New York Employment Law Update – May 2017

New York

New York City Freelance Isn’t Free Act

Signed into law in November 2016, the New York City Freelance Isn’t Free Act takes effect on May 15, 2017. Under the act, the following protections for freelance workers are established and enhanced, specifically the right to:

  • A written contract.
  • Timely and full payment.
  • Protection from retaliation.

The act establishes penalties for violations of these rights, including statutory damages, double damages, injunctive relief, and attorney’s fees.

The act is effective May 15, 2017.

Read the Act

Budget Passage and Union Dues Allowance

On May 5, 2017, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation allowing full union dues to be deducted from New York State taxes. The Fiscal Year 2018 Enacted Budget creates a union dues deduction for New York taxpayers who itemize deductions at the state level equal to the amount currently disallowed at the federal level due to the 2 percent floor. The new deduction applies to New Yorkers who currently receive a deduction for only a portion of their union dues, or those in excess of 2 percent of their income, along with those who currently receive no deduction because their total miscellaneous deductions fall below the 2 percent established federal floor.

Read press releases here

New York City Prohibits Reliance on Applicant’s Salary History

On May 4, 2017, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed a bill (Int. No. 1253) prohibiting New York City employers from inquiring about a prospective employee’s salary history during all stages of the employment process. If an employer is already aware of a prospective employee’s salary history, then it is prohibited from relying on that information in the determination of salary.

The law is effective October 31, 2017.

Read NYC Int. No. 1253

NYDOL Challenges Paycard Rules

On April 24, 2017, the New York Department of Labor (NYDOL) initiated its appeal of the New York Industrial Board of Appeal’s decision (rendered February 16, 2017) invalidating and revoking the regulations for wage payment via payroll card and direct deposit that were set to take effect on March 7, 2017. The NYDOL argues that the company that challenged the regulations did not have standing to do so; challenges the board’s finding that the regulations were beyond the scope of New York labor law; and claims that the board’s revocation of the rules in their entirety was arbitrary and capricious.

Read the Industrial Board of Appeal’s February Decision and the NYDOL’s April Appeal