2016 BRINGS IMPORTANT CHANGES TO NY AND FEDERAL LABOR LAWS
Entering the coming year it is critical that New York based employers understand recent changes to various federal and state employment laws that will significantly affect their business as they proceed forward.
NEW YORK CHANGES IN WAGES
Effective January 1, 2016, New York has increased the minimum wage for all employees to $9.00 per hour.
Effective January 1, 2016 the tip credit for workers in the hospitality industry has been reduced significantly. Previously, waiters and waitresses were required to be paid a minimum of $5.00 per hour. New York State has increased the minimum wage for such employees to $7.50 per hour. Similarly, the minimum wage for other workers in the hospitality industry has increased, including delivery workers and hotel staff.
OBAMACARE WILL EFFECT MORE EMPLOYERS
Prior to 2016, an employer with less than 100 employees was not required to provide its employees affordable health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. Effective January 1, 2016, that figure is reduced to 50 employees. Thus, any employer with 50 or more full-time employees (or its equivalent) will be required to offer its employees affordable care health insurance.
EXEMPT STATUS WILL CHANGE UNDER FEDERAL LAW
Although the official date has not yet been determined, in 2016 the United States Department of Labor will significantly increase the minimum yearly wage required for an employer to designate an employee as exempt from overtime. Presently, an employee earning $23,660 can be exempt from overtime. That rate will increase to $50,440. Therefore, if an employee does not earn at least $50,440 per year, the employer will be required to pay that employee overtime, regardless of their job title.
RECENT CHANGES TO NEW YORK CITY LAWS
Although not new for 2016, in the past several years, New York City has enacted several laws that have and will continue to impact employers. Specifically:
- Employers must make a qualified offer of employment to prospective employees before performing a background check. This legislation, called “ban the box”, effects the employer’s ability to deny employment based on negative results of a background check;
- The New York City paid sick leave act requires NYC employers to provide up to 5 paid sick days to their full time employees. This is the first time that employers in New York State have been required to pay employees for time off of work;
- New York City has expanded the rights provided to transgender employees with a series of regulations designed to give more protection to transgender employees from discrimination.
If you would like more information regarding the new rule, or would like to discuss a strategy for how to best comply with the law, please call partner, Jeffrey Ettenger at 631-777-2401.
Learn more about our employment law practice.