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Are you considering expanding your business operations to the bustling state of New York? Whether you’re a startup, a staffing firm, or an established company, hiring employees in the Empire State comes with its own set of rules and regulations. Understanding these key aspects is crucial to ensuring compliance and fostering a positive employer-employee relationship as the employer of record (EOR) for your employees..

Hiring in New York Main Considerations

  1. Labor Laws and Regulations: New York boasts a comprehensive set of labor laws designed to protect workers’ rights. From minimum wage requirements to overtime pay and meal breaks, familiarizing yourself with these regulations is essential. Additionally, New York has stringent anti-discrimination laws, making it imperative to prioritize fair hiring practices.
  2. At-Will Employment: Like many states, New York follows the doctrine of at-will employment, which means that employers can terminate employees for any reason, as long as it’s not discriminatory or in violation of an employment contract. However, it’s crucial to clearly communicate this policy to your employees to avoid misunderstandings.
  3. New York Paid Family Leave: New York state law requires most private employers to provide paid family leave benefits to eligible employees. This benefit allows employees to take time off to care for a family member’s serious health condition or bond with a new child. Understanding the eligibility criteria and leave duration is vital for compliance.
  4. Workers’ Compensation Insurance: New York mandates that most employers carry workers’ compensation insurance to provide benefits to employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. Ensuring you have the appropriate coverage not only keeps you compliant but also protects your employees in case of unforeseen accidents.
  5. New Hire Reporting: Employers in New York are required to report all new hires to the New York State Directory of New Hires within 20 calendar days of the employee’s start date. This information helps state agencies enforce child support orders and detect unemployment insurance fraud.
  6. Tax Considerations: New York has its own state income tax system, and employers must withhold state income tax from employees’ wages. Additionally, employers are subject to various state and local taxes, including unemployment insurance taxes and disability insurance contributions.
  7. Employee Handbook and Policies: Creating a comprehensive employee handbook that outlines your company’s policies and procedures is advisable. This document should cover everything from employment classifications and benefits to workplace conduct and disciplinary procedures.
  8. Onboarding Requirements: New York, along with many other states, have unique requirements when it comes to onboarding new employees. One highlight is that they require sexual harassment training to be administered as a part of the onboarding process. Be aware of this, and other unique onboarding procedures prior to hiring new employees in New York, or other foreign states.

New Staffing Legislation:

In addition to the legacy hiring laws in the Empire State, the state of New York has been aggressively implementing new legislation on hiring and staffing since early 2022. 

Healthcare Staffing:

  • 3rd Party Healthcare Staffing Agencies: New York’s newly enacted Article 29-K of the Public Health Law introduces significant changes impacting temporary healthcare workers and staffing agencies, effective August 1, 2023. Key provisions include mandatory registration and quarterly reporting for “temporary health care services agencies” with deadlines set for October 30, 2023, and November 30, 2023, respectively. However, uncertainties persist regarding certain aspects of the legislation, necessitating further guidance from state regulators. The law imposes strict compliance requirements concerning personnel qualifications, record-keeping, and contractual agreements between agencies and healthcare entities. Quarterly reports must detail charges, compensation, and other financial information. Non-compliance can result in substantial fines. Ambiguity surrounds definitions of “temporary” employment and “direct care workers,” prompting the anticipation of forthcoming clarifications from the Department of Health. Navigating these complexities demands careful attention and possibly legal counsel to ensure adherence to the evolving regulatory landscape. The Koley Jessen healthcare staffing industry practice group remains vigilant for updates and offers specialized guidance to businesses seeking compliance.
  • Safe Staffing Levels: On June 29, 2023 the New York State Department of Health (NYS DOH) implemented the universal 1:2 nurse-to-patient ratio rule for critical care patients across all 212 hospitals in New York. The regulation mandates one registered nurse for every two patients needing intensive or critical care, determined by the attending practitioner’s assessment of patient acuity rather than location. Hospitals failing to comply may face civil penalties. Nurse unions, including NYSNA, successfully resisted attempts to weaken the rule and will monitor hospital adherence while advocating for safe patient ratios in all units. If a hospital exceeds the 1:2 ratio, highly acute patients may require a 1:1 ratio, and it’s crucial to ensure nurses aren’t overloaded beyond caring for two critical patients simultaneously.

Salary Transparency:

Starting May 15, 2022, employers in New York City with a minimum of four employees, along with independent contractors, must disclose the lowest and highest salary they would offer in “good faith” for job postings, promotions, or transfers. This requirement excludes temporary positions advertised by staffing agencies.

Next Steps

Navigating the intricacies of hiring employees in New York requires attention to detail and a commitment to compliance. By familiarizing yourself with the state’s labor laws, regulations, and best practices, you can ensure a smooth and legally sound hiring process while fostering a positive work environment for your employees. Additionally many leading organizations are aligning themselves with an Employer of Record partner like FoxHire to enable compliant hiring in New York. Remember, staying informed and proactive is key to successful employee management in the Empire State.

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