New York employers now have a big “to do” item for 2025. Starting January 1, 2025, New York employers will be required to provide employees with 20 hours of paid prenatal personal leave (PPPL) during any 52‑week calendar period in addition to paid sick and safe leave (PSSL). New York is the first state in the US to require employers to provide such leave.

The new obligation results from Governor Hochul’s FY 2025 executive budget bill (A 8805), which passed April 20, 2024 and (among other things) amends New York Labor Law § 196-b (New York state’s paid sick and safe leave law). The new law does not change an employee’s entitlement to other leaves such as PSSL (which is 40 or 56 hours per year, depending on the size of the employer) and New York Paid Family Leave (which provides eligible employees job-protected, paid time off for reasons including to bond with a newborn, adopted or fostered child).

Breaking down PPPL

Who does this apply to?

All employers in New York are required to provide PPPL to all pregnant employees.

What type of leave is covered by PPPL?

PPPL is leave taken for health care services received by an employee during their pregnancy or related to such pregnancy, including

  • Physical examinations
  • Medical procedures
  • Monitoring and testing, and
  • Discussions with a health care provider related to the pregnancy

Does PPPL have to accrue before employees can take PPPL?

No. Eligible employees can take all 20 hours of PPPL they are entitled to for the 52-week period starting the effective date of the new law–without waiting for PPPL to accrue.

Are there certain increments for taking leave?

Employees are permitted to take PPPL in hourly increments.

How is PPPL paid?

PPPL must be paid in hourly installments. Employers must pay employees for PPPL at the employee’s regular rate of pay, or the applicable minimum wage–whichever is greater.Continue Reading New York Employers’ New “To Do” Item for 2025: Provide Paid Prenatal Personal Leave Starting January 1

Earlier this year, many of you tuned into our 2023 – 2024 Employer Update webinars to plant seeds for success for the year ahead.

Now, to ensure your compliance efforts are blooming, we’re sharing detailed checklists to help you ensure you’re ticking all the boxes!

Join us for our virtual New York 2023-2024 Employment Law Update on Tuesday, February 13, 2024 at 1 pm ET.

In this 60-minute session, our team will highlight what employers in New York and the surrounding areas need to know to effectively navigate 2024, with practical tips to handle the latest developments including:

  • The shifting

In late breaking news out of New York, Governor Kathy Hochul has vetoed legislation that would have imposed the most restrictive state-level ban on employee non-competes in the United States. Last June, the New York State Assembly passed S3100, which if signed by Governor Hochul, would have voided any contract restraining anyone from engaging in a

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’re not even out of 2023, and New York employers who engage independent contractors already have new obligations to reckon with before next spring. On November 22, 2023, New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed the New York State “Freelance Isn’t Free Act”, increasing obligations for parties who engage freelance workers (including independent contractors). Starting May 20, 2024, hiring parties (including employers who engage independent contractors) must provide freelance workers with written contracts, pay them within a specified time period, maintain records, and satisfy additional new obligations—and freelance workers will gain a private right of action for violations.

The Act replicates the 2017 NYC’s Freelance Isn’t Free Law, adding administrative oversight and support from the New York State Department of Labor and the New York State Attorney General while maintaining New York City’s local law. The Act will apply to contracts entered into on or after the May 20, 2024 effective date.

Here are some key details:

Definitions: “freelance workers” and “hiring parties” 

The Act defines a “freelance worker” as “any natural person or organization composed of no more than one natural person, whether or not incorporated or employing a trade name, that is hired or retained as an independent contractor by a hiring party to provide services in exchange for an amount equal to or greater than eight hundred dollars”—but does not include certain sales representatives, practicing attorneys, licensed medical professionals, and construction contractors. Also, a “hiring party” is any person (other than government entities) who retains a freelance worker to provide any service.

Written contracts required

The Act requires a written contract if the freelance work is worth at least $800, inclusive of multiple projects over a 120-day period. The hiring party must furnish a copy of the contract, either physically or electronically. At a minimum, the written contract must include:

  1. The name and the mailing address of both the hiring party and the freelance worker;
  2. An itemization of all services to be provided by the freelance worker, the value of the services to be provided under the contract, and the rate and method of compensation;
  3. The date on which the hiring party must pay the contracted compensation (or the mechanism by which the date will be determined); and
  4. The date by which a freelance worker must submit to the hiring party a list of services rendered under the contract to meet the hiring party’s internal processing deadlines to allow compensation to be paid by the agreed-upon date.

The New York State Department of Labor will provide model contracts on its website for freelancers and hiring parties to use.Continue Reading More Scrutiny and Obligations for NY Businesses Engaging Independent Contractors Coming Spring 2024

Special thanks to our Baker McKenzie speakers Pamela Church, Teisha Johnson, Cyrus Vance, Elizabeth Roper, Laura Estrada Vasquez, Joshua Wolkoff and Industry Experts, Alexandra Lopez, Privacy Counsel, Calix, Una Kang, VP and Associate General Counsel, Wolters Kluwer, and Pamela Weinstock, Managing Counsel, Intellectual Property, Tiffany & Co.

Heads up, New York employers. New York recently expanded its #MeToo statute to bar some of the most common terms for which employers bargain in settlement agreements involving claims of discrimination, harassment or retaliation. On November 17, 2023, Governor Hochul signed S4516 into law, amending Section 5-336 of the General Obligations Law (“GOL”) (New York’s

In 2023, we helped US employers overcome a host of new challenges across the employment law landscape. Many companies started the year with difficult cost-cutting decisions and hybrid work challenges. More recently, employers faced challenges around intense political discourse boiling over in the workplace. We’ve worked hard to keep our clients ahead of the curve on these

The current increase in market volatility and heightened regulatory scrutiny has made for a treacherous landscape for multinational employers, and we’re here to help. Join us on October 18th in our New York office to connect on cutting-edge Employment & Compensation issues with a series of panel discussions, presentations and peer roundtables discussing the