new york employment laws in 2020Each year, new and amended laws impact businesses of various sizes in New York. Employers need to stay on top of these changes to ensure they are compliant and aren’t subjected to penalties and fines. With that in mind, there will be several important changes to New York employment laws in 2020 that employers need to be aware of.

2020 Minimum Wage

On December 31, 2019, the new minimum wage for most employers in New York state will be:

New York City with 11 or more employees $15.00/hour
New York City with 10 or fewer employees  $15.00/hour (increased from $13.50/hour)
Westchester and Long Island  $13.00/hour (increased from $12.00/hour)
Remainder of New York state $11.80/hour (increased from $11.10/hour)

For workers in fast food restaurant chains with 30 or more establishments, the new minimum wage will be:

New York City $15.00/hour
Outside of New York City  $13.75/hour

2020 Exempt Employee Salary Thresholds

To be exempt from the payment of overtime, administrative and executive employees must (among other things) be paid a certain minimum weekly salary amount. Each time the New York State minimum wage increases, the minimum salary required (under state law) for executive and administrative employees increases proportionately. The dollar amount of the salary threshold also depends on the employer’s location (and size, if located in New York City).

These new thresholds, effective December 31, 2019:

New York City  $1,125.00/week
Westchester and Long Island  $975.00/week (increased from $900/week)
Remainder of New York state  $885.00/week (increased from $832.00/week)

Salary History

Effective Jan. 6, 2020, New York has a new state law that prohibits all employers in the state from asking job applicants and employees about their past salaries or wages. Read the details about which employers are covered by this legislation, what actions are prohibited, exceptions, and enforcement.

Sexual Harassment Statute of Limitations

According to the New York State Human Rights Law (NYSHRL), as of August 12, 2020, the limitation time for employees submitting sexual harassment claims will be extended from one year to three years.

There have been other updates to New York’s harassment laws, including covered employers and classes, extra protections, training changes, and notice requirements. Read about them here.

Domestic Violence Victim Leave

A new law that states that New York employers must grant leave for domestic violence victims took effect on November 18, 2019. As this is a relatively new law, employers must be aware of it going in to 2020. Read all the details about the legislation, including exemptions, notice requirement, and use of leave.

New York City Cannabis Testing

As of May 10, 2020, most employers in New York City will be prevented from testing for cannabis (marijuana) in pre-employment drug screens. Some exceptions include law enforcement, positions involved with supervising children or medical patients, jobs requiring a commercial driver’s license, and federal or state contractor positions.

This law applies only to testing done before employment begins. Employers may prevent cannabis use at work, conduct tests for cannabis if reasonable suspicion warrants it, test employees due to a work-related accident, and discipline workers for being impaired while on the job.

Westchester Paid Sick and Safe Time Leave

Most employers in Westchester County, New York have been required to provide paid or unpaid sick leave to covered employees since October 30, 2019. Starting on or before January 28, 2020, all employers with workers in this county must provide a copy of the Safe Time Leave Law (STLL) and a written notice of the law. You can download the law here, and the notice here.

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