As the new year approaches, we want to update you on some of the changes becoming effective in 2020.

Minimum Wage: After several years of repeated minimum wage increases, 2020 will mark the final increase in New York City for a while. Currently, the minimum wage in NYC is $13.50 per hour for businesses with fewer than 10 employees, and $15.00 per hour for businesses with more than 11 employees. After December 31, 2019, the minimum wage will increase to $15.00 per hour for all employees in NYC. Outside of NYC, the minimum wage is $11.10 per hour.

Confidentiality Agreements: Beginning on January 1, 2020, non-disclosure agreements (NDA) in employment contracts must explicitly allow potential employees who enter the NDA to speak with “law enforcement, the Equal Opportunity Commission, the state Division of Human Rights, a local commission on human rights, or an attorney retained by the potential employee.” Without such language, the NDA may be void and unenforceable.

Protections Extended to Independent Contractors: Starting on January 11, 2020, the anti-discrimination and anti-retaliation provisions of the New York State Human Rights Law (NYSHRL) will apply to freelancers and independent contractors.

Employer Size: Starting February 8, 2020, the legal definition of an “employer” under the New York State Human Rights Law will include employers of any size.

Marijuana Drug Testing: Starting May 10, 2020, employers in New York City will be prohibited from drug testing prospective employees for marijuana as a condition of employment. The law will still allow employer drug-testing programs for current employees, and restricts only the testing of prospective employees. Pre-employment drug testing for marijuana will still be permitted for several jobs, including caregivers, safety-related positions and emergency responders, transportation-related positions, positions for which drug testing is required by federal or state statute, positions for which drug testing is required by contract with the federal government, and positions for which drug testing is required pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement.

Statute of Limitations: Starting August 12, 2020, the statute of limitations for sexual harassment under the NYSHRL will be expanded from one year to three years.

If you have any questions regarding these updates, please feel free to contact our office at 718-402-2240.

From the entire team at Sinayskaya Yuniver, P.C, we wish you a happy and prosperous New Year!