Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.
On December 16, 2022, New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed an amendment to New York Labor Law Section 201, mandating that employers make notices required to be physically posted at a worksite under federal and state law or regulation available electronically as well through the employer’s website or by e-mail. The amendment took effect immediately.
Previously, NY Labor Law Section 201 required employers to physically post notices “in a conspicuous place” on each floor of its premises. Employers must now also either: (i) e-mail employees an electronic copy of the notices; or (ii) post an electronic copy of the notices on the employer’s website. Additionally, employers must inform employees that the notices are available electronically (a requirement that appears to apply even if the employer e-mails the notices to their workforce).
Amended Section 201 aligns with guidance issued by the United States Department of Labor in December 2020 stating it is an employer’s obligation to provide required notices to all affected individuals, that electronic notice can be used to meet notice obligations in some circumstances, and that electronic notice does not replace posting requirements. Notices that employers must typically post at the worksite that now should also be made available electronically under Amended Section 201, include U.S. and New York State wage/hour, leaves/benefits, workplace safety, and non-discrimination notices, among others. Note that the Amended Section 201 is silent on whether any notices mandated by local law or regulation are to be made electronically available, although employers may have separate posting and distribution requirements under the applicable local law or regulations.
Employers should be mindful when preparing electronic notices, just as when they post physical notices in the workplace, that some notices are only required based on an employer’s headcount (e.g., the new Veteran Benefits and Services posting requirement applies to private employers with over 50 full-time equivalent employees, pursuant to the recently enacted legislation establishing the January 1, 2023 posting deadline for this item), industry, and/or their status as a federal contractor, and that certain notices may require postings in English and other languages.
Employers should promptly ensure compliance with the new electronic notice requirement and notify employees of the method used to provide electronic notice, while still maintaining the practice of physically posting notices in the workplace. Employers should contact employment counsel for more detailed guidance on which notices may apply to their business.