LIEB BLOG

How current events impact business & real estate

Showing posts with label labor law. Show all posts
Showing posts with label labor law. Show all posts

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. 


Tuesday, October 26, 2021

New Law Permits Employees to Petition Employers to Implement a "Shared Work" Program without Fear of Retaliation.

Governor Hochul signed Bill A07373 into law yesterday which permits employees to petition their employer (in writing, within ten (10) days after a layoff, or in advance of a layoff) to implement a "Shared Work" program in lieu of a layoff. While employers are not required to implement a Shared Work program, employers must respond to the employees' petition in writing within seven (7) days and may not discriminate or retaliate against any employees who bring a petition.

The Shared Work program was formed to assist employers in avoiding layoffs and maintain trained workers during an economic downturn by allowing employees to receive partial unemployment benefits while working reduced hours. 

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Home Construction Injuries - How to Get Sued and Lose

Generally, homeowners are exempt from liability for construction-related injuries that happen in their home. 


However, homeowners become liable if they direct or control the method and manner of work. 


What does that rule mean to you?


The Appellate Courts, in O'Mara v. Ranalli, just taught us that it is a jury question where there is evidence that the homeowner did the following acts:

  • Supplied the ladders used by the contractors;
  • Being on site and giving direction nearly every day; and 
  • Deciding not to permit the installation of stairs from the basement to the first floor in the face of the contractor insisting that it was needed for safer and easier access to the first floor.

If you get called to jury duty on this one, how would you decide? Did the homeowner direct or control the method and manner of work? Should the homeowner be responsible for ensuing injuries?




Monday, February 08, 2021

Construction GCs Should Videotape Their Worksites to Avoid Lawsuits

Typically, when a construction worker gets injured on the job from an elevated fall, it's a slam dunk case against the GC. 


In fact, Labor Law § 240(1) imposes strict or absolute liability on general contractors, owners, and their agents regardless if the injured worker is partially at fault for falls at construction sites. 


The only real defense for the GC is that the injured worker was the sole proximate cause of the accident (called the, "recalcitrant worker" defense). But, how do you prove sole cause when everyone claims different facts? 


We just learned the answer in an appellate division case, Cordova v 653 Eleventh Ave. LLC.


The case was dismissed because "Surveillance footage of plaintiff falling from the ladder demonstrates that" it was solely the injured worker's fault. The ladder didn't move or shake, it was connected to the sidewalk bridge and scaffolding above and tied to the scaffold too. 


Moving forward, GCs should video your construction sites. It can save you a fortune. 







Thursday, November 15, 2018

NYS releases sexual harassment training videos that DO NOT comply with NYS Law

Ironically, NYS has released videos to comply with the NYS required sexual harassment training under Labor Law 201-g. However, the website for the videos expressly advises that they are non-compliant.

In fact the website states:
the videos alone are NOT considered interactive. If you are using this video to meet the training requirements, you must also: ask questions of employees as part of the program; accommodate questions asked by employees, with answers provided in a timely manner; or require feedback from employees about the training and the materials presented.
To comply with the NYS law, easily, effectively and efficiently, just go to sexualharassmenttrainingny.com

Sexualharassmenttrainingny.com has interactive videos in full compliance with the Labor Law and also offers sexual harassment policies, complaint forms and record keeping making you 100% in compliance with the law.


Friday, November 09, 2018

Why Employers Should Outsource Sexual Harassment Trainings & Policies

Many employers are saying that they will write sexual harassment policies and conduct the mandatory trainings themselves, but they will quickly find that doing it themselves is a big mistake.

Beyond the heavy burden of compliance with Labor Law 201-g (NYS) and Local Law 96 (NYC), employers who do the trainings themselves will have to repeatedly train their staff every time they have a new hire (NYS requires as soon as possible from start date whereas NYC requires training within 90 days). 

Moreover, there are ramifications for employers who do not have their employees take the training (i.e., it's a misdemeanor and likely will trigger an EPLI insurance provider to disclaim coverage in a prospective sex discrimination lawsuit). With risk avoidance being the key to these new laws, a sexual harassment vendor should offer the following:
  1. A system to track that employees took the training in anticipation of a Department of Labor audit;
  2. A system to track that the sexual harassment policy and complaint form were distributed in writing and agreed to be followed (i.e., clickwrap) by the employee - distribution of these documents is also required;
  3. A branded policy and training, with both addressing all types of discrimination, beyond just sexual harassment, because the employer may face a discrimination suit on a different protected class and wouldn't want to have to explain to a jury why they only cared about sex discrimination, not the applicable protected class (e.g., race, marital status, disability, etc.); and
  4. Most importantly, a digital on-demand product because the training needs to be instantly available to new employees 
Lieb Compliance offer employers a web-based, on-demand interactive video training platform. While we understand that there are many vendors who train on sexual harassment, most of them don't offer online trainings in compliance with both Labor Law 201-g and Local Law 96. Further, most don't offer to digitally distribute a branded company policy and a tailored complaint form, which are both required under laws. Still further, our competitors rarely offer an opportunity for employers to require that their employees affirmatively agree to be bound by their policy through a digital clickwrap receipt. Please understand that our system goes above and beyond to make compliance easy. We include security checkpoints, randomized quiz questions, note-taking, and the ability for employees to ask questions of the instructor. We even offer monthly user reports so employers can monitor their team's compliance.  


Many "lawyers" teach, but being licensed isn't enough, being dynamic is everything when presenting emotion-ridden topics to employees. Our courses are led by Andrew Lieb, Esq., who founded Lieb Compliance and is our Chief Compliance Officer. Andrew is a prolific author and has trained tens of thousands of employees and independent contractors nationally on compliance topics. He's taught on the college level (human sexuality), he's taught corporate compliance and he even operates a New York State licensed school. Simply stated, he's our secret sauce. 

We encourage you to learn more about our Sexual Harassment Prevention Trainings and Services.