These tips span the gamut of labor and employment topics, including wage and hour issues, personnel matters, employment-related agreements, compliance concerns, union/management relations, and more.
Effective October 9, 2019, employers in New York State must provide annual anti-sexual harassment training to all employees. Employers must also adopt a written sexual harassment policy that complies with certain minimum standards set by the State. To assist employers in implementing these requirements, New York State provides an online "Employer Toolkit," along with a model sexual harassment policy that meets all State requirements. Employers are free to use their own sexual harassment policies, as long as they meet or exceed all of the State's minimum standards. As the October 9 deadline is fast approaching, employers should not delay in reviewing and updating their sexual harassment policies, training programs, and complaint forms to ensure compliance going forward.
Does Your Organization's Website Comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act? – A Helpful Checklist
Website accessibility lawsuits remain a hot trend among the plaintiffs' bar. Vision-impaired, hearing-impaired, and other disabled plaintiffs have recently filed cases against website owners in staggering numbers. These lawsuits typically allege that company websites are incompatible with screen reader technology, fail to include closed captioning for videos, or are otherwise inaccessible to persons with disabilities. All companies and organizations with an internal or publicly facing website—so virtually all companies and organizations—should evaluate whether their websites must comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act and state accessibility law.
New York State currently requires that employers (i) provide reasonable unpaid break time – or allow employees to use paid break time – for the expression of breast milk, and (ii) make "reasonable efforts" to provide a private location in which to do so, for up to three years following childbirth. The New York City council recently passed legislation which builds upon the state law. Effective March 18, 2019, employers in New York City with four (4) or more employees must ensure that the room or location for expressing breast milk – which cannot be a restroom – is sanitary, free from intrusion, and reasonably close to the employee's work area. The room or location must also contain a chair, electrical outlet, and surface on which to place personal items. If providing such a location poses an undue hardship to the employer, the employer must engage in a cooperative dialogue with the employee to determine a suitable alternative. Finally, employers must adopt a written lactation room policy that is distributed to all new employees upon hire. Be sure to consult with experienced labor & employment counsel to develop a compliant lactation room policy and request form.