Protecting Employee Absences

In one of her first acts after being elected in her own right by the voters of New York, Governor Kathy Hochul signed SB 1958 into law prohibiting an employer from penalizing an employee for any absence that is protected by federal, state or local law. The legislation, which takes effect on February 19, 2023,…

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Inflation Driving More Wage Hikes

With inflation continuing unbridled at record-setting levels, its impact on minimum wages across the nation is becoming clearer with each week. As we’ve advised in the past, and as recently as only two weeks ago, those states and local communities that tethered minimum wage increases to the Consumer Price Index. Unfortunately, there are more increases…

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NY Launches Harassment Hotline

A few weeks ago, New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced the launch of a new toll-free confidential hotline for reporting sexual harassment at the workplace. The hotline, which will be administered by the New York State Department of Human Rights (NYSDHR), was authorized by legislation signed into law back in March. The hotline (1-800-HARASS-3) went…

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New York Launching Wage Theft Portal

In a similar vein, New York has been stepping up efforts to seek felony convictions of businesses accused of wage theft in the Empire State. Governor Kathy Hochul and Attorney General Letitia James last week announced that the state Wage Theft Task Force had secured charges against a dozen businesses – including some restaurants – and…

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Independent Joe #74 June/July 2022

This year was supposed to be different. After a pandemic, racial unrest, supply chain issues and more, 2022 was to be the year things began to normalize. But then, Russia declared war on Ukraine, inflation – climbing at a 40-year high – didn’t recede as predicted, and today everything costs more than it did a…

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New York Finalizes Fair Workweek Rules

New York City imposed its Fair Workweek Ordinance and just cause laws over one year ago, but this month enacted several changes to the rules governing the enforcement of both laws which employers need to be aware of. Specifically, the NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection – tasked with implementing the laws – published…

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ROC Front Targets Tipped Wage

One Fair Wage, the wholly-owned non-profit political arm of the Restaurant Opportunities Center (ROC) that is backed (and financed?) by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is now bringing pressure on company stockholders to eliminate tip credits. Through stockholders, including the Benedictine Sisters of Mount St. Scholastica and the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed…

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Sky’s the Limit!

Or at least it seems that way to many elected officials with regard to minimum wage levels. To underscore, let’s look at an example from both the east and west coasts.  ‘Raise Up New York’, a newly formed coalition of labor and advocates in the Empire State, is working on resurrecting legislation filed by state…

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Employee COVID Protections Expand?

Despite the decreasing rates of COVID infections nationally, some states and locales are expanding the employee protections and benefits that were initially put in place because of the coronavirus pandemic. Primary amongst these dictates is the reimposition of COVID-19 emergency paid sick leave. For the third time, the city of Philadelphia has imposed a special…

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Sexual Harassment Laws Strengthened

New York Governor Kathy Hochul last week signed a series of bills into law that collectively seek to protect women and strengthen anti-sexual harassment laws the Empire State already has on the books. Two of the three bills she signed are directed at private employers while the third strengthens laws relating public sector employees. The…

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