What New York Employers Need to Know About Employment Law

lawyer reviewing New York employment laws

New York employment law is an ever-evolving area of regulation governing the rights and responsibilities of employers and workers. This body of law covers minimum wage and overtime requirements, anti-discrimination protections, and workplace safety regulations.

Employers in New York must have a solid understanding of these laws and regulations. With the help of employment law attorneys, employers can avoid costly legal disputes and ensure compliance with state and federal requirements.

By staying up-to-date on changes to employment law and implementing effective policies and procedures, employers can create a positive and productive workplace environment while protecting their business interests.

Employee Rights in New York

New York enforces several laws that outline employers’ responsibilities towards their workforce. As of December 31, 2021, the minimum wage in New York State is $15 per hour for most employees, with exceptions for particular industries and regions. Furthermore, employers are legally obligated to grant non-exempt employees overtime pay at a rate of 1.5 times their regular hourly wage for any hours worked beyond 40 in a week.

Addressing sick leave, businesses with over 100 employees must offer up to 56 hours of paid sick leave annually. Meanwhile, those with fewer than 100 employees are mandated to provide up to 40 hours of paid sick leave.

Additionally, New York’s worker’s compensation program is a vital aspect of employee rights. This program aids employees injured during work or suffering from job-related illnesses. Employers are required to maintain worker’s compensation insurance, ensuring coverage and support for their employees in such situations.

Anti-Discrimination Laws in New York

New York has a strong legal framework in place to protect employees from discrimination in the workplace. The state’s employment anti-discrimination laws protect a person’s race, gender, age, religion, disability, and sexual orientation.

Under New York law, it’s illegal for employers to discriminate against employees or job applicants based on these protected characteristics. This includes decisions related to hiring, firing, promotion, pay, and other terms and conditions of employment.

One of the key anti-discrimination laws in New York is the New York State Human Rights Law (NYSHRL), which covers a wide range of discriminatory practices in the workplace. In August 2019, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation that amended the NYSHRL to provide even greater employee protections.

Some of the changes under the NYSHRL amendments include the following:

  • Extending the statute of limitations for filing a complaint from one year to three years
  • Eliminating the requirement for complaints to be filed with the Division of Human Rights before filing a lawsuit
  • Expanding the definition of “employer” to include all employers, regardless of size
  • Prohibiting discrimination based on hairstyles and hair textures associated with race, such as braids, locks, and twists

These updates to the NYSHRL are just one example of the many changes and updates to anti-discrimination laws in New York in recent years. As an employer, you should stay up-to-date with these changes to ensure compliance with all relevant laws and regulations. 

Other Important Employment Laws for New York Employers

The other two employment laws that New York employers should be aware of are the New York State Paid Family Leave Law and the New York City Fair Chance Act. The New York State Paid Family Leave Law (PFL) provides eligible employees with job-protected, paid leave for certain family and medical reasons. 

As of 2021, eligible employees can take up to 12 weeks of paid leave to bond with a new child, care for a family member with a serious health condition, or address military family needs. 

The New York City Fair Chance Act (FCA) is a local law regulating criminal history use in employment decisions. Under the FCA, employers with four or more workers are prohibited from inquiring about an applicant’s criminal history until a conditional offer of employment has been made.

Warren Law: Your Employment Law Attorneys

Warren Law specializes in employment law and litigation. Our firm provides legal services to employers in different industries, including healthcare, education, hospitality, and finance.

Our services include counseling and advice on compliance with employment laws and regulations, as well as representation in litigation and dispute resolution. Contact us today for any employment law matter, including discrimination and harassment claims, wage and hour disputes, and employee benefits issues.



Warren Law Group defends individuals and companies in all types of litigation. Our team has decades of experience in all types of litigation, white collar defense, securities litigation, and financial services enforcement proceedings.