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We are pleased to share with you The Global Employer – Global Immigration & Mobility Quarterly Update, a collection of key updates from Brazil, China, Italy, South Africa, Spain, the United Kingdom, and more.

Click here to view.

New York never rests–especially for employers–and 2023 was no exception. In 2023, New York employers were required to continuously pivot to meet new obligations and adhere to new limitations under freshly-enacted laws, and to closely follow landmark legislation that would significantly impact the workplace if signed. At the top of the list: S3100, a bill that would have banned employers’ use of employee noncompetes if signed (but employers can now breathe a sigh of relief, because Governor Hochul recently vetoed the bill). 2024 promises to continue to be dynamic for New York employers.

Here are ten of the most important changes New York employers need to know right now as we step into 2024–as well as what’s coming down the pike, a couple of important changes you may have missed, and what we’re keeping an eye on as we step into the new year.  

What you need to know right now

1. New York’s bill restricting noncompetes vetoed by Governor Hochul

On December 22, 2023 Governor Hochul vetoed S3100, which would have been the most restrictive state-level ban on employers’ use of noncompetes to date if it had been signed into law. Passed by the New York State Assembly in June 2023, S3100 provided that every contract restraining anyone from engaging in a lawful profession, trade or business of any kind is void to the extent of the restraint; allowed a private right of action for employees; and did not have an explicit “sale of business” exception (for more details on the now-vetoed legislation, see our prior blog here.)

The bill faced opposition by Wall Street and other industries that heavily rely on noncompetes, and business groups pushed for amendments to the bill (which the governor had until the end of 2023 to sign or veto). In late November, Governor Hochul reportedly stated she was in favor of striking a balance that would protect lower- and middle-income workers (up to $250,000) but allow noncompetes for those at higher income levels who are better equipped to negotiate on their own to do so. Reports are that Governor Hochul recently tried to negotiate amendments to the bill in this respect, but that negotiations broke down.

Employer takeaway:

  • We expect this issue to make an appearance in New York’s next legislative session. Employers should keep an eye out for the introduction of new bills to restrict noncompetes and follow their progress. Now that Governor Hochul has expressed favor for an income threshold to ban noncompetes, legislators may be more likely to craft a bill that will more easily be signed into law.

Continue Reading New York Employer “Top Ten” (and more): What to Know Heading into 2024

We are pleased to share with you The Global Employer – Global Immigration & Mobility Quarterly Update, a collection of key updates from Australia, China, Hong Kong, Italy, Philippines, South Africa, United Kingdom, United States and Vietnam.

Click here to view.

New guidance from USCIS provides a new alternative, starting August 1, 2023, allowing employers that participate in E-Verify to inspect documents presented for I-9 completion remotely. This update will free qualifying employers from the burden of performing a physical verification.

To qualify, employers must be in good standing with E-Verify. This significant change in USCIS policy provide a pragmatic solution for qualifying employers, particularly those with large remote-working populations. The new guidance is also timely – as it is effective the day after USCIS’ COVID-19 flexible guidance is set to expire.Continue Reading Update: USCIS Modernizes I-9 Verification Process Allowing for Virtual Verification

The month of July will bring forth two notable changes to immigration compliance requirements: (i) Florida will require that all private employers with at least 25 employees use E-Verify as of July 1; and (ii) the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) will end temporary flexibilities on July 31 that permitted certain employers to complete the Form I-9 remotely without inspection of the original documents. Employers–throughout the United States–must be aware of how mandatory E-Verify will or could impact their company and how the end of remote I-9 completion will impact its remote workforce.

Mandatory E-Verify in Florida

Governor Ron DeSantis signed SB 1718 into law on May 10, with an effective date of July 1, 2023. The law expands mandatory use of E-Verify to all private employers with 25 or more employees. SB 1718  expands existing State law which requires the use of E-Verify by public employers, private employers which contract with public employers, and private employers which receive state incentives.  The new law aligns Florida with other states with mandatory E-Verify requirements, including Utah, Arizona, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, South Carolina, and North Carolina.

What is E-Verify?

E-Verify is an internet-based system that compares information entered by an employer from an employee’s Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, against records available to the US Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration to confirm employment eligibility. The program is additive to and does not replace the I-9 requirement. E-Verify is a meaningful tool that helps employers verify the work authorization of their workforce; it can also serve as evidence of good faith during government investigations relating to I-9 practices. However, employers must meet compliance requirements when using E-Verify, and noncompliance can result in fines and other civil penalties.

Requirements for private employers

The Florida law will require that all private employers with 25 or more employees register for E-Verify and utilize it for new employees hired on or after July 1, 2023. Each employer subject to the new law will be required to retain copies of the E-Verify documentation for at least three years, and will be required to verify compliance on its first return when making contributions to or reimbursing the state’s unemployment compensation or reemployment assistance program. Notably, employers who use E-Verify–whether required or not–will create a rebuttable presumption that they have not knowingly employed an unauthorized worker.Continue Reading Mandatory E-Verify in Florida and the End of I-9 Flexibility for Remote Workers: Major Changes to Immigration Compliance Landscape on the Horizon

Special thanks to co-authors Eunkyung Kim Shin and Alexandre Lamy.

Last month, the U.S. Department of Justice issued a new fact sheet reminding employers of how to simultaneously comply with export control regulations and avoid running afoul of anti-discrimination provisions contained in the Immigration and Nationality Act. The new fact sheet aligns with recent

It’s been a demanding year in New York for employers. New York employers have had to continuously pivot to meet obligations under new laws and requirements in 2022, with no end in sight as we step into 2023. From New York’s new electronic monitoring law, to New York City’s salary and pay range disclosure requirements, to the newly-delayed enforcement of NYC’s automated employment decision tools law (a brief sigh of relief for employers), new laws are certain to make for a busy 2023 for New York employers. Here are 10 changes employers should know now as we get the ball rolling in 2023.

1. NYC Employers Using Automated Employment Decision Tools Now Have Until April 15, 2023 to Meet New Obligations  

The New York City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) granted New York City employers a happy holiday by announcing a delay of enforcement of its automated employment decision tools law (Local Law 144 of 2021) until April 15, 2023.

Until the announcement, New York City employers who use artificial intelligence in employment decision-making were faced with new requirements beginning January 1, 2023–including a prohibition against using automated employment decision tools (AEDTs) unless they took a number of specific steps prior to doing so, not the least of which would be conducting a bias audit of their AEDTs.

Proposed Rules

On December 15, 2022, DCWP published revised proposed rules for Local Law 144, making several changes to initial proposed rules published by DCWP September 23, 2022.

The initial proposed rules defined or clarified some terms (including “independent auditor,” “candidate for employment,” and “AEDT”), set forth the form and requirements of the bias audit, and provided guidance on notice requirements. 

After comments from the public on the initial proposed rules, and after a November 4, 2022 public hearing, the DCWP modified the proposed rules, with changes including:

  • Modifying the definition of AEDT (according to DCWP, “to ensure it is focused”);
  • Clarifying that an “independent auditor” may not be employed or have a financial interest in an employer or employment agency seeking to use or continue to use an AEDT, or in a vendor that developed or distributed the AEDT;
  • Revising the required calculation to be performed where an AEDT scores candidates;
  • Clarifying that the required “impact ratio” must be calculated separately to compare sex categories, race/ethnicity categories, and intersectional categories;
  • Clarifying the types of data that may be used to conduct a bias audit;
  • Clarifying that multiple employers using the same AEDT can rely upon the same bias audit as long as they provide historical data (if available) for the independent auditor to consider in such bias audit; and
  • Clarifying that an AEDT may not be used if its most recent bias audit is more than one year old.

DCWP will hold a second public hearing on the proposed rules on January 23, 2022.

For more on the law, see our recent blog Happy Holidays! Enforcement of New York City’s Automated Employment Decision Tools Law Delayed to April 15, 2023.

2. New York Employers with “No Fault” Attendance Policies Subject to Penalties for Disciplining Employees Who Take Protected Leave

Beginning February 20, 2023, New York employers with absence control policies who discipline employees for taking protected leave under any federal, state or local law will be subject to penalties.

Signed by Governor Kathy Hochul on November 21, 2022, S1958A (which amends Section 215 of the New York Labor Law (NYLL)) targets employer policies that attempt to control employee absences by assessing points or “demerits” or docking time from a leave bank when an employee is absent, regardless of whether or not the absence is permissible under applicable law. The amendment prohibits employers in New York from taking these actions when employees take a legally protected absence. Though the law does not prohibit attendance policies that include a penalty point system, legally protected absences cannot be used to deduct from these point systems.

Employers are prohibited from retaliating or discriminating against any employee that makes a complaint that the employer violated the law, and violations can come with sizable penalties. In addition to enforcement by the New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL), NYLL Section 215 provides a private cause of action for current and former employees to recover monetary damages from employers who have violated Section 215. Monetary damages include back pay, liquidated damages and attorneys’ fees in addition to civil penalties that can be issued by NYSDOL of up to $10,000 for the first violation and $20,000 for repeat violations.

Employer Takeaways

  • Employers who currently have policies that assess points or demerits against employees for taking absences under applicable law should review and update the policies to be compliant with the law.
  • Employers should train HR professionals, managers and supervisors on the new law.

3. Employers Must Provide Pay Ranges in Job Postings under New York City Pay Transparency Law Now–and under New York State Pay Transparency Law Beginning September 17, 2023

New York City employers are already feeling the impact of having to meet the requirements of New York City’s new pay transparency law (Local Law 32 and its amendment), which went into effect on November 1, 2022. Now, employers all across New York State will also have to comply with salary transparency requirements. Governor Hochul signed New York State’s salary transparency bill (S9427A) into law on December 21, 2022. Employers should begin to prepare now for the law’s September 17, 2023 effective date.

Covered employers

New York City’s law requires New York City employers with four or more employees (with at least one working in New York City) to disclose salary and hourly ranges in any advertisements for jobs, promotions, or transfer opportunities. (See our prior blogs here and here–and for a deeper look at salary and pay range disclosure requirements in job postings across the US, watch our video Employers: All Eyes on Salary and Pay Range Disclosure in US Job Postings).

Similar to New York City’s law, New York State’s law also requires employers with four or more employees to include a compensation range in all advertisements for new jobs, promotions and transfer opportunities. It’s not clear at this time whether all four employees must be employed within New York State, or whether an employer is covered even if employees are located elsewhere. The New York Department of Labor (NYDOL) is authorized to promulgate regulations to clarify the law, and it is anticipated that guidance will be issued before the law’s effective date.

Employment agencies and recruiters–but not temporary employment agencies–are also covered by each law.

Continue Reading Top 10 New York Employment Law Updates: Closing Out 2022 and Heading Into 2023