With the New Year approaching, so too are a legion of enhanced workplace protections. For example, beginning in January 2020, employers will be bound by the following:

  • New York City Human Rights Law (“NYCHRL”) Expands to Cover Independent Contractors.Effective January 1, 2020, the NYCHRL will be amended to cover independent contractors and freelancers. Moreover, while the NYCHRL currently applies only to employers who employ four or more employees, beginning January 1, this calculation will be amended to include independent contractors.
  • New York State Bans Salary History Inquiries. Effective January 6, 2020, New York employers will be prohibited from asking applicants (and current employees) about their compensation history or relying on that history when making salary and other employment decisions.
  • Salary Thresholds Increase for Exempt Employees. To qualify as exempt under the “administrative” or “executive” overtime exemptions, employees must, among other factors, be paid at least a certain, legally mandated minimum salary. Effective December 31, 2019, New York City’s salary threshold for such exemptions will increase to $58,500 annually ($1,125 per week) for small employers—i.e., employers with 10 or fewer employees—thus matching New York City’s current salary threshold for employers with 11 or more employees. For all employers in Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester counties, the salary threshold will increase to $50,700 annually ($975 per week). For all other New York State employers, the salary threshold will increase to $46,020 annually ($885 per week).

These laws are just a sampling of various employment laws and amendments taking effect in 2020. Employers should be aware of, educate their workforces about, and take the necessary steps to comply with their ever-changing employment law obligations.

Read previous tip of the month newsletters here.