A Compliance Alert from CEDR HR Solutions, a MedResults Network Preferred Vendor Partner
We are writing to inform you of some important state updates that have been made recently in New York. Below is an overview of the updates that have recently gone into effect in 2019. Feel free to share this information with your clients in New York as they may be affected and will need to update their employee handbook. The following updates need to be made immediately:
- New York Year in Review: Legislatures in the state have been keeping employers busy this year.
- New York City Creates Gender-Based Anti-Harassment Unit – Effective January 25, 2019
New York City has created an investigations unit devoted solely to gender-based and sexual harassment complaints in the workplace. The creation of this unit follows on the heels of sweeping sexual harassment prevention laws passed in both New York state and New York City in 2018. The investigations unit has been created under the existing NYC Commission on Human Rights, with a goal to increase the speed and efficiency with which gender-based and sexual harassment claims are resolved.
- New York City Issues Guidance on Race Discrimination on the Basis of Hair – Effective February 20, 2019
New York City released guidance prohibiting employers from taking adverse action against employees who wear their hair in styles reflecting their racial, cultural, or ethnic identity. The guidance particularly focuses on discrimination against black workers, and specifically addresses the right of employees to wear their hair in braids, locs, cornrows, twists, Bantu knots, fades, Afros, or to keep hair uncut or untrimmed.
- New York State Prohibits Transgender Discrimination – Effective February 24, 2019
New York state has passed a law prohibiting employers with 4 or more employees from discriminating against employees based on gender identity or gender expression. The Gender Expression Nondiscrimination Act (“GENDA”) adds gender identify and expression to the list of protected classes in employment. This means that employers cannot take adverse employment actions based on an employee’s gender identity or gender expression (including, but not limited to, the status of being transgender). An adverse action includes refusing to hire, terminating, or discriminating in the conditions of employment.
- Westchester County, New York Requires Sick Leave – April 10, 2019
Westchester County, New York has passed a new law requiring all employers to provide sick leave to their employees. Effective March 30, 2019, the law will require employers with five (5) or more employees to offer paid sick time, and those with fewer than five (5) employees may offer unpaid sick time. The amount of time that can be used per benefit year is 40 hours.
- New York City Implements Protections for Reproductive Choices – Effective May 20, 2019
New York City has passed a law prohibiting employers with 4 or more employees from discriminating against employees based on their “sexual or reproductive health decisions.” What this means is employers cannot take adverse employment actions based on an individual’s choice to receive services such as fertility-related procedures, sexually transmitted disease prevention and treatment, family planning services, emergency contraception, sterilization procedures, pregnancy testing, and abortion.
It’s very important that your clients consider updating their policies for these new laws, and if an issue arises related to these laws, it’s critical to have access to HR professionals to advise you. That’s why the CEDR Solution Center exists. For a low, one-time fee for a custom employee handbook and a monthly membership fee, they can gain access to unlimited HR support AND automatic handbook updates.
If you have any questions or if you need guidance on your current employee handbook or creating a new one, email CEDR at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their MedResults Member landing page RIGHT HERE.
CEDR HR Solutions is a Preferred Vendor Partner of the MedResults Network and offers discounts on employee handbooks and HR support!