Recent Employment Law Changes Affecting Medical Practices

By Gregory B. Reilly and Samuel G. Dobre
Friday, January 12, 2018

There are several new employment laws that affect all employers, including medical practices in New York. Employers and all medical practices should be aware of these new laws and implement policies and practices to ensure compliance.

New York City Pay History Ban Takes Effect

Effective Oct. 31, 2017, the pay inquiry law prohibits employers in New York City from asking a job applicant’s salary history during the hiring process, unless the information is offered voluntarily.

New York Launches New Unit to Enforce New State Minimum Wage Law

New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the introduction of the Minimum Wage Enforcement and Outreach Unit to ensure compliance with the state’s $15 minimum wage schedule. The multiagency unit is comprised of over 200 investigators from multiple state agencies, including the Department of Labor, Department of Taxation, Department of State and the Workers’ Compensation Board. The Unit will provide resources to inform workers about their rights and educate employers about their responsibilities under the wage regulations.

Paid Family Leave Coming to New York in 2018

On July 19, 2017, the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board adopted final regulations to implement the New York State Paid Family Leave Benefits Law (PFL). Although the PFL is not effective until Jan. 1, 2018, the final regulations are effective immediately.

The PFL represents a series of amendments to the New York State Workers’ Compensation Law. The amendments will provide eligible employees with job-protected leave and partial wage replacement to care for a close relative with a serious health condition, to bond with a new child or for qualifying exigencies arising from a family member’s active duty military service.

A “covered employer” is defined to include private employers with one or more employees working in New York state for 30 or more days in a calendar year. Generally, most employers covered under the New York State Workers’ Compensation Law will be covered under the PFL.

New York City’s New “Safe Time” Leave

New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio signed into law an expansion of the New York City paid sick leave law to add supplementary protections. Under the amended law, now called the Earned Sick and Safe Time Act, eligible victims of human trafficking, domestic violence and sexual assault are entitled to paid time off from work. Employers should be aware that these new protections that will become effective May 5, 2018.

The New York City Department of Consumer Affairs’ Office of Labor Policy and Standards will enforce the law. The agency can impose statutory fines and also require employers, such as medical practices, to pay restitution to employees.

All employer fields should give serious consideration to reviewing their current pay policies, as well as existing leave and employment policies, to ensure that they are in legal compliance.

Gregory Reilly, Partner, and Samuel Dobre, Law Clerk, are members of the Employment & Labor practice group at Martin Clearwater & Bell LLP. If you have any questions regarding labor and employment law, please contact Gregory Reilly at or Samuel Dobre at