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Nicholas E. Forgione

Employment law background

Several Important Changes to New York Employment Law in 2020

Several Important Changes to New York Employment Law in 2020 1920 1080 Nicholas E. Forgione

Minimum Wage Increases

• Minimum wage increases continue to be phased-in each year. As of January 1, 2020, the minimum wage in New York City is $15.00 per hour. In Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester counties, it is $13.00 per hour. In the remainder of the state, it is $11.80 per hour.

Salary History Ban

• In 2017, New York City amended its Human Rights Law to prohibit inquiries into applicants’ salary histories during the hiring process. Effective January 6, 2020, New York state expanded on the New York City law by prohibiting employers from requesting such information of applicants or employees. The law does not prohibit applicants and current employees from voluntarily, and without prompting, disclosing or verifying wage or salary history, such as for the purpose of negotiating wages or salary.

Paid Voting Leave

• With primary and general elections occurring in 2020, employers should be mindful of recent revisions of New York’s election law, which now entitles New York employees who are registered voters up to three hours of paid time off as needed to vote in any election. Employees requiring time off to vote must be afforded such time at either the beginning or end of a workday, at the employer’s election, and must notify their employer of their need not less than two working days before the election.

Continued sexual harassment prevention

• Employers should keep in mind that New York City requirements for employee anti-sexual harassment training are annual requirements.
• On August 12, 2020, the statute of limitations for sexual harassment claims will increase from one year to three years.

Ban on pre-employment marijuana testing

• Effective May 10, 2020, New York City will prohibit employers from conducting pre-employment drug testing for marijuana. Exceptions will apply for certain types of jobs, including various construction and maintenance roles, positions requiring a commercial driver’s license, and positions requiring the supervision or care of children, medical patients, or vulnerable persons.

Expanded protections for “gig” workers

• Effective January 11, 2020, the New York City Human Rights Law will cover freelancers and independent contractors, extending protections from discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. The prohibition on pre?offer criminal background checks and pre?offer salary history inquiries will also apply to freelancers and independent contractors.

Privacy Please

The California Consumer Privacy Act: What You Need to Know

The California Consumer Privacy Act: What You Need to Know 1920 1080 Nicholas E. Forgione

California recently passed a sweeping new consumer privacy law that will have major implications for businesses that collect, store, and share information about California residents. The law goes into effect on January 1, 2020, but businesses that collect any California consumer information should begin preparing for the law’s requirements as soon as possible.

The first of its kind in the United States, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) gives a number of rights to California residents to allow them to better understand and control what kinds of information businesses collect about them and how businesses use and share such information. The CCPA has many similar concepts and requirements as the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR); however, there are several significant differences. Being in compliance with GDPR does not guarantee compliance with CCPA.

The CCPA applies to for-profit entities doing business in California that meet certain revenue and/or data collection thresholds. Compared to the GDPR, the CCPA covers an even broader scope of data including not just personal identifying information, but also any information capable of being used in conjunction with other information to identify an individual person or household. New requirements of the CCPA include individual rights to data access and erasure, and limitations on the use of consumer data. The law also gives consumers the right to opt-out of having their data sold via a clear and conspicuous link on a business’s website.

Like the GDPR, violations of the CCPA may result in significant fines. To ensure compliance when the law takes effect January 1, 2020, businesses should update their privacy policies and begin developing compliance plans to be able to track what kinds of data is collected, stored, shared, and sold and to respond to consumers’ requests for copies of the data stored about them, “Do Not Sell” requests, and data deletion requests. Businesses should ensure that they have a comprehensive, accurate, and up-to-date inventory of all the data they collect share, and/or sell concerning California residents.

With experience drafting privacy policies, we encourage you to consult a Deborah A. Nilson & Associates, PLLC attorney if you have specific questions or concerns relating to the CCPA.

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