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July, 2018
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Dear Clients, Friends and Colleagues, we hope that you are enjoying the summer. While in the past, summer often had a slower pace and allowed many of us to take a deep breath and catch up, the present time is quite different. The world of employment law keeps moving very fast and it is difficult to keep up with changes in the law.

New York City has added a new right for employees to request a temporary schedule change. New York State is seeking to expand its Paid Family Leave, which has been in effect for less than a year. The federal government is now flexing its muscles and seeking to have a national law regarding non-competes in the workplace. As always, we at Moskowitz & Book, LLP are here to offer help with these issues, as well as all employment law issues.
As of July 18, 2018, employees in New York City are entitled to two temporary schedule changes per calendar year for "personal events." In order to be eligible for a schedule change, an employee must have worked for an employer for 120 days and must work at least 80 hours per calendar year in NYC.
The following types of schedule changes are allowed:
  1. A limited change in the employee's scheduled hours
  2. A temporary change to the location where the employee is expected to work
  3. Using paid time off
  4. Permission to work remotely
  5. Permission to swap shifts with another employee
  6. Permission to use short-term unpaid leave
The law sets forth specific types of "personal events" which qualify for these schedule changes.  Below is a brief summary:
  1. The need to provide care to a minor child or a person with a disability who resides in the caregiver's household;
  2. The need to attend a legal proceeding or hearing for subsistence benefits to which the employee, a family member, or a person with a disability who resides in the employee's home and who relies in the employee for care is party;
  3. Any circumstance that would constitute a basis for permissible use of safe or sick time under the NYC Earned Safe and Sick Time Act, including:
  • the employee's mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition;
  • the employee's need to receive a medical diagnosis, care, or treatment for a mental or physical, illness, injury, or health condition;
  • the employee's need to obtain preventive medical care;
  • the employee's need to care for a family member who needs medical diagnosis, treatment, or care;
  • the employee's need to care for a child due to a closure of a school due to a public health emergency;
  • when the employee or the employee's family member has been the victim of a family offense matter, sexual offense, stalking, or human trafficking.
This law takes priority over the NYC Earned Safe and Sick Time Act, meaning that an employee is not required to use safe or sick time before requesting a schedule change under this law.

Going forward, employers in NYC should ensure that their paid time off policies comply with this law and should notify employees of their right to request schedule changes under the law. For more information or assistance with updating paid time off policies, contact Chaim Book at cbook@mb-llp.com or Brita Zacek at bzacek@mb-llp.com.

The New York legislature recently passed two measures that would expand Paid Family Leave ("PFL"). The first would make PFL available to employees for bereavement after the death of a family member. The second measure, called "The Living Donor Protection Act," would allow employees to use PFL for preparation for and recovery from surgery related to organ or tissue donation.

If signed into law by the Governor, the Living Donor Protection Act would go into effect immediately, while the bereavement benefit would be available starting January 1, 2020. Moskowitz & Book will provide further updates to these laws as they become available.



Several senators recently introduced a bill called the Workforce Mobility Act of 2018, which would effectively impose a nationwide ban on employee covenants not to compete.

The proposed law defines covenants not to compete as any agreement between an employer and an employee that prohibits the employee after termination of employment from performing any work for another employer for a specified period of time, any work in a specified period of time, any work in a specified geographical area, or any work for another employer that is similar to the type of work the employee performed for the former employer.

The bill is still in the early stages of the legislative process and could undergo many changes  before being passed, if at all.  The attorneys at Moskowitz & Book are keeping up with the latest developments and will report any important updates.




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