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Law Changes NYS Employers Need to Know

Updated: May 8

The enacted 2025 New York State budget comes with a couple of key legal changes that may impact employers’ Human Resources (HR) programs and policies. Here are the highlights:

  • Paid breast milk expression breaks Effective June 19, 2024, all private and public sector employers must provide nursing mothers with 30 minutes of paid break time to express breast milk each time they have a reasonable need to do so. For milk expression beyond 30 minutes, nursing mothers must be allowed to use other paid breaks or mealtimes. 

  • Paid pre-natal leave Effective January 1, 2025, all private sector employers are mandated to provide 20 hours of paid pre-natal leave every 52-week period. Leave time, which can be taken in hourly increments, can be used for physical exams, medical procedures, monitoring and testing, and pregnancy-related discussions with a health care provider. 

  • Paid COVID sick leave Effective immediately, New York’s COVID-19 Sick Leave will continue until July 31, 2025 (it was supposed to sunset this July). Details about COVID-19 Sick Leave can be found here

There are also changes coming from the Federal government. Here are some highlights:

  • Restoring and expanding overtime protections. The DOL announced a final rule has been issued “Defining and Delimiting the Exemptions for Executive, Administrative, Professional, Outside Sales, and Computer Employees.” It will take effect July 1, 2024. New York’s Exempt Salary Basis for Executive and Administrative employees is higher than the Federal salary standards and will take precedence; however, Professional, Outside Sales, and Computer Employees salary basis may need to be adjusted under the new federal guidelines. Any employer covered under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) must comply.

  • Non-compete agreements banned. On April 23, the FTC issued a final rule banning noncompete agreements. Employers are required to inform all current and former workers bound by a non-compete – other than senior executives – that the agreement will not be enforced as of the rule’s effective date (which will be 120 days from when it is posted on the Federal Register). No new non-compete agreement may be issued on or after that date. However, the rule is being challenged with court filings, leaving uncertainty about whether it will go into effect and, if so, when.

While awaiting more details, it’s a good time to start considering how changes may impact your organization and developing an implementation plan (including policy updates, as well as related training and communication requirements). Consulting legal counsel is always a good first step.


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