Employment law news:

Dear clients & friends of the firm. There were big changes recently in New York affecting employers with a land mark family leave law!  Changes were also introduced to the minimum wage law increasing it to $15 per hour over the next three years. For more information please see the link.

New York State is becoming the most progressive US state in the area of parental leave by providing six weeks at 100 percent for maternity, paternity, adoption, or foster care leave and, up to 12 weeks full paid leave when combined with existing leave. The six weeks of leave, however, must be taken within 24 weeks from the qualifying event i.e. birth of a child, adoption or foster care. Once the first day of paid parental leave is taken, the employee must use the remaining paid parental leave within the following 12 weeks. This new law secures unpaid family leave for workers who have been at a job for a minimum of six months. They will be entitled to a maximum of 12 weeks of paid leave. The new law is scheduled to take effect on July 2017. For more details please go here.

The 12 weeks paid leave will be phased in over time and will apply to employees when caring for an infant, a family member with a serious health condition or to relieve family pressures when someone is called to active military service. For more information please see the link. Note that compensation will start at 50% of the employee’s average weekly income, and will top out at about $850 per week by 2021.

This is on the back of Mayor de Blasio’s recent mandate of six weeks of 100% paid parental leave starting in 2016 for ‘non- union workers’ in New York City.

The new legal benefits described above will be funded from the employee payroll which has been a way to reduce backlash from the business community while still moving this important agenda forward! Parental leave reform is a burning issue well over due in the US when you consider that we fall well behind other western nations in this area.

Rooney Nimmo is a founding partner of Parental Pledge. We act as key pro bono counsel to Parental Pledge assisting them with their central aim of fighting for parental leave reform. Please click here for more information. A lot more needs be done but, this is certainly a step in the right direction!

If you have any queries about this bulletin or your company’s rights under US or new laws, please contact us at allan.rooney@rooneynimmo.com or telephone us on 212-545-8022.

Note: This article is one of a series intended to de-mystify common legal issues for the non-lawyer and entrepreneur audience – they are designed to foster discussion and is by no means exhaustive. These materials are for informational purposes only. Nothing herein is intended nor should be regarded as legal advice. The distribution of this article to any person does not establish an attorney-client relationship with our firm. Rooney Nimmo assumes no liability in connection with the use of this publication. This bulletin is considered attorney advertising under the applicable rules of New York State. Rooney Nimmo UK is regulated by the Law Society of Scotland and Rooney Nimmo US by the New York Rules of Professional Conduct. All Attorneys and Solicitors listed in this firm stipulate their jurisdictional limitations. Rooney Nimmo in the USA is a law firm registered as a New York State Professional Corporation.

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