January 2017 Employment Law Update



Handbooks Are Only Useful When Used

For any employer, no matter the size, handbooks are crucial. However, they are only valuable if actually used. The new year presents a great opportunity to review your employment policies and handbooks and to make sure that you consult them every time an employment issue presents. It makes little sense to have an employment policy governing a certain situation, but ignore it when that very situation arises. Further, it is important that employment policies are applied consistently. Where an employment policy grants the employer discretion in how to handle a situation, the employer should document how it came to the conclusion it did. Where an employment policy dictates a certain result, the employer should generally apply it or consult with your labor counsel before making an exception.


Morristown Paid Sick Leave Ordinance Goes Into Effect

On January 11, 2017, the Town of Morristown Paid Sick Leave Ordinance became effective. Morristown’s paid sick leave rules are virtually identical to a number of other New Jersey towns which have passed similar ordinances. Most importantly, employees working in Morristown have a right to paid sick time off, which they can use for the care and treatment of themselves or a family member. Family members include children, parents, spouses, grandparents, grandchildren, domestic partners or siblings. Employees accrue one (1) hour of paid sick time off for every thirty (30) hours worked. Employees should have started accruing paid sick time as of January 11, 2017 and are eligible to begin using that time on April 11, 2017. If your employees work in Morristown, your company needs to comply with this law.

New York Raises Weekly Salary Thresholds for Executive and Administrative Employees

On December 31, 2016, the New York Department of Labor raised weekly salary thresholds necessary to meet the executive and administrative exemptions to New York State overtime laws. Prior to December 31, 2016, the salary threshold was $675 per week or $35,100 annually. As of December 31, 2016, for employers in New York City with 11 or more employees the new salary threshold is $825 per week or $42,900 annually. For employers in New York City with 10 or fewer employees, the new salary threshold is $787.50 per week or $40,950 annually. For Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester counties, the new salary threshold is $750 per week or $39,000 annually. The obligation to comply with these amended salary requirements is separate and independent of the federal regulatory changes that have been on hold pending a federal judicial decision.