August 2, 2021

Volume XI, Number 214

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July 30, 2021

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New York Substantially Increases Employer Obligations Related To Fair Pay, Pay Transparency

Following the trend set by the Pay Transparency Executive Order 13665 and Governor Jerry Brown’s signing of the California Fair Pay Act, this week New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo (D) signed a series of bills aimed at significantly strengthening fair pay, “pay transparency” and other legal protections available in the workplace.

The five new bills impact New York employers in the following ways:

  •  Fair Pay and “Pay Transparency”:  S. 1 / A. 6075 adds a number of protections for employees in New York, including: (1) prohibiting employers from discriminating against an employee who inquires about, discusses or discloses his/her wages or the wages of another employee; (2) narrowing the exceptions available to employers under N.Y. Labor Law 194, the state law that prohibits differentials in rate of pay due to sex; and (3) increasing the amount of damages available to an employee for a willful violation of N.Y. Labor Law 194.

  • Sexual Harassment:  S. 2 / A. 5360 eliminates entirely the current 4 employee coverage threshold for employers under the New York State Human Rights Law (“NYSHRL”),but only as it relates to sexual harassment protections.  According to the bill, more than 60% of New York employers have less than 4 employees, and these employers will now be covered.

  • Collection of Attorney’s Fees By Successful Plaintiffs:  S. 3 / A.7189 allows plaintiffs to recover attorneys’ fees where an employer is found liable for committing an unlawful discriminatory practice in employment or credit discrimination cases involving sexunder the NYSHRL.

  • Familial Status Discrimination: S. 4 / A. 7317 prohibits employment discrimination based on familial status under the NYSHRL.

  • Accommodations for Pregnancy-Related Conditions: S. 8/A. 4272 requires/clarifies that employers must provide reasonable accommodations for pregnancy-related conditions, unless doing so would cause an undue hardship to the employer.

These bills become effective 90 days after enactment and will have a substantial impact on employers throughout New York. This likely will not be the last state we see following this growing trend.  Stay tuned for the latest updates and further insights on the implementation and implications of these new bills.

Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2021National Law Review, Volume V, Number 296
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About this Author

Mickey Silberman, Labor and Employment law attorney, Jackson Lewis Law firm, Principal
Principal

Mickey Silberman is a Principal in the Denver, Colorado, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He is the Chair of the Jackson Lewis Affirmative Action & OFCCP Defense Practice Group and the Co-head of the firm’s Pay Equity Resource Group.

Mr. Silberman and the practice group annually prepare thousands of affirmative action plans for employers in all industries and throughout the country. During the past several years, Mr. Silberman has directed the defense of hundreds of OFCCP audits, including successful defense of Corporate Management (“glass ceiling”) Reviews....

303-225-2400
Laura Mitchell, Jackson Lewis, Management Representation lawyer, Contractual Drafting Attorney
Principal

Laura A. Mitchell is a Principal in the Denver, Colorado, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. She represents management exclusively in all areas of employment law, focusing on affirmative action and government contractor compliance.

Ms. Mitchell is a Principal in the firm’s Affirmative Action and OFCCP Defense practice group, representing government and non-government contractors in Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) matters, preparing for and defending OFCCP audits, and counseling employers on issues stemming...

303-225-2382
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