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Benefits Required by Law in New York State

Employee BenefitsNew York Employment Benefit Requirements

As an employee, there are certain benefits to which you are entitled. For instance, workers are guaranteed.

  • A minimum wage, which varies based on where you are working in the state
  • Overtime pay at 1.5 times your base rate when you work more than 40 hours in a calendar week
  • One 24 hour period of rest per week or overtime pay should you agree to work seven consecutive days
  • At least three paid days off after working for an employer for one year
  • Written notice concerning your employer’s policies on vacation, sick leave, personal leave, holidays, and hours of work, as well as regular and overtime rates of pay
  • Protection against retaliation by your employer if you report them for any labor law violations

Employers are also required to pay unemployment insurance which could entitle you to unemployment benefits should you be terminated from your job. Likewise, your employer must pay Workers’ Compensation insurance that entitles you to benefits should you be injured while working. And finally, employers must pay disability insurance that would provide you with compensation should you suffer any kind of debilitating illness or injury that requires you to miss work for an extended period (including pregnancy).

Employers might also be required to withhold FICA, federal, state, and local employment taxes, depending on a specific employee’s earnings.

New York City Offers Additional Protection to Workers

New York City extends additional rights to employees under its Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights and its Human Rights Law. This includes protection against discrimination, retaliation, and harassment. Though there is some overlap, the city’s bill goes further in the protections it offers to workers. You can read more about the Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights here.

Laws in New York City and throughout the state protect all workers, regardless of whether they are United States’ citizens, legal permanent residents, or immigrants to the United States legally or illegally.

New York employers are not required to provide health insurance to employees or their families, nor do they need to provide retirement benefits. However, a new federal law could make it more appealing for employers to do so.

The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act (SECURE Act) went into effect in 2020 and makes it easier for small businesses to combine forces and provide 401(k) and other retirement options to employees that previously would not have been an option. These “Multiple Employer Plans” reduce the cost of administering retirement plans, which means that companies that did not have the funds to offer them in the past can now do so if they are part of a combined effort.

In the past, people working for small businesses had very few retirement plan options. They could save and invest on their own, but 401(k)s and similar plans that were offered by bigger companies weren’t available in small business environments. Even if a smaller company was able to offer a plan, the cost of the plan often reduced the returns employees received on their investments by a significant amount.

Now, these small businesses can join with other companies. In theory, multiple employer plans will make it easier for them to offer attractive retirement plans to employees.

In addition to opening up the opportunity to ban together, the SECURE Act also increases the maximum tax credit small businesses receive for launching a plan. The credit has been increased from $500 to $5000.

Benefits of SECURE Act Not Yet Clear

It was expected that retirement plan providers would release new and improved retirement plan options at improved price points, but it’s a process that is advancing slowly. Plan providers are testing the waters in terms of demand for these types of plans and aren’t willing to invest much until they know there is a solid market.

If you have questions about the SECURE Act or you want to speak to someone about benefits you should be receiving from your employer, contact Borrelli & Associates, P.L.L.C. to schedule a free consultation.

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