New York City Council Passes Employee Bill of Rights Legislation

On December 3, the New York City Council passed a bill referred to as the New York City Employee Bill of Rights. Essentially, the bill would require coordination among a number of New York City agencies, including the New York City Commission on Human Rights, together with the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection, as well as the Mayor’s Office on Immigration Affairs, to publish an Employee Bill of Rights on the city’s website. The Employee Bill of Rights posting would identify various federal, state and local employment laws that provide protections to employees and independent contractors. In addition, the Employee Bill of Rights would require providing information about employees’ rights to form a union, as well as an explanation that the rights set forth apply regardless of immigration status.

The agencies given the responsibility for finalizing the Employee Bill of Rights are to post a final draft on the city’s website by March 1, 2024. The Employee Bill of Rights is to be posted in English and in the designated citywide languages.

Of particular note for employers is that by July 1, 2024, employers will be required to provide a copy of the Employee Bill of Rights to current employees. Beyond that date, employers covered by the new NYC law will be required to distribute the Employee Bill of Rights to employees on the first day of employment. In addition, covered employers will be required to post the information on the employer’s website and at the place of business. For those employers that commonly communicate with employees through electronic means, access must be provided to the Employee Bill of Rights online and/or on mobile applications.

The New York City Council remains remarkably active in passing expansions of employment related protections. Earlier this year in May, the New York City Council passed an amendment to the New York City Human Rights Law that includes prohibition on discrimination based on height and weight, referred to more generally as “body size.” Enforcement of the bill would fall under the Law Enforcement Bureau of the Commission on Human Rights. This development mirrors a legislative trend throughout the United States.

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