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2024 New York Employment Law Update

Each year Colligan Law's Joe Saeli puts together a summary of the most pertinent legislative changes impacting employment law in New York. Here are the 12 updates you need to be aware of heading into the New Year: 


A bill which would have effectively banned employee non-compete agreements in New York passed the New York Assembly and Senate in 2023 but was awaiting action by Governor Hochul. In late December, she vetoed it. Proponents of the bill reportedly attempted to negotiate a compromise which would have protected employees who earned less than a set wage. The bill was strongly opposed by business interests.

Even though it was vetoed, New York courts will continue to closely scrutinize non-competes to determine if they are reasonable in time and distance and needed to protect the employer's legitimate business interests. Also, recent court decisions indicate that a non-compete will likely not be enforced against an employee who is terminated without cause.


Effective Jan. 1, the minimum wage for upstate New York is $15.00 per hour for most workers. 

The minimum wage for fast food workers remains at $15.00 per hour, while the minimum cash wage for tipped food service employees is $12.50 per hour, with a tip credit of $2.50 per hour. In addition, the minimum wage for home care aids is $17.55 per hour.  

The minimum wage In New York City and Westchester, Suffolk and Nassau Counties it is higher is higher for each of these categories.


Effective Jan. 1, the minimum salary for exempt executive and administrative employees in upstate New York is $1,124.20 per week.  The minimum exempt salary for New York City and Westchester, Suffolk and Nassau Counties is higher. New York does not have a minimum salary for exempt professional employees and follows the Federal minimum, which remains at $684.00 per week.


New York's Pay Transparency Law took effect in September. 

This law applies to employers with four or more employees who advertise for a job that will either be physically performed (at least in part) in New York or will report to someone in New York if it is performed outside of New York.  This could affect remote or hybrid positions.

This law applies to written internal job postings, and to external job advertisements.  It does not apply to oral communications about job openings.

Employers must disclose the minimum and maximum salary or hourly wage for the position. If pay is based solely on commission, this must be disclosed. Employers are not required to disclose benefits, overtime pay, or incentive pay.

Employers are subject to civil penalties for non-compliance with this law. There is no private right of action under this law.


A new law which took effect in November requires that employers provide a written notice of the right to apply for unemployment insurance benefits to employees who are being separated, have their hours reduced, or are suspended. The required notice can be accessed at:,unemployment%20benefits%20at%20certain%20times


The Freelance Isn’t Free Act takes effect in May. This law provides new legal protections for independent contractors. It requires a written contract for projects having a value of $800 or more, which must include the following:

  • Names and mailing addresses of the parties.
  • Itemization of the services to be provided.
  • Rate and method of compensation.
  • Date by which the compensation will be paid, or an explanation of how that date will be determined. If no date is specified, payment is due no later than 30 days after services are completed.
  • The date by which the independent contractor must submit a list of the services provided.

An independent contractor who isn’t paid in full can commence a legal action. If successful, the independent contractor can recover twice what is owed, plus attorney’s fees.


A law which took effect in September prohibits employers from requiring employees to attend meetings where management expresses its view on certain matters, including joining a union. These “captive audience” meetings have been used by employers for many years during union organizing campaigns to persuade employees not to join a union. These meetings have long been protected under the National Labor Relations Act as employer free speech.


A law which takes effect March 12 will prohibit employers from requiring employees to disclose names and passwords of their personal social media accounts or access an account in the presence of the employer.


The following changes in the NYS Paid Family Leave Law take effect Jan. 1.

  • Employees taking Paid Family Leave will receive 67% of their average weekly wage, with an increased maximum weekly benefit of $1,151.16. 
  • The employee contribution rate has been reduced to 0.373% of an employee’s gross wages each pay period. An employee’s maximum annual contribution has been reduced to $333.25. 
  • The paid leave period is still 12 weeks per year.      


The law requiring that all New York private and public sector employers provide up to four hours of leave for employees to receive each dose of Covid vaccine and boosters expired on Dec. 31. Employees can use NYS Paid Sick Leave to recover from the side effects of vaccination.

Employers with fewer than 10 employees must provide unpaid COVID leave, and employers with between 11 and 99 employees must provide up to five days of paid COVID leave.

Employees are entitled to up to three separate COVID leaves. They may self-certify with a NYS Department of Labor form for the first period but need documentation from a licensed medical provider or testing facility for the second and third leaves.


On Feb. 15, the statute of limitations for filing all administrative claims with the NYS Division of Human Rights increases from one year to three years. The time for sexual harassment claims was previously increased to three years, and this now applies to all claims. The statute of limitations for filing a court action under the Human Rights Law remains at three years.


New York’s Sick Leave Law, which took effect at the start of 2021, is unchanged. This law requires every private sector and non-profit employer in New York, regardless of size, to provide leave to every part- and full-time employee. The amount of leave, and whether it is paid or unpaid, depends on the size of the employer.

Colligan Law is always prepared to assist you in complying with these laws and the many others which apply to employers.

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