A Look at Recent Changes and Updates to Employment and Labor Laws in New York.

Employment and Labor laws for both New York state and New York City seem to change and update on a nearly constant basis.  The years 2019 and 2020 have been no different, as various new laws place additional and more stringent requirements on New York employers, and provide New York employees with greater workplace protections.  Some notable recent additions to New York laws are:

New York State Human Rights Law Changes:

New York state changed the State Human Rights Law to more closely follow the more liberal standards of the New York City Human Rights Law, including lowering the "severe and pervasive" standard, extending the states anti-harassment laws to cover independent contractors, requiring employers to provide employees with a copy of the company's sexual harassment policy, and prohibiting nondisclosure and confidentiality provisions in settlement agreements covering discrimination claims unless the employee prefers confidentiality.

Reproductive Health Discrimination

New York City employers are now barred from discriminating against employees and applicants based on an employee's sexual and reproductive health decisions, as well as an employee's, or their dependent's, reproductive health decision making.  Employers are also barred from accessing an employee's personal information on reproductive health decisions.

New York City Independent Contractors

As of January 11, 2020, New York City independent contractors and freelancers are afforded the same rights and privileges under the New York City Human Rights Law afforded to employees under the law.

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