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Gov. Kathy Hochul Passes Multiple Bills Expanding Workers’ Rights

Last month, Governor Kathy Hochul passed legislation to support workers’ rights further. Through these new laws, employees can expect increased protections, higher workers’ comp pay, and better workplace conditions across the state.

What Type Of Legislation Was Passed To Help Workers?

The governor passed three main bills to protect the rights of workers:

Legislation S.4982

Legislation S.4982 protects employees from workplace retaliation if they opt-out of meetings focused on the employer’s religious or political views. Previously, an employee may have been required to attend due to fear of being disciplined or fired from their position. But with this law, they can safely refuse to join without backlash. Overall, S.4982 emphasizes that someone’s freedom of speech and conscience should be respected, especially within the workplace.

Legislation S.2832-A

Legislation S.2832-A targets wage theft, or when employers unlawfully withhold rightfully earned wages. With $3.2 billion in wages stolen from New Yorkers every year, tackling this problem was crucial. Thankfully, the new law classifies this action as a form of theft. The more serious penalties will hopefully stop employers from committing wage theft and paying their employers less than they deserve.

Legislation S.1161-A

The last piece of legislation, S.1161-A, addresses workers’ comp payouts. The law schedules a gradual increase in workers’ benefits, ensuring they have the financial support they need as they recover from their injuries. The minimum pay will increase to $275 in 2024, $325 in 2025, and one-fifth of the weekly wage in 2026.

How Will These New Laws Benefit Workers?

As Gov. Hochul stated in a recent press release, the legislation “will help to ensure that all New Yorkers receive the benefits and protections that allow them to work with dignity.”

With S.4982, the state will protect employees’ personal beliefs and choices. With stricter wage theft penalties,  S.2832-A forces employers to think twice before withholding wages and stealing from their employees. Last but not least, the revamped workers’ compensation benefits have access to the financial help they need. Ultimately, these three laws will ensure New Yorkers receive better benefits, are safer at work, and have a better quality of life.

Our Attorneys Are Here To Help

The state’s new laws are a step in the right direction for workers’ rights. However, you may still face difficulties when filing a claim, especially if you do everything alone. If you believe you’ve been wronged in your workplace, our team of experienced New York workers’ compensation attorneys is here to support you. We will guide you through the legal process and can provide the representation you deserve. Please contact us online or at 855-599-2141 if you have any questions or want to schedule a free case review today.

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