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4 New HR Mandates Employers Need to Know

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The Partnership

July 1, 2024

New employee rights are among the key policy revisions to come out of the 2024-25 New York State budget approved in April.

At the Buffalo Niagara Partnership’s latest Government Affairs series event, a panel of experts broke down what employers need to know about these HR mandates – some of which went into effect this June.

Here are four key takeaways from Policy Perspective:
  1. Lactation leave. Starting June 19, all employers will be required to provide 30-minute paid breaks each time an employee needs to express breast milk in the workplace for up to three years following childbirth. Previously, employers were allowed to offer reasonable unpaid break time to employees.
  2. Prenatal care leave. Effective Jan. 1, 2025, New York will be the first state to mandate that employers pay for prenatal care leave for pregnant employees. Employers will be required to provide 20 hours of paid leave per calendar year to get health care services, such as appointments, procedures, tests and discussions with a health care provider. This leave is in addition to existing paid sick leave requirements already mandated by state law.
  3. Pay frequency for manual workers. The Legislature rejected changes that the business community proposed on wage theft claims for manual workers (defined as anyone who spends more than 25% of their time performing manual labor) who are not paid on a weekly basis. These workers are required to be paid weekly. Employers that don't remain compliant with this law are subject to liquidated damages, which is extremely costly.
  4. COVID-19 sick leave. Four years after the pandemic, New York is the only state still mandating Covid-19 paid sick leave – requiring employers to provide employees with job-protected paid leave. However, this will expire on July 31, 2025.

Employers should actively review and update policies internally or with HR partners, post notices around the workplace, and train employees on these rights to ensure compliance and avoid the potential for legal action and costly fines.

Looking for more business insights like this? Become a BNP member today.

Policy Perspective - Panel

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