New Legal Obligations for Employers in New York, New Jersey and Maryland

October 22, 2013 Meira Ferziger

Employers located in New York, New Jersey and Maryland should update their policies and practices in light of recent laws passed in each state. These laws impose new obligations for employers with respect to providing employees with time off for sickness, domestic abuse or assault, accommodating pregnant employees, and accessing employee social media accounts. Below is an overview of the new legal obligations imposed on employers in these specific states. For more information as to how these laws should be implemented in a particular workplace, contact Meira Ferziger at meira@swalegal.com.

New York

New York City Earned Sick Time Act

  • Effective Date: April 1, 2014, unless city’s Independent Budget Office determines on December 16, 2013 that New York economy is worse than in January 2012.
  • Applies to: New York City employers
  • Obligations:
    • Employee is entitled to 1 hour of sick time for every 30 hours worked up to 40 hours per calendar year.
    • For first 18 months law is in effect, if employer has 20 or more employees, sick time must be paid. If less than 20 employees, sick time may be unpaid. 18 months after law goes into effect, threshold is 15 employees.
    • Employer must provide written notice to employee and post notice of law in workplace.

New York City Human Rights Law Amendment

  • Effective Date: January 30, 2014
  • Applies to: New York City employers with 4 or more employees
  • Obligations:
    • Employer may not discriminate against, and must provide accommodation for employee on basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical condition. Accommodation must be provided to extent it does not impose undue hardship on employer.
    • All pregnant employees covered, regardless of whether pregnant employee’s condition would qualify as disability under federal, state, or city law.
    • Employer must provide written notice to employee and post notice of law in workplace.

New Jersey

New Jersey SAFE Act

  • Effective Date: October 1, 2013
  • Applies to: New Jersey employer with 25 or more employees
  • Obligations:
    • Employee who has worked at least 1000 hours during immediately preceding 12 month period and is a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault is entitled to take up to 20 days of unpaid leave.
    • Employers must post notice (click here for a copy of the notice).

New Jersey Social Media Law

  • Effective Date: December 1, 2013
  • Applies to: New Jersey employers
  • Obligations:
    • New Jersey employer may not require employee or job candidate to disclose user name, password, or other login information to access personal (non-business) social media account.
    • Exceptions apply if employer conducts investigation on account of employee work misconduct.

Jersey City Sick Leave Ordinance

  • Effective Date: January 23, 2014
  • Applies to: Jersey City employers
  • Obligations:
    • Employee who works at least 80 hours in calendar year in Jersey City accrues 1 hour of sick time for every 30 hours worked, up to 40 hours of sick time per calendar year.
    • If employer has 10 or more employees, sick time is paid. If less than 10 employees, sick time is unpaid.
    • Employer must provide written notice to employee and post notice of the law in the workplace.

Maryland

Maryland Reasonable Accommodation for Disabilities Due to Pregnancy Law

  • Effective Date: October 1, 2013
  • Applies to: Maryland employer with 15 or more employees
  • Obligations:
    • Employer must provide accommodations for employee with disability caused or contributed to by pregnancy, as long as no undue hardship caused to employer.
    • Employer must post notice and include in employee handbook (click here for notice guidelines).

Meira Ferziger is the head of the labor and employment practice at Schwell Wimpfheimer & Associates and has significant experience in drafting policies, agreements, employee handbooks and guidelines in compliance with U.S. federal and state law. Meira functions as an integral part of the day to day operation of corporate clients by counseling them through their employment-related practices and decisions, and also advises clients as to employment issues that arise from corporate transactions, such as restructurings and acquisitions.

Meira can be reached at 646 328 0794 or mferziger@swalegal.com

This SWA publication is intended for informational purposes and should not be regarded as legal advice. For more information about the issues included in this publication, please contact Meira Ferziger. The invitation to contact is not to be construed as a solicitation for legal work. Any new attorney/client relationship will be confirmed in writing.