New York, among many other states, has many employment laws that, upon first inspection, seem like they are on the side of the employee. However, upon closer inspection, some of these laws may not be all they are cracked up to be. As the saying goes, the devil is in the details. It’s wise for employers and employees to learn about these laws.
In the last few years, there have been many new employment laws introduced that have either passed or have gone into effect. Let’s take a look at some of those laws:
- Workplace harassment: This law eliminates the need for a person to prove that the workplace harassment that they have experienced was either severe or pervasive. In the past, this requirement was at the insistence of the New York State Human Rights Law, which proved a hostile work environment in harassment cases that were either retaliatory or discriminatory.
- Expanding salary requirements across New York: This legislation prohibits employers from requesting (either orally or in writing) an applicant’s salary history to be able to set their current salary or position. Under this law, employers are also not allowed to refuse to interview, promote, hire, or employ in some other manner based on previous salary history or because the applicant did not supply that information to the prospective employer.
- Race discrimination based on hair or hairstyle: Race discrimination now includes features that are associated with race, including texture of hair and specific styles.
- Equal pay protections: This law extends the protections that were in place before this law was in effect. Those are gender-based pay inequity and not allowing pay inequity based on age, race, color, creed, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, military status and domestic violence victim status. Differences in pay will only be allowed based on justifiable reasons.
- Paid voting leave: Under this law, the employee must notify their employer no less than two working days before the election.
- Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act: According to this law, it is illegal to refuse to hire, terminate or discriminate based on the employee’s gender identity or expression.
There are many other laws that have also gone into effect over the last few years that are relevant to employment. It is important for you and your employer to become acquainted with what those laws say. In many cases, it is said that New York state often leads the way with legislation for other states to follow suit.
Advice from an experienced New York employment attorney
If you are employed in New York state, it is important that you understand the employment laws and how they pertain to you. Considering that there are many laws and some of those laws may seem complicated and difficult to understand, have the legal support of a New York state employment lawyer can make a tremendous difference in your situation if you feel that you have been wronged on the job in some way. Your lawyer may be able to help you to understand the laws that pertain to you and process that you will need to follow to get what you deserve from the situation.