New York Law Prohibits Retaliation for Lawful Leaves of Absence

Employees Have Expanded Protection Under NY Labor Law

New York enacted new labor law amendments that protect workers against retaliation for taking lawful leaves of absence.

Governor Kathy Hochul signed the law on November 21, 2022. It amends New York Labor Law, protecting employees regarding how they use a legally protected absence under federal, local or state law. The law will be effective in 90 days from the above date.

Lawful Leaves of Absence in New York

New York has numerous lawful leave laws, including:

  • New York Paid Sick Leave
  • New York Paid Family Leave
  • New York Paid Covid-19 Leave
  • New York Paid Vaccine Leave
  • Family and Medical Leave Act
  • Blood Donation Leave
  • Bone Marrow Donation Leave
  • Military Spouse Leave
  • Witness and Victims of Crime Leave
  • Volunteer Emergency Response Leave
  • Jury Leave
  • Voting Leave

In addition, the new language in the amendment may also apply to time off for:

  • Workers compensation
  • Disability
  • Unpaid leave as a reasonable accommodation under the ADA (American with Disabilities Act) and New York Executive Law

Amendment Expanded Another Factor

The amendment  expanded the definition of “threaten, penalize, or in any other manner discriminate or retaliate against an employee” due to unfairly assessing any demerit that results in:

  • Subjecting the employee to disciplinary action
  • Failure to provide a deserved promotion
  • Loss of pay

If you are an employer who uses a no-fault attendance policy, it would be wise to review your process in light of the new law. A no-fault attendance policy assigns points to absences. An employee who acquires a certain number of points may be subject to discipline, demotion or termination.

Do you need legal help ensuring you are in compliance?

By addressing legal concerns or questions early on, employers can often avoid disputes and expensive lawsuits. At the outset of a potential workplace issue, you are wise to seek legal advice. If you have employment law questions, arrange an appointment. Discuss your concerns with an attorney at Stephen D. Hans & Associates, P.C. Call (718) 275-6500.