When you’re hiring within New York, your employee handbook needs to reflect both federal and state-specific employee handbook policies. Did you know that New York and the federal government require 18 different employee handbook policies—and it’s your job to stay abreast of any changes to those laws? Learn about the New York employee handbook requirements.

When you’re building your New York employee handbook, you’re required to include those 18 policies—and you can choose from over 50 more optional policies, as needed.

Employee handbooks describe your company’s policies, including mandated state and federal laws. You can also set your expectations for your employees, provide a framework for conflict resolution, and more. Whether you’re hiring remotely or your entire company is located within New York, it’s your job to stay on top of changes in the law. This protects both your employees as well as the company in general.

Hiring remotely? Your employee handbook will look different in all 50 states. Plus, you’ll still need to ensure that your policies remain up to date in each state you hire. Researching state-specific employment laws, creating your handbook, and keeping it updated is a major task. It’s time consuming, and lawyers are expensive.

Here’s the good news: SixFifty makes it easy to create and update employee handbooks in all 50 states. Read on to learn about required and optional New York employee handbook policies—then find out how we can do the bulk of the work for you.

New York employee handbook

Required Federal Employee Handbook Policies

The federal government has enumerated five major employee handbook policies to include, no matter where your company is located. These policies cover critical worker rights, such as certain types of leave, sexual harassment policies, and anti-discrimination policies.

Fortunately, since they’re the same across all 50 states, you’ll include the same policies in all of your state-specific employee handbooks. However, you’re still obligated to note any changes to federal employment law, and update your handbooks as necessary. (Don’t worry—SixFifty makes that easier than ever!)

Each of the following policies must be included in your employee handbook:

  • Equal Employment and Anti-Discrimination Policy
  • Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Policy (50 Employees)
  • Jury Duty Leave
  • Military Service Leave
  • Sexual Harassment Policy

Required New York Employee Handbook Policies

New York requires 13 additional protections for employees, including meal and rest breaks, paid time off, voting leave and more. Note that New York also has jury duty, FMLA, military service and sexual harassment policies of their own. While federal law supersedes state law, states are entitled to elaborate upon those policies and offer additional, state-specific protections.

These policies go further than federal law, and may require you to make adjustments to your overall company policies.

Finally, take note that sick leave and domestic violence leave policies have location-specific additions: if you’re hiring in New York City or Westchester County, you’ll need to choose the appropriate location.

Here are New York’s required policies:

  • Crime Victim Leave
  • Domestic Violence Leave (including separate policy for Westchester County)
  • FMLA 
  • Jury Duty Leave (10 Employees)
  • Meal and Rest Breaks
  • Military Service Leave 
  • Organ and Bone Marrow Donor Leave (20 Employees)
  • Paid Family Leave
  • Paid Time Off
  • Sexual Harassment Policy
  • Sick Leave (including separate policies for New York City (5 Employees) and Westchester County (5 Employees)) 
  • Volunteer Emergency Responders Leave
  • Voting Leave

Optional New York Employee Handbook Policies

The above 18 policies above are required in every New York employee handbook—but you might want to include other policies, depending on your company’s specific needs.

Not every policy will apply to your company. We recommend picking and choosing optional policies that address your company’s business type, needs and challenges. For example, most businesses include dress codes, at-will employment policies, holiday policies, and wage policies. 

Other policies can be included if you need them, or expect to need them in the future. For instance, telecommuting and videoconferencing policies are a smart addition, even if your employees are back in the office full-time. 

Here are over 50 optional New York employee handbook policies:

  • Affinity Group Policy
  • Arbitration Policy
  • At-Will Employment Policy
  • Background Check Policy
  • Business Expense Policy
  • Company Property Policy
  • Confidentiality and Trade Secrets Policy
  • Desk Hoteling Policy
  • Direct Deposit Policy
  • Dress Code Policy
  • Drug and Alcohol Abuse Policy
  • Electronic Devices While Driving Policy
  • Employee Benefits Policy
  • Employee Classification Policy
  • Employee Dating Policy
  • Employee References Policy
  • Employment of Relatives Policy
  • Exit Interview Policy
  • Gifts Policy
  • Health and Safety Policy
  • Holidays
  • Immigration Law Compliance
  • Lactation Accommodation Policy
  • Leave Policies, including: Bereavement Leave; Witness Duty Leave; School Activity Leave
  • Marijuana Policy
  • Off-Duty Use of Facilities
  • Outside Employment Policy
  • Overtime Policy
  • Payment of Wages Policy
  • Payroll Deductions Policy
  • Performance Review Policy
  • Personnel Files Policy
  • Pets in the Workplace Policy
  • Progressive Discipline Policy
  • Public Relations Policy
  • Punctuality and Attendance Policy
  • Salary Pay Policy
  • Social Media Policy
  • Solicitation and Distribution of Literature Policy
  • Technology Systems Policy 
  • Telecommuting Policy
  • Temporary Relocation Policy 
  • Timekeeping Policy
  • Video Conferencing Policy
  • Workers’ Compensation Policy
  • Workplace Violence Policy
  • Workplace Visitor Policy
  • Workweek and Work Schedules Policy

SixFifty Helps Employers Meet New York Employee Handbook Requirements

Researching and creating state-specific employee handbooks is a big task. Plus, every time state or federal employment laws change, your employee handbook needs to be updated. SixFifty’s goal is to make this faster, easier and more affordable than ever.

Our technology saves you time and money. Just answer a few questions about your company, download the generated handbook, and have your lawyers review and approve. Worried about staying on top of new legal developments? Not to worry: we’ll let you know when state or federal laws change. Your company will stay protected in all 50 states, all the time.

We’ve combined the convenience of automation with real legal expertise. With our proprietary legal software, you can automatically generate and update your New York state employee handbook in just a few clicks.

Questions? Want to see how it works? Schedule a free demo with SixFifty today!


Meili Bell

Written by Meili Bell

Meili Bell is the Content Manager at SixFifty. She spends her workdays writing, editing, project managing and reading about the intersection of law and technology. Meili comes to SixFifty from Gifted Music School, a nonprofit music school for the most dedicated young musicians in the region, where she was program director of the school’s flagship program for the last ten...

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