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How current events impact business & real estate

Showing posts with label #listentolieb #theliebcast #liebschool #liebatlaw. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #listentolieb #theliebcast #liebschool #liebatlaw. Show all posts

Monday, January 10, 2022

Consumer Debt Interest Rate Reduced in 2022

Starting on April 30, 2022, the annual interest rate on money judgments arising out of consumer debt will be reduced from 9% to 2%.


The new law amends New York Civil Practice Laws and Rules §5004.


It's important to note that if the previous 9% interest rate applied to an ongoing judgment, the creditor has up to sixty (60) days from 4/30/2022 to issue and amend the interest rate to 2%. Any money collected in excess of the judgment amount shall be returned to the debtor. However, if the money was collected prior to 4/30/2022 to satisfy the debt in in full or in part, then the debtor has no right to a refund or remedy.



New Workers' Compensation Law Allows for Attorneys' Fees

A new law seeks to reduce bias against injured workers in low-income brackets who cannot afford attorneys' fees.


New York's Workers’ Compensation law has been amended to include awarding attorneys’ fees for the following services:

  • 1/3rd of one week’s compensation for awards made directing the continuation of weekly compensation benefits for temporary total or partial disability;

  • 15% of the increased compensation when an award is made that increases the amount of compensation awarded or paid for a previous period(s) of temporary total or partial disability;

  • 15% of the compensation due in excess of the employers/carrier’s previous payments when an award is made for loss of use or permanent facial disfigurement;

  • 15% of the compensation due in excess of the employer or carrier’s previous payments plus a sum equivalent to 15 weeks of compensation when an award is made for permanent total disability or permanent partial disability;

  • 15% of the compensation due in excess of the employer/carrier’s previous payments plus a sum equivalent to 15 weeks of compensation when an award is made for death benefits; and

  • 15% of any benefits to be paid by the employers/carrier when an award is made under a waiver agreement.


The law became effective on 12/31/2021. 


Tuesday, January 04, 2022

NYS Adopts Sick Leave Rules & Leave Many Employers with Questions

New York State has adopted Sick Leave requirements for employers to follow under NY Labor Law § 196-b. With the new rule having become effective on 12/22/21, employers and their HR teams need to get up to speed quickly. 


The new rule requires employers of 3 different categorical sizes to provide a minimum number of paid sick leave hours for employees depending on the size of the employer and its net income. 


The rule does the following:

  • Establishes standards of how employees shall accrue sick leave at a rate of no less than 1 hour per every 30 hours worked; 
  • Protects employees from having to disclose confidential health information to employers as a condition to taking sick leave; 
  • Sets up conditions for employees carrying over unused sick leave over to the following calendar year; 
  • Creates protections to prevent employers from retaliating/discriminating against employees for exercising his/her sick leave rights; 
  • Requires employers to provide written records of sick leave accrual upon employee request; 
  • Requires that employees returning from sick leave be restored to their position prior to the sick leave with the same pay & other terms / conditions of employment; & 
  • Allows for collective bargaining agreements to be entered into that provides for paid sick leave. 


Before the rule became effective, employers commented and expressed their concerns, under the regulatory process, and the government's responses have clarified the following facts:

  • Newer employees will abuse sick leave because the rules allow employees to immediately use sick leave upon accrual; 
  • Carrying over unused sick leave days to following years is problematic (per DOL, employers may either: (1) give employees the option to voluntarily elect to use & receive payment for paid sick leave prior to the end of a calendar year or carry over unused sick leave; or (2) only allow employees to carry over unused sick leave);
  • Conflicts can arise between sick leave requirements and other leave policies if not clarified in the employer's policy manual;
  • Employee abuse systems need to be in place within an employer's policy manual or issues will arise; and
  • Collective bargaining agreements need to be addressed to comply with the new rule.


This new sick leave rule will continue to raise concerns by employers and employees, but proactive employees with great policy manuals / collective bargaining agreements, which have been updated to reflect the new rule will win the day. Otherwise, there are going to be a lot of discrimination and retaliation claims when sick leave issues arise. 


Monday, December 27, 2021

Restaurants Now Potentially Negligent for Grease Traps' Design & Warning Sign Defects

A new NYS law requires all food service establishments with a grease trap / interceptor to ensure that it's designed to withstand expected loads & prevent unauthorized access. This law is effective 1/10/2022. 


The law also calls for the State Fire Prevention & Building Code Counsel to create regulations about warnings / design requirements for grease traps.


Beyond providing for local governments to adopt local laws to enforce this new law, it definitely establishes exposure to restaurants for personal injuries. Restaurateurs and landlords should ensure compliance and modify their leases to establish who is responsible for compliance.   

 


NYS Liquor Authority Updates License Application Rules

The Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Law in NYS is being updated. 


new law provides for payment receipts for applications, which is effective 2/20/2022. It also provides that the status of all licenses / permits should be posted on its website by 12/22/2022. This website will also provide the anticipated application process length of time as well as notifying applicants when estimates change.   

 

Another new law modifies penalties for violations. 1st time administrative / paperwork violators will now be given opportunities to fix errors (15 to 20 days) if the violation is considered minor instead of facing misdemeanor penalties. 



Thursday, December 23, 2021

Update! New York is Ready to Receive Your Calls on Housing Discrimination

New law establishes a dedicated phone line for public use to voice complaints of housing discrimination. New York State’s Division of Human Rights will operate the phone line during regular business hours. The phone number will be posted on the Division of Human Rights website.


The law becomes effective, 120 days after December 21, 2021. 


Nothing in this Bill prevents you from hiring an attorney to pursue damages resulting from discriminatory conduct. If you believe that you suffered injuries as a result of housing discrimination, you may be entitled to compensatory damages and punitive damages plus, you can have your attorneys' fees paid for by the defendant. 

Thursday, December 16, 2021

NYC Releases New COVID-19 Vaccine Requirements for all Private Sector Workers

NYC released new vaccine requirements, by Order of the Commissioner of Health and Mental Hygiene, mandating all private sector workers to be vaccinated by December 27th with at least 1 dose of any COVID-19 vaccine. A 2nd dose is required 45 days after a worker shows proof of vaccination for the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.


The City’s new Order is its strictest yet. Businesses are prevented from allowing unvaccinated workers to enter the workplace. Further, businesses must verify and keep a record of each worker’s proof of vaccination by December 27th. Records may consist of physical copies of worker’s proof of vaccination; a business-created paper or electronic record displaying worker’s name, vaccination status, and date by which they can provide proof of second vaccination; or a daily record verifying that the business checked the worker’s vaccination status before the worker entered the workplace. Businesses should be prepared to make their records available for inspection and need to set their protocol ASAP so that they comply.


The Order includes a path for vaccination exceptions if a worker seeks a reasonable accommodation for medical or religious reasons. If such an accommodation is sought, employers must record the reasonable accommodations, and supporting documentation relevant thereto, for each worker under 1 of the above record keeping options. Moreover, NYC employers must familiarize themselves with the Cooperative Dialogue or they will face failure-to-accommodate lawsuits by the drove. 


Also of note is that proof of vaccination applies to both employees and non-employee workers such as independent contractors.


The mandate does not apply to people who work alone; people who enter a workplace briefly for a limited purpose; and Non-NYC resident performing artists, college or professional athletes, and anyone who accompanies them.


NYC provides a detailed memo explaining how businesses can properly comply with the guidelines.  Businesses are subject to fines of $1,000 for non-compliance, and escalating penalties thereafter if violations persist. NYC provides a link for those who wish to report fake proof of vaccination records in order to maintain compliance.



Monday, December 13, 2021

New York is Ready to Receive Your Calls on Housing Discrimination

The New York State Legislature passed Bill S3437C that establishes a dedicated phone line for public use to voice complaints of housing discrimination. New York State’s Division of Human Rights will operate the phone line during regular business hours. The phone number will be posted on the Division of Human Rights website.


The Bill amends Human Rights Executive Law The General Powers of the Human Rights Division, Section 295 . It awaits the Governor's signature to become effective, as law, 120 days after it is signed.

 

Nothing in this Bill prevents you from hiring an attorney to pursue damages resulting from discriminatory conduct. If you believe that you suffered injuries as a result of housing discrimination, you may be entitled to compensatory damages and punitive damages plus, you can have your attorneys' fees paid for by the defendant. 



Friday, December 10, 2021

Be Careful When Adding a Detached Garage or Something Similar to your Hamptons’ Home

 As of October 7th, 2021, the Town of East Hampton made changes to their Zoning Laws that are relevant to constructing an accessory structure.

 

§ 255-11-20 of the Town of East Hampton Zoning Laws states that accessory buildings, including garages, if detached from the main building, shall be not less than five feet from the main building and/or from any other accessory building, subject to two exceptions.

 

One exception is that two or more accessory buildings (including open-air appendages such as porches and screened patios) may be approved to be built or remain, without a minimum five-foot separation, so long as the total aggregate square footage of the buildings is less than 600 square feet, and none of the accessory buildings are a pool house, an art studio, or an accessory apartment, unless all three are open air appendages.

 

The second exception, is that an enclosed hallway, breezeway or other design feature that functionally separates two livable spaces in a single-family dwelling or separates a livable space in a single-family dwelling and a detached garage, does not apply to § 255-11-20, so long as the width of such hallway, breezeway or design feature is equal to or greater than ½ of its length.

 

An accessory building is a building which is customarily secondary to a main building. Accessory units do not include a building which is designed, equipped, or used for cooking, living or sleeping purposes. A common accessory building is a garage.

 

So, if you plan on purchasing a house with an accessory building like a detached garage, or even plan on building one at your Hamptons house, you should comply with this law to avoid liability.








Friday, November 12, 2021

Foreclosure Protection Enhanced by Federal Regulators

On November 10, 2021, Federal Regulators issued a statement that lenders will no longer be afforded leniency with complying with mandatory mortgage servicing practices.

 

As background, Federal Regulators had previously issued an April 2020 Joint Statement, in response to COVID, that they would not take supervisory or enforcement action against mortgage servicers for failing to meet certain borrower-protective timing requirements so long as the servicers made good faith efforts to provide those required notices or disclosures and took the related actions within a reasonable period.

 

Now, as of November 10, 2021, Agencies will apply their respective supervisory and enforcement authorities, to address noncompliance or violations of Regulation X’s mortgage servicing rules.

 

Borrowers, who are looking for leverage in negotiating mortgage modifications, short sales, and deed-in-lieu workouts should be brushing up on Regulation X today.

  


Thursday, November 11, 2021

Utility Customers Now Protected from Harassment on Unpaid Balances

With the foreclosure and eviction moratoriums coming to an end in January 2022, New Yorkers are about to feel pinched in their housing costs, which may turn into utility billing issues.

 

New Yorkers just received increased rights and beginning on December 8, 2021, utility companies are prohibited from engaging in harassment, oppression, or other abuses towards residential customers in connection with deferred payment agreements and the collection of unpaid balances.

 

Bill A3359 was signed by Governor Hochul on November 8, 2021 and amends §53-a of the Public Service Law.




Friday, September 10, 2021

Attorney Dennis Valet quoted in Newsday | Dismissal of Complaint Against Real Estate Agent Facing Charges

Lieb at Law, P.C. 's working relationship and history of collaboration with the Department of State's Division of Licensing Services led open and frank discussions between the prosecutor and defense counsel, resulting in a mutual understanding that voluntary dismissal of the complaint against a real estate agent facing charges.

The full article is published in Newsday: https://www.newsday.com/business/housing-bias-discrimination-real-estate-agents-long-island-divided-1.50356898?utm_source=appshare