The New York State legislature has been busy in 2023, especially when it comes to new labor laws in the state. From an increase in minimum wage to new laws around discrimination, electronic communications, and freelance protections, there are many changes you’ll want to know about for 2024. If you are concerned that your employer has violated a labor law, a New York employment attorney at Buttafuoco & Associates can help you understand your rights. Get in touch for a free consultation to learn more.
As of January 1, 2024, minimum wage has increased to $16 per hour in New York City, Suffolk, Westchester, and Nassau Counties. The rest of the state also saw minimum wage increases to $15 per hour. While we often think of minimum wage laws only affecting hourly employees, they also boost the salaries of certain exempt employees, including administrative and executive staff. This year, the exempt salary threshold is up to $1200 per week or $62,400 annually in New York City, Suffolk, Nassau, and Westchester Counties. The rest of the state saw increases to $1124.290 per week or $58,458 annually.
Unlawful Discrimination Statute of Limitations
If you believe an employer has unlawfully discriminated against you, on February 15, 2024, you will now have three years (rather than one) to file an administrative claim. While sexual harassment claims already have a three-year statute of limitations, the New York State Human Rights Law has extended its statutes for other forms of unlawful discrimination.
Disclosure of Personal Account Information
As of March 12, 2024, employers in New York will no longer be legally allowed to request or require that any of their employees or employment applicants disclose methods for accessing personal electronic accounts such as usernames, passwords, or other information. In other words, employers may not request or require this information as part of the hiring process, during disciplinary actions, or in regard to employment status. Keep in mind that the law does not include devices the employer paid for or accounts you use for business reasons.
If you are a freelance or independent contract worker, be on the lookout for legal changes that offer job and wage protections beginning May 20, 2024. If you will make at least $800 this year as a freelancer or contractor, companies you work for must provide an agreement with specific minimum requirements detailing several key pieces of information. These include:
- Name and mailing address of employer
- Name and mailing address of contractor/freelancer
- Itemized list of services that will be provided
- Value of services provided
- Rate of compensation
- Method of compensation
- Date when payment must be completed
- Deadline for worker to submit a list of services provided in order to be paid
What to do If You Have an Issue with Your Employer
Any time you have an issue with your employer, whether it involves discrimination, incorrect pay, or another problem, make sure you keep detailed records, including dates and times, of all incidents. If there were witnesses, make note of it so you can call on them later if your attorney requires this for your case. If you have already dealt with the issue with your employer but a satisfactory conclusion has not been reached, get additional legal help as soon as possible.
If you aren’t sure whether your employer’s behavior is in violation of New York labor laws, an employment attorney serving New York may be able to help. Buttafuoco & Associates provide free consultations, so don’t hesitate to reach out to us.