New York State Clean Indoor Air Act Includes Vaporizers and E-Cigatrettes

WHAT WAS ADDED: As of November 22, 2017, legislation has included electronic cigarettes, vaporizers, and similar devices to the Clean Indoor Air Act, which bans their use everywhere that smoking tobacco products are prohibited.

BACKGROUND: Effective July 24, 2003, the amended New York State Clean Indoor Air Act (Public Health Law, Article 13-E) prohibits smoking in virtually all indoor public areas including workplaces, restaurants and bars.

WHERE IS SMOKING PROHIBITED
Public Health Law, Article 13-E, Section 1399-o states that smoking shall not be permitted and no person shall smoke in the following indoor areas:

  • Places of employment;
  • Bars and Restaurants;
  • Enclosed indoor swimming areas;
  • Public transportation including all ticketing, boarding and waiting areas; buses, vans, taxicabs and limousines;
  • All places of employment where services are offered to children;
  • All schools, including school grounds;
  • All public and private colleges, universities and other educational and vocational institutions;
  • General hospitals;
  • Residential health-care facilities, except separately designated smoking rooms for adult patients;
  • Commercial establishments used for the purpose of carrying on or exercising any trade, profession, vocation or charitable activity;
  • All indoor arenas;
  • Zoos; and
  • Bingo facilities.

WHERE IS SMOKING PERMITTED
Smoking is permitted in the following areas or businesses:

  • Private homes and private residences when not used for day care; private automobiles;
  • Hotel or motel rooms rented to one or more guests;
  • Retail tobacco businesses (primary activity is the retail sale of tobacco products and accessories, and the sale of other products is merely incidental);
  • Membership associations where all duties related to the operation of the association are performed by volunteers who are not compensated in any manner;
  • Cigar bars in existence prior to January 1, 2003 (where 10% or more of total annual gross income is from the sale of tobacco products); and
  • Up to 25% of seating in outdoor areas of restaurants with no roof or ceiling enclosure may be designated smoking areas.

POSTING OF SIGNS
Public Health Law, Article 13-E, Section 1399-p Posting of Signs

“Smoking” or “No Smoking” signs, or the international “No Smoking” symbol, which consists of a pictorial representation of a burning cigarette enclosed in a circle with a bar across it, shall be prominently posted and properly maintained where smoking is regulated (prohibited or permitted) by this article, by the owner, operator, manager or other person having control of such area. ALL IN ONE POSTER COMPANY offers a NO SMOKING and NO VAPING COMBINATION SIGN that may be used in accordance with the amendment to the law that now includes electronic cigarettes, vaporizes, and similar devices.

VIOLATION AND PENALTY
The enforcement officer for a city or county health department can assess a penalty of up to $1,000 for each violation. In areas where the State Health Department is the enforcement officer, a fine of up to $2,000 may be assessed.

New York To Develop Its Own Sexual Harassment Policy and Poster by Oct 2018

California for a long time has had its own Sexual Harassment Policy Training and Posting Requirement. This was discussed in a previous article. New York State and New York City is now following suit.

Background

In response to the tsunami of sexual harassment allegations that have swept the nation in late 2017, Senator Murphy has partnered with Senator Catherine Young and Senator Elaine Phillips to help pass milestone legislation to combat all forms of sexual harassment. The Sexual Harassment Accountability and Protection Act will ban confidential sexual harassment settlements, prohibit mandatory arbitration of sexual harassment complaints, and expand protections for independent contractors. For the first time, this legislation would also write a definition of sexual harassment in state law.

The state legislature also passed The state budget bill for the 2019 fiscal year approved by the New York State Legislature on March 31 and signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo on April 12 contains a host of significant provisions to strengthen the state’s sexual harassment laws.

The budget bill contains significant new obligations for private and public employers, aimed at curtailing sexual harassment in the workplace. Specifically, the bill requires employers in New York to adopt a sexual harassment policy and training program that meet certain standards. Details of the new requirements are presented below.

Model Policy
The state is expected to create and publish a model sexual harassment prevention guidance document and sexual harassment prevention policy. A basic outline of the model policy is available by clicking here (§ 201-g(1)(a)).

The model sexual harassment prevention policy must include the following:

  • a statement prohibiting sexual harassment;
  • examples of prohibited conduct that would constitute sexual harassment;
  • information concerning the federal and state statutory provisions concerning sexual harassment and remedies available to victims, along with a statement that there may be additional applicable local laws;
  • a standard complaint form;
  • the procedure for the timely and confidential investigation of complaints;
  • a statement informing employees of their rights of redress and all available forums for adjudicating sexual harassment complaints administratively and judicially;
  • a statement that sexual harassment is a form of employee misconduct, and that sanctions will be enforced against individuals engaging in sexual harassment and managers and supervisory personnel who knowingly allow such behavior to continue; and
  • a statement that retaliation against individuals reporting sexual harassment or who testify or assist in any proceeding is unlawful.

Every employer must adopt the model sexual harassment prevention policy or establish a policy that equals or exceeds the minimum standards provided by the state’s policy. The policy must be provided to all employees in writing.

Training Program
The state is also expected to produce a model sexual harassment prevention training program. The program will be interactive and will contain certain required content (§ 201-g(2)).

Basically, the model sexual harassment prevention training must be interactive and include the following:

  • an explanation of sexual harassment;
  • examples of conduct that would constitute unlawful sexual harassment;
  • information concerning the federal and state statutory provisions concerning sexual harassment and remedies available to victims; and
  • information concerning employees’ rights of redress and all available forums for adjudicating complaints.

The model training must also include information addressing conduct by supervisors and additional responsibilities for supervisory personnel.

Every employer must utilize the state’s model sexual harassment prevention training program or establish a training program that equals or exceeds the minimum standards provided by the state’s model training. The training must be provided annually to all employees.

These new requirements take effect October 9, 2018. The law also contains provisions on sexual harassment relating to non-employees (e.g., contractors). Click here (Subparts E and F) to read the law.

Following this, the New York City Council passed a package of bills this week aimed at addressing sexual harassment at work. The new training rule will apply to any private employer with more than 15 people on its payroll. Managers and supervisors will also be required to complete training, according to the bill’s text. The legislation, called the Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act, taps the city’s commission on human rights to develop an “online interactive” program that can be used to satisfy the training requirement.

New York Paid Family Leave: Updated Information for Employers

The state of New York has updated two provisions of its paid family leave guidance regarding deductions from employees’ wages and voluntary coverage. Highlights of the changes are presented below.

Wage Deductions
The 2018 payroll contribution is 0.126% of an employee’s weekly wage and is capped at an annual maximum of $85.56. If an employee earns less than the New York State average weekly wage ($1,305.92 per week), he or she will have an annual contribution amount less than the cap of $85.56, consistent with his or her actual weekly wages.

Click here for a calculator that provides an estimate of weekly employee deductions.

Voluntary Coverage 
A self-employed individual who has employees must obtain paid family leave coverage for such employees. The self-employed individual must opt in for both disability and paid family leave benefits and cannot opt in for only paid family leave.

Click here for additional information.

Background
New York has enacted a paid family leave policy, which is being phased into effect beginning January 1, 2018. It applies to employers of all sizes. When the law is fully phased-in over the next several years, employees will be eligible for 12 weeksof paid, job-protected leave when certain life events occur.

Click here for more information about the law.

Post an employee notice
A “Notice To Obtain” is included in our All In One Poster for the state of New York, and not the actual notice. Here is what you need to know with regards to obtaining it:

  • Your insurance carrier will provide you with a notice to employees (Form PFL-120) stating that you have Paid Family Leave insurance.
  • If you are self-insured, you can get this notice by contacting the NYS Workers’ Compensation Board at certificates@wcb.ny.gov.
  • Post and maintain this notice in plain view.

Originally posted by HR360

New York Issues Regulations Prohibiting Harassment and Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity, Transgender Status, or Gender Dysphoria

Regulations Now in Effect

The Governor of New York has issued regulations—under the stateHuman Rights Law—which prohibit harassment and discrimination on the basis of gender identity, transgender status, or gender dysphoria.

Background
Under New York’s Human Rights Law, it is an unlawful discriminatory practice for an employer to refuse to hire or employ or to bar or to discharge from employment an individual or to discriminate against an individual in compensation or in terms, conditions, or privileges of employment because of an individual’s sexual orientation, sex, disability, familial status, marital status, or domestic violence victim status (amongother protected classes).

The law generally applies to employers with 4 or more employees; however, the law’s prohibitions against sexual harassment apply to all employers—regardless of size.

New Regulations
Highlights of the new regulations include the following:

  • Discrimination on the basis of gender identity is sex discrimination.
  • The prohibitions contained in the state Human Rights Law against discrimination on the basis of sex (in all areas of jurisdiction where sex is a protected category) also prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity or the status of being transgender.
  • Harassment on the basis of a person’s gender identity or the status of being transgender is sexual harassment.
  • The term “disability,” when used in the state Human Rights Law, includes gender dysphoria or other condition meeting the definition of disability in the law.
  • Refusal to provide reasonable accommodation for persons withgender dysphoria or other condition meeting the definition of disability in the law, where requested and necessary (and in accordance with state regulations on reasonable accommodation), isdisability discrimination.
  • Harassment on the basis of a person’s gender dysphoria or other condition meeting the definition of “disability” in the law is harassment on the basis of disability.

The regulations are effective as of January 20, 2016. Additional information is available in the text of the regulations. A press releaseconcerning the regulations is also available.

HR360 Editorial Team http://www.hr360.com

New York Enacts Several Civil Rights Measures Affecting the Workplace

Changes Take Effect January 19, 2016

New York has enacted a series of changes to its workplace nondiscrimination laws. The changes take effect on January 19, 2016. A summary of the key changes is presented below:

  • Expanded Coverage for Sexual Harassment Actions. A new lawprovides that the state nondiscrimination law’s prohibitions againstsexual harassment apply to all employers—regardless of size. (Prior to January 19, 2016, the provisions regarding sexual harassment are applicable to employers with 4 or more employees.)
  • Pay Equity and Sharing of Wage Information. An amended lawprovides that (among other things) an employer cannot prohibit an employee from inquiring about, discussing, or disclosing his or her wages or the wages of another employee. However, an employer may—in a written policy provided to all employees—establish reasonable workplace and workday limitations on the time, place, and manner for such inquiries, discussions, or disclosures.
  • Discrimination Based on Family Status Prohibited. An amended law (applicable to employers with 4 or more employees) prohibits discrimination in employment based on familial status.
  • Clarification Regarding Pregnancy-Related Conditions. A new measure clarifies that employers with 4 or more employees are generally prohibited from refusing to provide reasonable accommodations to the known disabilities—or pregnancy-related conditions—of an employee/applicant in connection with a job or occupation sought or held. Additionally, pregnancy-related conditions must be treated as temporary disabilities under the law.

The governor’s office has issued a press release regarding the new legislation. Additional information regarding New York workplace nondiscrimination law is available from the New York State Division of Human Rights.

To review other state laws specific to New York, visit the State Lawssection, click on New York, and choose your topic of interest from the left-hand navigation menu.

ORIGINALLY POSTED BY http://www.HR360.com

EXCLUSIVE: Two construction managers face homicide charges in death of Queens worker crushed by collapsing wall

Two construction managers are facing homicide charges in the death of a Queens hardhat who was crushed by a collapsing wall at a Meatpacking District work site, the Daily News has learned.

Wilmer Cuevas, 49, and Alfonso Prestia, 55, have been indicted for allegedly refusing to shut down the Ninth Ave. site April 6 after an engineer assigned to observe the work warned them it was too dangerous, police sources said.

The engineer’s fears were realized just moments later when a portion of a wall collapsed onto a pit 20 feet below street level — killing 22-year-old Carlos Moncayo.

“There was a life that was lost,” Moncayo’s brother-in-law Tobias Espejo, 35, told The News. “If this was an accident and they didn’t take responsibility, they are responsible.”

Cuevas, of Sky Materials Corp., and Prestia, of Hartco Consultants Corp., have been indicted on charges of criminally negligent homicide, manslaughter and reckless endangerment, sources said.

Wilmer Cuevas, 49, and Alfonso Prestia, 55, have been indicted for allegedly refusing to shut down the Ninth Ave. site April 6 after an engineer assigned to observe the work warned them it was too dangerous, police sources said.

Wilmer Cuevas, 49, and Alfonso Prestia, 55, have been indicted for allegedly refusing to shut down the Ninth Ave. site April 6 after an engineer assigned to observe the work warned them it was too dangerous, police sources said.

Both men are expected to turn themselves in at the NYPD’s 6th precinct stationhouse on Wednesday.

“You’ll have to speak to my lawyer about that,” Prestia said from behind a screen door at his home in Yonkers.

Cuevas was not home Saturday, but his wife, who identified herself only as Sara, said, “He just didn’t expect that to happen.”

“He feels bad. (Moncayo) was his coworker,” she said.

In the wake of the tragedy, Harco Consultants Corp. was issued a penalty of $12,000 for failing to “provide protection at sides of excavation,” Building Department records show.

Wilmer Cuevas (pictured), of Sky Materials Corp., and Alfonso Prestia, of Hartco Consultants Corp., have been indicted on charges of criminally negligent homicide, manslaughter and reckless endangerment, sources said

Wilmer Cuevas (pictured), of Sky Materials Corp., and Alfonso Prestia, of Hartco Consultants Corp., have been indicted on charges of criminally negligent homicide, manslaughter and reckless endangerment, sources said

“Contractor failed to protect worker while excavation operations ongoing,” records show.

Neither Hartco nor Sky Materials returned calls for comment Saturday.

The Buildings Department referred calls to the Department of Investigation, which declined to comment.

Sources said Christian Ofusu, an independent engineer employed by Domani Inspection Services and assigned to oversee the work, first voiced his safety concerns to Prestia, the site superintendent.

When Prestia ignored him, Ofusu went to foreman Cueva, who also refused to stop the work.

Ofusu was in the midst of trying to persuade the project manager, Mohammed Sharif, to order a work stoppage when the wall came down, sources said.

BY Rocco Parascandola , Keldy Ortiz , Rich Schapiro
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS