The past few weeks have brought action by both the federal and New York state governments to assist employers and employees suffering from income loss related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The following is a summary of new legislation on both the federal level and New York state level.
New York State Paid Sick Leave Law
New York State acted swiftly – on March 18, 2020 – to immediately implement paid sick leave for persons affected by COVID-19. Eligibility requires a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation issued by a government Department of Health—these are actual written documents given to those under such an order. The law provides job protection for persons under such an order even once the paid portion of the leave is completed, until the order is lifted.
As we begin a new year, organizations should continue to be prepared to address challenges arising from the ongoing proliferation of cybersecurity threats that wreak havoc on businesses and customers. In response to an increase in cybersecurity incidents, a number of state and federal laws have been passed, including New York State’s recently enacted “The Stop Hacks and Improve Electronic Data Security Act,” commonly referred to as the “SHIELD Act”.
The SHIELD Act’s provisions are not effective until March 21st of this year. This means, organizations still have time to review their existing practices and cybersecurity policies to minimize exposure to data breaches and to ensure compliance with applicable laws, including the SHIELD Act.
New York State’s 2019 Budget, which was signed in to law this past April, includes legislation that requires every employer in New York State, within both the private sector and public sector, to establish a sexual harassment prevention policy and to provide employees with sexual harassment prevention training.
As detailed in our previous Special Alert, New York State’s Department of Labor and Division of Human Rights have issued a model sexual harassment prevention policy and model training program. Once finalized, those models will establish a minimum standard for all employers in New York State to follow or incorporate in to their own policy and training program.
While the Department of Labor and Division of Human Rights have not yet issued final requirements, employers can use the models to begin to prepare to comply with the sexual harassment prevention policy and training legislation.
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