New York State Labor Laws 2023
New York State has many laws that provide greater protection to employees than federal laws. In this article, we discuss a few important labor laws which help an employee understand the laws affecting the employer-employee relationship in the state of New York. Ideally, an employer must comply with both federal and state laws. Following are the NYS Labor Laws:
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New York State’s minimum wage varies depending on the size of the employer and the location where the employees are employed to work. According to New York State labor law, employers are compelled to state what pay an employee will be paid, for eg: will the pay be hourly, weekly, monthly, and if it is an hourly rate or annually. Also, the employer must state how many hours the rate covers. For more information on Minimum wage laws 2023 visit New York Minimum Wage Laws page.
New York State’s overtime labor laws require an employer to pay overtime to employees at the rate of one and a half times the employee’s regular rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of 40 hours in a workweek.
One Day of Rest in Seven Rule
Certain employers in the state of New York are required to offer employees at least 24 consecutive hours of rest in a workweek. Employers operating hotels, restaurants, mercantile establishments, and factories are covered in this law. However, in some cases, additional employers are covered as well as mentioned in section 161 of New York State Labor Law.
Meal Break Laws
According to labor law section 162, every factory worker employed under New York State’s labor law, including those employees who are employed in factories, workshops, mills, and manufacturing establishments, should be given at least 60 minutes for the midday meal break for shifts extending for more than 6 hours. The midday meal break period should be between 11 a.m to 2 p.m. For non-factory workers, a meal break of 30 minutes between 11 a.m to 2 p.m. must be provided for shifts extending for 6 hours or more
Every employee whose working hours start before 11am and last later than 7pm will be allowed an extra meal break of at least 20 minutes between 5 p.m to 7 p.m. Employees working for a period of more than 6 hours, starting between 1 p.m and 6 a.m, shall be allowed at least 1 hour for a meal break if employed for a factory and a 45 minutes meal break if employed with mercantile establishments or any other related occupations.
Some states in the US comply with federal law, which means that employers are not entitled to provide meal or rest breaks but instead pay for any short breaks allowed. Other states require employers to provide either meal breaks or timeout breaks, and New York State is one that requires employers to provide meal breaks but does not require timeout breaks.
One Employee Shift Rule
Some particular jobs may require only one employee on duty, in such scenarios, it is customary for employers to allow the employee to eat on the job without someone else taking over. The Dept. of Labor will allow these unique situations as compliant with Section 162 when the employee voluntarily consents to the arrangements. However, an uninterrupted meal break must be provided to every employee who asks this from the employer.
Shorter Meal Period
Under the New York Department of Labor, a shorter meal period of fewer than 30 minutes is permitted, without application by the employer, as long as there is no indication of hardship to the employees. Also, a meal period of no less than 20 minutes will be allowed to employees only in certain special cases, and a special allowance is made.
Under New York Labor Laws, an employer is not required to provide employees with paid or unpaid vacation benefits. However, if an employer chooses to provide such a benefit, then it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract as per New York labor law section 198-c
Under the legislation signed for New York paid sick leaves right on April 3, 2020, employers with more than 100 employees need to provide 56 hours of paid sick leaves per calendar year. Whereas employers with 5-99 strengths of employees must provide 40 hours of paid sick leaves to their employees. Employers having up to 4 employees in their organization are required to provide 40 hours of paid sick leave only if the net income is greater than $1 million. Otherwise, 40 hours of unpaid sick leaves must be granted to employees if the net income is below or equal to $1 million.
New York State Law does not require an employer to provide its employees with holiday leave either paid or unpaid holiday leave. However, in New York City, a private employer may require an employee to work on holidays, in such scenarios, the employer may not be obliged to pay the employee premium wage, ie., one and a half times the regular rate for working on holidays unless the time worked qualifies the employee for overtime under standard overtime laws. If an employer chooses to provide holiday leave benefits then it must comply with the terms of the employment contract or established policy.
Jury Duty Leave
Under the New York Labor Law, an employer who employs more than 10 employees must pay the first $40 of the employee’s regular daily wages for the first 3 days of jury service. In all the other instances, the employer is not required to pay an employee for the time spent serving on a jury. However, the state pays a jury fee of $40 per day to an employee as a juror’s fee for any days that the employer did not pay it.
According to the New York Judiciary Code 519, an employer may not penalize or discharge an employee who is summoned to serve as a juror, provided he/she notifies the employer prior to the commencement of the term of service.
Under the New York State labor laws, employers are not required to provide separating employees with severance pay. Severance pay is the compensation that an employee receives when he/she is released from employment by the employer. If an employer chooses to severance payments or other benefits, then it must comply with the terms of the employment contract or policy.
New York State law does not require employers to provide employee bereavement leave. A leave taken by an employee due to the death of another individual, usually a close relative, is called bereavement leave. If an employer chooses to provide bereavement leave then they may be required to comply with the terms of bereavement policy or practice it maintains.
Renewed Paid Family Leave for Year 2023
The amount of paid family leave available to eligible employees under the state’s Paid Family Leave (PFL) law is 12 weeks at 67% of their wage(up to a cap).
Paid family leave covers caring for spouses, domestic partners, children, step-children, parents, parents-in-law, grandparents, and grandchildren. However, Governor Kathy Hochul signed a bill (S.2928-A/A.06098-A) under which siblings are also covered under the list of family members. The siblings can be biological siblings, adopted siblings, half-siblings, or step-siblings. This rule came into effect on January 1, 2023.
The state’s Paid Family Leave law provides eligible employees with paid time off to bond with newly born, fostered, or adopted children; help loved ones when a spouse, child, parent, or domestic partner is deployed abroad on active military service. This law also provides job protection and continued health insurance.
COVID-19 Vaccination Leave for Year 2023
Employees are entitled to four hours of paid leave to receive each injection of the COVID-19 vaccine, totaling eight hours of paid time off to get fully vaccinated. They can also avail of an additional four hours of paid time off to get booster COVID-19 shots. These rules came into effect on March 12, 2021 and will be effective until December 31, 2023. Click here to know more.
Blood Donation Leave
An employee must provide 3 hours of leave in the 12-month period to donate blood off the employer’s premises or allow them to donate blood twice each year during the working hours at the place and time set by the employer.
Military Spouse Leave
Employees who are married to members of the armed forces can request up to 10 days of unpaid leaves from their employers. The motive of this law is to allow employees who are married to members of the armed forces to spend some time with their spouses when they are on leave from their military service.
Crime Victim Leave
This law does not specify the maximum or minimum days of leaves that an employee can avail of if they are victims of certain covered felony crimes.
Bone Marrow Donor Leave
This law requires the employer to grant the employee leave who is undergoing the medical procedure to donate bone marrow. The length of the leave should not exceed 24 work hours unless allowed by the employer. Moreover, the employer can ask the employee for verification from the physician regarding the length of time off required for such cases.
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