***UPDATE: Governor Hochul signed the bill into law on November 21, 2022.  It takes effect on February 19, 2023.***

The New York State legislature recently passed a bill (Senate Bill S1958A) that, if and when enacted into law, would amend the New York Labor Law to clarify that employers who maintain “no fault” or absence control policies may not discipline employees for taking absences that are protected under federal, state, or local law.

Under absence control policies, employees are commonly assessed “points” or “demerits” for being absent from work. The assessment of points may subject an employee to disciplinary action (e.g., failure to receive a promotion, loss of pay, or termination). The amendment would prohibit employers in New York from “assessing any demerit, occurrence, any other point, or deductions from an allotted bank of time” to employees who take “any legally protected absence pursuant to federal, state or local law.” If an employer does so, the amendment clarifies that such conduct would constitute retaliation under the Labor Law.

The amendment would take effect 90 days after the Governor signs it into law. We will continue to report on this pending legislation and any further developments if and when it is enacted into law.

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Photo of Steven Hurd Steven Hurd

Steve has extensive trial and appellate experience, in both federal and state courts focusing on claims of alleged individual and class discrimination, sexual harassment, wage and hour violations, FINRA, whistleblowing and retaliation, defamation, fraud, breach of contract, wrongful discharge and other statutory and…

Steve has extensive trial and appellate experience, in both federal and state courts focusing on claims of alleged individual and class discrimination, sexual harassment, wage and hour violations, FINRA, whistleblowing and retaliation, defamation, fraud, breach of contract, wrongful discharge and other statutory and common law claims. Steve also advises clients on employment litigation avoidance, litigation strategy and alternative forms of dispute resolution. Steve also handles matters involving drafting, enforcing, and defending restrictive covenants, and protecting trade secrets.

Steve is a partner in the Labor & Employment Law Department and co-head of the Employment Litigation & Arbitration Practice Group and Media & Entertainment Industry Group, and is a member of the Restrictive Covenants, Trade Secrets & Unfair Competition Group.

Steve helps his clients stay in compliance with the ever-changing employment regulations with respect to FLSA and state law wage and hour requirements by providing advice and conducting comprehensive audits. Steve conducts investigations pertaining to reductions-in-force and individual employee terminations, and claims of gender, race, national origin, and disability discrimination.

Matthew Rosenthal

Matthew Rosenthal is an associate in the Labor & Employment Law Department and a member of the Employment Litigation & Arbitration Group.

Matthew graduated from Harvard Law School, where he served as a teaching assistant for “Sports and the Law,” a senior article…

Matthew Rosenthal is an associate in the Labor & Employment Law Department and a member of the Employment Litigation & Arbitration Group.

Matthew graduated from Harvard Law School, where he served as a teaching assistant for “Sports and the Law,” a senior article editor for the Harvard Journal of Sports & Entertainment Law, and the director of finances for the Committee on Sports and Entertainment Law.

Before joining Proskauer, Matthew clerked for the Honorable Philip M. Halpern in the Southern District of New York.

Photo of Arielle E. Kobetz Arielle E. Kobetz

Arielle E. Kobetz is an associate in the Labor & Employment Law Department and a member of the Employment Counseling & Training Group. Her practice focuses on providing clients with strategies and counseling related to a variety of workplace-related disputes, including employee terminations…

Arielle E. Kobetz is an associate in the Labor & Employment Law Department and a member of the Employment Counseling & Training Group. Her practice focuses on providing clients with strategies and counseling related to a variety of workplace-related disputes, including employee terminations and discipline, leave and accommodation requests, and general employee relations matters. She also counsels clients on developing, implementing and enforcing personnel policies and procedures and reviewing and revising employee handbooks under federal, state and local law.

Prior to joining Proskauer, Arielle served as a law clerk at the New York City Human Resources Administration, Employment Law Unit, where she worked on a variety of employment discrimination and internal employee disciplinary issues.