On February 10, 2014, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio gave his first State of the City address and, shortly thereafter, presented his first budget for consideration by the New York City Council. Although there were few surprises, Mayor de Blasio highlighted several areas of interest to New York City employers:
- Mayor de Blasio proposed expansions to New York City’s paid sick leave law (for more information, see the January 2014 issue of the New York eAuthority). If passed by the New York City Council, the amendments will become effective on April 1, 2014.
- Mayor de Blasio’s proposed budget sets aside $4.8 million in 2014 toward enforcing the paid sick leave law, with an additional $1.8 million budgeted for 2015.
- Mayor de Blasio announced that he is clearing the path for the prevailing wage law passed in 2013 over previous Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s veto, which would raise wages for janitors, security guards, and other building service workers in structures that receive substantial government subsidies or where the city was a major tenant. As we covered in the August 2013 issue of the New York eAuthority, the law was initially struck down on preemption grounds pursuant to a lawsuit commenced by then-Mayor Bloomberg. However, Mayor de Blasio announced that he is withdrawing the lawsuit, which is currently on appeal, allowing the law to go into effect in the near future.
- Mayor de Blasio affirmed his support for legislation pending before the New York State Senate that would give New York City and other localities the power to set their own minimum wages. However, that bill is not expected to receive sufficient support in Albany to go into law.
Given that Mayor de Blasio campaigned on and was easily elected with a progressive agenda and is closely aligned with the New York City Council, we will continue to monitor his efforts to pass new laws that will affect New York City employers.