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Workers' Resources

Workers' Rights

T + T

Summary

Current laws and new laws recently enacted protect workers’ during the COVID-19 emergency, including protections from discrimination and retaliation, safety issues, and workplace protections.

Discrimination and Retaliation

RETALIATION

Under NYC law, it is illegal to retaliate against employees who exercise, or seek to exercise, their workplace rights, such as using sick leave, asking for premium pay, or changing a work schedule. Retaliation includes any threat, discipline, firing, demotion, suspension, or reduction in hours, or any other negative employment action.

To file a complaint visit: https://labor.ny.gov/workerprotection/laborstandards/coronavirus-complaints.shtm.

DISCRIMINATION

It is illegal to fire or require an employee to stay away or self-quarantine from the workplace only because of the employee’s race or national origin.
To file a complaint visit: https://labor.ny.gov/equal-opportunity/how-to-file-a-discrimination-claim.shtm.

Safety Issues

In NYS, employees must provide essential workers with masks free of charge to wear when interacting with the public, https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/amid-ongoing-covid-19-pandemic-governor-cuomo-issues-executive-order-directing-employers.

Workplace Protections for Specific Workers

NY’s Temporary Suspension and Modification of Laws

WORKPLACE LAWS

A summary of NYC labor laws for employers and employees as they deal with the impact of COVID-19. https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/dca/downloads/pdf/workers/Complying-with-NYC-Workplace-Laws-During-COVID-19.pdf.

For Governor Cuomo’s executive order visit: https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/no-20216-continuing-temporary-suspension-and-modification-laws-relating-disaster-emergency.

Filing a Complaint

Workers may file a complaint with the NYS Department of Labor for the following:

  • Forced to work at a non-essential business
  • Knowledge of a business that is non-essential and is operating
  • Forced to work for an essential business, however:
    • Individuals does not perform an essential function
    • Employer is making worker to report to the worksite when the work job could be done from home
    • Employer is not following health and safety mandates
    • Worker is frightened because they are over 70 and/or they have an underlying illness.
  • Employer has failed to pay wages owed for hours worked, earned sick pay or paid time off
  • Employer has threatened or fired worker for reasons related to COVID-19
  • Worker qualifies for COVID-19 paid sick leave and your employer refuses to pay it
  • Employer is forcing you to work when you are sick

To file a complaint visit: https://labor.ny.gov/workerprotection/laborstandards/coronavirus-complaints.shtm.

For the form, visit: https://forms.ny.gov/s3/Department-of-Labor-COVID-19-Complaint-Form.