This spring both New York City and New York State passed laws regarding sexual harassment in the workplace. Here is what you need to know to stay up to date.
New York City:
· Beginning September 6, 2018 all NYC employers must display an anti-sexual harassment poster designed by the NYC Commission on Human Rights in both English and Spanish which you can find here: Link
· As of April, 2019 employers with 15 employees or more must conduct an annual (and within 90 days of an employee’s initial hire) anti-sexual harassment training with guidance to be promulgated by the NYC Commission on Human Rights which has not been released yet. The training should dovetail with the state required training which is described below. Employers must keep a record of all trainings, including signed employee acknowledgements. You can learn more here: Link
o Expands the statute of limitations for sexual harassment claims to three years from one year.
o Expands protections against sexual harassment to all employees and interns regardless of the size of the employer.
New York State:
· As of July 2018, NY law prohibits the use of mandatory arbitration clauses to resolve allegations of sexual harassment ... (continued)
M&D filed a civil suit in Brooklyn Federal Court against New York City and its police department, as well as against former NYPD detectives Louis Scarcella and Stephen Chmil. Yesterday, Brooklyn Federal Judge Frederic Block said Ranta’s ex-wife, Patricia, and their children, Nicholas and Priscilla, can argue several state law claims, including “intentional or negligent infliction of emotional and mental pain, suffering and distress.” This recent ruling from the judge in our favor is victory for Patricia, Nicholas and Priscilla.
This recent ruling has garnered media attention from the New York Daily News and The New York Post, a link to both is available here: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/ny-metro-family-david-ranta-lawsuit-proceed-20180626-story.html and https://nypost.com/2018/06/27/family-of-man-wrongly-jailed-for-rabbis-murder-can-sue-city-judge/
If you have independent contractors in California now is a good time to reevaluate whether they are truly an independent contractor or whether they should be classified as an employee. A recent decision, Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court has defined a new test for evaluating if an individual is an employee or an independent contractor under California’s Wage Orders (which impose obligations relating to minimum wage, overtime etc…). The test is the “ABC test” which assumes all workers are employees unless the business can demonstrate that the worker satisfies all three of the following conditions:
- The worker is free from the control and direction of the hiring entity (both under the contract for the performance of the work and in fact). i.e. Does the worker control the what, where and when of their work?
- The worker performs work outside the usual course of the hiring entity’s business. i.e. Are you hiring a seamstress for your clothing company? Then they are an employee. Hiring a plumber for your clothing company? They would pass this prong of the test ... (continued)
On May 15th the Freelance Isn’t Free act went into effect in New York City. The law is intended to protect freelancer workers but also has implications for companies that hire freelancers. Read below for a quick summary and please feel free to reach out with any questions.
The law would apply anytime a Freelancer is hired for work that is valued at $800 or more. The law defines a “Freelancer” as any person or organization (meaning a Limited Liability Company or a Corporation) of no more than one person. A Freelancer is not a sales representative, lawyer or medical professional.
Freelancers hired for work valued over $800 must have a written contract. The $800 benchmark is not per project, it is for all work in the preceding 120 days. The written contract must include:The name and mailing address of both the hiring party and the Freelancer;Itemization of all services to be provided by the Freelancer, the value of the services, and the rate and method of compensation; Finally, it must include the date on which the Freelancer will be paid, or the mechanism (such as acceptance of the deliverable) by which the date will be determined.
The Freelancer must be paid on or before the date specified in the contract or, if unspecified, within 30 days after completion of services under the contract. Once a Freelancer commences work, a company may not require as a condition of timely payment that the Freelancer accept less than the contracted compensation.
There are penalties for companies that do not comply with the law ... (continued)
M&D successfully moved for a preliminary injunction, which restrained defendants from taking any action in furtherance of creating, producing or soliciting funds for a competing documentary film about the fantasy-role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons. More information about the successful injunction is available in the New York Law Journal available at:
The New York Times also recently reported on this ongoing dispute, more information on this ongoing legal dispute is available at:
For the full text of the complaint, or if you would like to learn more about our civil litigation and entertainment law practices, please contact Peter Dee at firstname.lastname@example.org or Greg Mavronicolas at email@example.com.