LIEB BLOG

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

Wednesday, February 09, 2022

New York Establishes Office of the Advocate for People with Disabilities

New law establishes Office of the Advocate for People with Disabilities. The Office assures that disabled people are afforded the opportunity to exercise all of the rights and responsibilities accorded to citizens of New York.

Operating under the Department of State, the Office shall advise and assist state agencies in developing policies designed to help meet the needs of the disabled by:

  • Coordinating the implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Act;
  • Ensuring that state programs do not discriminate against disabled people; 
  • Ensuring that programs provide appropriate services for disabled individuals; and 
  • Working with state agencies to develop legislation and potential regulatory changes.
The Office will be headed by a Director, appointed by the Governor. 

Landlords should be actively removing barriers to access so that this new Advocate doesn't bring suit against them for violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). 



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.