text that reads employee handbook

If you’re a business owner, CEO, or involved in management within a business, you understand the stress of making sure that your business complies with all relevant regulations. With limited hours in the day, it is difficult to focus on the smooth operation of your company while attempting to comply with all federal, state, and local business regulations. Did you know that in New York, your employee manuals and employee training must also meet specific regulatory standards? New York City employers must comply with several new laws that took effect in 2018 or have taken effect in 2019.

Our Lawyers Will Conduct a Comprehensive Review Your NYC Employee Manuals

We understand how difficult it is to keep track of New York’s new requirements for businesses. That’s why we help our clients understand New York employment laws that apply to their industry. The experienced employment law attorneys at Lipsky Lowe LLP will conduct a comprehensive review of your employee manuals and training practices.

If necessary, we will help you revise your policies so that they comply with all of the new requirements. The last thing you need to be worried about is violating a regulatory law. Let us focus on making sure your employee manuals are up to date with the newly required information so that you can focus on growing your business.

New York Employee Handbook Requirements

Every company should ideally have an employee manual or handbook. When your employee policies are direct and laid out in an easy to read form, it limits your potential liability as an employer. Employers can direct employees to a well-written handbook when a potential disciplinary problem arises. New employees will be able to read the manual and get a clear picture of your company’s expectations.

Your employee handbook should include any policies that could be important for a new employee to understand. For example, stating your company’s overtime policy can be helpful. Your employee handbook should set forth the company policy regarding employee meal and break times as well. An ideal handbook should not merely restate New York law but also add any unique company-wide preferences such as who employees need to notify when they go on a meal break, if applicable.

New York state is an “employment-at-will” state. In most cases, an employer may end the employment relationship for any reason and at any time. An employer may not terminate the employment when there is a collective bargaining agreement, public policy, existing law, or an employment contract in place. In some cases, a court will find an implied employment contract within the employee manual.

It is essential that your employee manual only uses general statements of policy. Typically an explicit disclaimer statement that nothing in the book is an employment contract will prevent a claim that a handbook is an employment contract. Our employment law attorneys will review your manual to make sure that an employee cannot construe it to be an employment contract.

New York Employee Training Requirements and Sexual Harassment Prevention

New York City employers must provide their employees with sexual harassment prevention training. In addition to providing training to employees, companies must also adopt a written policy to prevent sexual harassment. These new requirements are somewhat confusing as New York State and New York City both have new regulations that require sexual harassment prevention training. The requirements overlap to some extent, but the New York City written policy must cover more topics in a broader way than the New York state law requires.

New York state law has required employers to host the first session of their anti-sexual harassment training for their employees by October 9, 2019. Similarly, employers statewide have needed to adopt their written policy to prevent sexual harassment by October 9, 2018. If you have not yet put forth your company’s written sexual harassment prevention policy, you violate New York state laws. The employment law attorneys at Lipsky Lowe can help you draft your company-wide written policy that complies with state law.

Employers Must Provide Lactation Rooms and Complete Their Written Lactation Policy

New York City employers with over four employees must provide their employees with a lactation room. Employers must also write a policy detailing how they accommodate lactation at their workspace. You will need to provide a clean space that is not a bathroom for your employees to express breast milk. The designated lactation space needs to be close to running water, free from intrusion, have an electrical outlet and a chair. The room must also have a side table or other surface close to the chair. You also need to make sure the room is relatively close to where employees work. When you hire a new employee, you must provide them with a written copy of your lactation accommodation policy.

The NYC Employment Law Attorneys at Lipsky Lowe LLP Will Help You Plan Ahead

Lipsky Lowe LLP attorneys all have extensive experience representing clients in every area of employment law. We understand that having another set of eyes on your business practices can help spot any areas that may become problematic in the future. Some of your policies, while well-intended, may have become outdated and legally erroneous. We help our clients draft the best possible employee handbooks, personnel policies, and training manuals. Our attorneys are well versed in all of the relevant local, New York state, and federal employment laws to include Title VII, ADEA, ADA, FMLA, and FLSA.

When reading through client reviews of Lipsky Lowe LLP, it becomes clear that our clients genuinely appreciate our willingness to explain the legal process, honesty, and availability. Hiring skilled employment attorneys to review your employee manuals and training material is a wise idea. Contact our office today to set up your free consultation.