A Guide to Your New York Employee Handbook

Do you have an employee handbook? Is it updated annually? Do you know which policies are required by federal and state law? Do you know which of your policies are impacted by COVID?  Have you updated your employee handbook to reflect new COVID-19 guidelines? 

If not, it’s likely that your employee handbook is out of date. 

And with the pace at which employment laws are changing due to COVID, you need to update your employee handbook with the required  New York employment policies.

You should also consider policies that aren’t required by law, but help protect your business and your employees, as well as policies that help you adapt to the new way you work. If you have employees working from home, for example, you should have a telecommuting policy and a home office reimbursement policy.

With the pandemic still impacting your workforce and customers, it’s crucial your employee handbook reflects all updated state and federal guidelines, laws, and regulations. That’s why SixFifty  added a list of local and federal guidelines that should be included in your company handbook. 

Required New York Employment Policies:

In order to comply with federal employment laws, your employee handbook must include the following policies:

  • Equal Employment and Anti-Discrimination Policy
  • Sexual Harassment Policy
  • Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
  • Military Service Leave
  • Jury Duty Leave
  • Paid Family Leave
  • Sexual Harassment (state-specific)
  • Meal and Rest Breaks
  • FMLA (state-specific)
  • Paid Sick Leave (5 Employees or $1M net income, including separate policies for New York City (5 Employees) and Westchester County (5 Employees))
  • Organ and Bone Marrow Donor Leave (20 Employees)
  • Domestic Violence Leave
  • Crime Victim Leave
  • Military Service Leave (state-specific)
  • Paid Time Off
  • Jury Duty Leave (state-specific) (10 Employees)
  • Voting Leave
  • Volunteer Emergency Responders Leave

Required Federal Policies: 

In addition to policies required by federal law, businesses in New York also need these policies:

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

Optional Policies: 

While not required by State or Federal law, New York businesses should consider including these policies in their Employee Handbook:

  • Outside Employment Policy
  • Health and Safety Policy
  • Social Media Policy
  • At-Will Employment Policy
  • Lactation Accommodation Policy
  • Telecommuting Policy
  • Temporary Relocation Policy 
  • Employee Benefits Policy
  • Timekeeping for Non-Exempt Employees Policy
  • Overtime Policy
  • Salary Pay for Exempt Employees Policy
  • Payroll Deductions Policy
  • Payment of Wages Policy
  • Direct Deposit Policy
  • Business Expense Reimbursement Policy
  • Holidays
  • Workers’ Compensation
  • Leave Policies, including: Bereavement Leave; Witness Duty Leave; School Activity Leave

COVID related policies: 

Work will never be the same. Even as the pandemic’s health crisis subsides, its impact on employment law will continue. When building a handbook or updating employment policies, you need to consider how COVID will impact your employees in New York.

  • People who have had COVID-19 within the past three months (positive diagnostic test) and recovered and have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 do not need to quarantine or retest for COVID-19 for three months following their illness.  And as long as they have no COVID-19 symptoms following their exposure. In addition, three months is measured from the date a person first had COVID-19 symptoms or, if they had no symptoms, the date of their first positive diagnostic test. If more than three months have passed since a person had COVID, this exception does not apply. 
  • NY State Senate Bill S2588A provides up to four hours of paid leave for New York employees to get a COVID-19 vaccine shot.

How Can SixFifty Help:

Now that you know what New York employment policies you need, you are in a much better position to create a handbook. However, there is still a lot more work that needs to be done. That’s why SixFifty developed an employee handbook solution. This easy and affordable solution helps you customize and generate employee policies for your company handbook, in all states where you have employees. 

Employee Handbook Solution:

Sixfifty created an easy to use employee handbook generator that helps keep your company’s employee handbook both up-to-date and compliant.  

COVID may be temporary, but its impact on work is permanent, and you should plan for permanent changes. SixFifty’s Employee Handbook can be customized to your business needs, with over 50 policies that account for the law in every state. And, it’s built for a post-COVID workforce that’s more remote, mobile, and diverse.

This tool was created with your business in mind.e teamed up with the top employment law firm in the nation to teach a computer how to write employment policies for companies, just like an attorney would, to create the employment documents your company needs.

Want to learn more? 

With New York employment policies changing frequently it can be hard to know what guidelines your company may need to follow. SixFifty’s employee handbook tool provides the peace of mind of knowing your employment policies comply  with local and federal guidelines.  

What to know more? Schedule a free demo today!