cost of continuing group health coverage under Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (“COBRA”) for the period of April 1, 2021 through September 30, 2021. Employers that pay such COBRA continuation coverage will receive tax credits from the federal government. On April 7, 2021, the U.S. Department…
New York State Labor Law §  27-C (“Emergency Preparedness Law”) required that by April 1st all public employers adopt operational plans for public health emergencies (the “Emergency Operations Plans”) to adequately protect workers in the event of another state disaster emergency involving a communicable disease. Public employers that have not yet adopted an Emergency Operations Plan could be subject to New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) enforcement procedures. Who qualifies as a “Public…
Governor Cuomo recently announced the launch of the Excelsior Pass, a free, voluntary way to share your COVID-19 vaccination or negative test results. The hope is that such a Pass, colloquially referred to as a “vaccine passport”, will reduce the spread of COVID-19 as businesses across the State continue to reopen. Although businesses cannot require the Excelsior Pass per se, they are permitted to require some proof of a vaccine or negative testing before entry.…
Medical Marijuana Many companies have a drug free workplace policy which is intended to ensure a safe, healthful and productive working environment.  In order to assure that employees do not violate the drug free workplace policy some companies conduct pre-employment testing, as well as periodic and random testing.  What if an employee tests positive for marijuana? Marijuana is still considered a controlled substance under the Controlled Substances Act, Title II of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse…