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New York Labor Law and Minimum Wages in 2017

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Labor laws and the rights of individuals working in New York City are outlined in various laws at both state and city levels. New York State and New York City governments each have roles in defining rules that have an impact on employees. These rules include requirements related to how much a worker should earn and what benefits they are entitled to receive, including paid sick leave and overtime.

Minimum Wage

As part of the 2016-17 State Budget, Governor Cuomo signed legislation enacting a statewide $15 minimum wage plan that will lift the earnings of more than 2.1 million New Yorkers, in all industries across the state. The minimum wage may vary depending on the sector or industry. Regulations known as ‘Wage Orders’ establish industry-specific rates that differ from the general minimum wage rate.

General Minimum Wage Rate Schedule
Location 12/31/16 12/31/17 12/31/18 12/31/19 12/31/20 2021*
NYC – Big Employers (of 11 or more) $11.00 $13.00 $15.00
NYC – Small Employers (10 or less) $10.50 $12.00 $13.50 $15.00
Long Island & Westchester $10.00 $11.00 $12.00 $13.00 $14.00 $15.00
Remainder of New York State Workers $9.70 $10.40 $11.10 $11.80 $12.50 *

* Annual increases for the rest of the state will continue until the rate reaches $15 minimum wage (and $10 tipped wage). Starting 2021, the annual increases will be published by the Commissioner of Labor on or before October 1. They will be based on percentage increases determined by the Director of the Division of Budget, based on economic indices, including the Consumer Price Index.

*Tipped food service workers rate is unchanged at $7.50 until 12/31/2017.

 

Vacation and Sick Leave

Under the New York state law, employers are not required to pay workers for any time that is not actually worked or required. As a result, employees do not have a right to paid holidays, personal leave, sick days or vacation. It is up to each employer to establish a policy related to paid and unpaid vacation and sick leave, should they decide to do so. If there is a policy related to vacation and/or sick leave, the employer is free to attach any conditions.

In New York City, employers with five or more employees must provide paid sick leave to anyone working for more than 80 hours per calendar year. Employers with less than five employees must provide their workers with unpaid sick leave. Sick leave must also be given to domestic workers who have been employed for at least a year and worked for more than 80 hours in a calendar year. Some workers are not covered by this requirement, including employees subject to a collective bargaining agreement. More information about New York City’s sick leave requirements are available from NYC Consumer Affairs.

Work Hours and Over-time

There are no limits on the number of hours a person can work. Similarly, there are no limits on the number of hours someone can work in any given day except for children under the age of 18. There are also no limits on how early or how late an adult employee can work. Employees working in some occupations and industries must receive at least 24 hours rest in each week. This includes people working in factories, hotels (except resorts or seasonal hotels), restaurants (except small rural restaurants) and mercantile establishments. The requirement for 24 hour rest also applies to elevator operators, watchpersons, janitors and superintendents.

Overtime requirements in New York are based on hours your work in any given payroll week, although it is not mandatory simply because you are working outside of your eight hour work day or during the weekend. Live-in or residential employees are required to receive overtime if they work over 44 hours in a payroll week. Non-residential workers are required to receive overtime when they work over 40 hours in a payroll week. Covered workers must be paid at least one and one-half times their regular hour rate of pay when working outside of these weekly hours. Additional information about overtime pay is available from the U.S. Department of Labor.

Resources

More information about labor standards and employment laws in New York is available from the New York State Department, which also has helpful answers to frequently asked questions.

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Overview of the New York City Office Market – Expected Trends for 2017

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As one of the main gateway markets in the USA, the New York office market is closely connected to the performance of the US economy. During 2016, private sector job creation levels and stable employment growth underpinned the strong demand for office space, along with increased consumer confidence and a growing GDP.

Overall, the New York office market delivered a solid performance in 2016, with some indicators not only showing improvement over 2015, but also over the city’s 8-year average. This was especially true of leasing activity levels, net absorption rates, and average asking rates, according to statistics from CBRE.

New York City Office Market by Area

The Manhattan market showed notable levels of leasing activity, and more than 33 million square feet of office space were transacted in the borough during 2016. Availability rates across the borough were also up and currently stand at 10.3 per cent. Average asking rents experienced a 2.4 per cent year-on-year increase and currently average $73.24 / sq ft / year.

Rental values are clearly on their path to recovery and only a few cents below peak pre-recession levels. Rental price increases are evident for all office property types, but particularly for Class C offices, which are now priced at a record average of $57.33 / sq ft. Key occupiers include firms involved in finance, insurance, and real estate, which account for 31 per cent of all office leases in Manhattan, followed by the TAMI sector and to a lesser extent by professional services, the public sector, and consumer goods.

Manhattan sub-markets:

– In downtown Manhattan, overall asking rents currently average $59.01 and $60.25 for Class A offices. The World Trade Center has the highest rental values ($65.39), whereas the lowest are in City Hall (under $50)

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A Quarter of All Office Holiday Parties in New York City are Considered Flops

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Christmas Office Parties in New York

The most special time of the year is approaching fast, and many businesses are now busy preparing for their Christmas office parties. These end-of-the-year celebrations are often regarded as an effective way of rewarding staff for their hard work, boosting employee morale, and starting a new year with a positive frame of mind.

However, some have claimed that corporate holiday parties are not as popular as they once were, and that in many cases they are below staff expectations and fail to fulfil their purpose. Seamless (an online food ordering and delivery company based in New York) surveyed more than 1,000 companies and asked them about their Christmas celebration habits and plans. The data they collected showed some interesting trends, which are summarised below.

Lower overall expenditure

One of the main conclusions reached following the survey is that the belt-tightening measures taken by many companies have also affected the overall expenditure allocated to their annual Christmas parties. There seems to be an increasing preference among employers to organise office parties on a budget, since approximately 42 per cent of all firms surveyed said they were spending less than $25 per person on their corporate Christmas event. In fact, only 10 per cent of companies spent between $51 and $100 / employee, and a further 20 per cent opted for a mid-range budget of $25 to $50 / person.

Open bars are no longer the norm

The Seamless survey also revealed that only 50 per cent of the companies interviewed were planning on including an open bar during their corporate Christmas party. In 2012, the percentage of no-alcohol office parties in the city barely reached 21 per cent, but two years later that figure had more than doubled at 44 per cent. Moreover, the survey revealed other data related to the type of holiday entertainment offered at end-of-the-year office parties: up to 70 per cent of the businesses surveyed mentioned there would be no dancing at their annual Christmas event.

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Thanksgiving Ideas, Events and How Your Business Can Give Back to the Community in NYC

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Thanksgiving is an opportunity to show employees how much you appreciate them. It is also an occasion to encourage teams to give back to the community. Rather than organize an office feast with turkey and all the trimmings, giving back is a great way to commemorate the holiday. Employers can do this by encouraging employees and making it easier to volunteer. Giving back as a group helps build a community spirit in the office while promoting charitable causes.

What Can Your Business Do to Help the Less Fortunate at Thanksgiving?

There are many people in New York City that will celebrate Thanksgiving with very little. Businesses can show their appreciation for all their good fortunes by serving a meal at a local charity or church or helping to deliver meals. The Real Life Church at Hunts Point in the Bronx and Greenpoint Reformed Church in Brooklyn are just two community churches that serve meals during Thanksgiving. Bringing together colleagues to help with food preparation, serving or clean-up is a fulfilling opportunity to build your team while giving back.

There are dozens of organizations that are willing to partner with businesses to provide nutritional meals to less fortunate New Yorkers. City Harvest and the New York Food Bank welcomes volunteers as well as donations of canned foods and non-perishable items. Both organizations see volunteer positions fill up quickly during the holiday season, but there are smaller pantries and food banks that also need help. In addition to serving dinner to some 350 people on any given day, the Yorkville Common Pantry will also be offering a home-cooked meal on November 23. Located at 8 East 109th Street between Fifth Avenue and Madison Avenue, the pantry welcomes volunteers on weekdays during the lead up to Thanksgiving. Each day, God’s Love We Deliver delivers three-course meals to 1,500 New Yorkers that find themselves homebound. During Thanksgiving, the charity welcomes drivers to deliver specially decorated gift baskets along with their meals. New York Cares also distributes food to community centers and senior centers throughout the city.

Free, Fun Thanksgiving Events in New York City

From the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade to the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting, late November host some of New York’s most iconic events. Winter’s Eve at Lincoln Square is a holiday celebration that brings together more than 20,000 people. Free entertainment and live music are held alongside food tastings from over 30 area restaurants and eateries. First organized in 2000, the event includes the Upper West Side’s only tree lighting ceremony. Winter’s Eve at Lincoln Square offers businesses a fun opportunity to bring together coworkers and their families while giving back to the community. New York Cares is one of the organizations that use the event as an opportunity to help the less fortunate, including with a coat drive. The charity also welcomes volunteers to help during Winter’s Eve.

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Financing and Incentives for Businesses in the Bronx

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For over 30 years, federal and private investment programs have focused on expanding the Bronx’s economic base and making this New York borough attractive to businesses large and small. For the most part, these programs have been successful, since according to the Center for Urban Culture, the Bronx comes out first in the list of New York boroughs in terms of business growth levels. It is estimated that this borough is currently home to more than 16,000 registered companies, and nearly 5,000 of those are small businesses.

Business growth in the borough continues to be promoted through a number of financial incentives and support programs, which are described below.

Financing and Incentives for businesses in the Bronx

The most popular loan programs available to those interested in setting up a business in the Bronx include:

Springboard mini loans, administered by the Springboard Mini Loan Fund in collaboration with the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation, available to local start-ups owned by women or those who belong to minority groups. Grants and loans are also available from Local Development Corporations, and are available to business owners who can commit to either creating jobs or attracting inward investment to the borough. For further information, please visit www.ci.nyc.ny.us/nyez.

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Financing and Incentives for Businesses in Manhattan

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Manhattan has one of the most dynamic economies in the United States. This New York City borough ranks high in terms of employment numbers and innovation, and is home to more than 125,000 firms. If you are looking to set up a business in Manhattan, this quick guide will provide you with information on the key support services available.

Financing and Incentives for businesses in Manhattan

The Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone Development Corporation is a good starting point for local business owners in need of funding. This organization offers business investment loans, small business loans, and microloans ranging from $500 to $250,000.  Find out more information at www.umez.org/.

Sales & Use Tax Exemption applies to eligible Manhattan business owners who purchase equipment, furniture and/or fixtures for new office premises. The premises must be leased for at least 10 years and must be located at the World Trade Center Site, Battery Park City, or the World Financial Center.

A rent abatement program is available to tenants of office or commercial premises located in a specific area of Lower Manhattan (Zone 4 or the areas between Murray, Frankfort, South and West Streets and along Battery Place). This program applies to commercial premises built before 1975 and implies a rent reduction of $2.5/ square foot. For further information, contact the administering agency (the New York City Department of Finance). The CRP (Commercial Revitalization Program) is similar program also managed by the same agency. This scheme aims to boost commercial occupancy rates in designated parts of the Lower Manhattan area. Some of the incentives offered by this program include 3 and 5-year rent tax abatements on new, expanded, or renewed lease agreements.

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Summer 2016 Business Events in New York City

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This summer, New York City will host a number of exciting business events. If you are looking for networking opportunities or forums to share ideas and innovations, these events are great for meeting potential business partners and investors.

Networking Events

The NYC Real Estate Summer Kickoff Networking Party is designed for real estate professionals and businesses to meet like-minded colleagues in a laid-back and fun environment. The free social event is planned for June 28 at 230 Fifth, a greenery-lined rooftop bar and restaurant with beautiful panoramic views of Midtown Manhattan.

Another networking event planned a week earlier on the of June 23 is the New York Social Summer Bash, a Be Social Change event at the Wix Lounge on 235 West 23rd Street. The evening is an opportunity to mingle with new business connections while kicking off the summer. Be Social Change is the city’s largest social impact community and professional development hub.

The NYC Professional Network is a creative forum for businesses and professionals to meet potential clients, business partners and investors. It also stages events throughout the year, including the New York Entrepreneurs, Start-up and Business Network on August 22. Billed as the largest event of its kind in New York City, the evening of networking brings together tech start-ups and entrepreneurs as well as professionals, freelancers and others from across the city. It is an ideal place for businesses and entrepreneurs to look for leads on co-founders, team members, partners, mentors and coaches. The event is being held at the Hudson Terrac in Hell’s Kitchen. Although it is free to attend, an RSVP is required.

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Flexible Working Trends in New York

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For several decades, the predominant corporate culture in the United States has been characterised by long working hours and a generalised reticence to taking vacations. However, in recent years flexible working practices have begun to be frequently implemented in companies around the globe in an attempt to provide employees with a better work-life balance. This trend has of course had a direct impact on US-based firms too, and it is estimated that more than 3 million US employees now benefit from flexible work arrangements.

As one of the most prosperous and forward-looking cities in the country, New York has led the way with regards to the implementation of flexible working practices. This article provides an overview of the progress made so far, as well as a review of the most flexible workplaces in New York.

Flexible Work Arrangements in New York: General Trends

According to data published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, flexible work arrangements are particularly common among New York employees who hold managerial, executive, or administrative roles in the private sector. Within the public sector, New York employees who work for the federal government are more likely to have access to flexible working arrangements than their local or state government counterparts.

Another trend worth mentioning refers to the widespread adoption of flexible working practices across genders and age groups. For example, a New York Times article recently drew attention to the fact that telecommuting is no longer an option limited to mid-career employees, as the typical telecommuter profile has grown to include young graduates and employees close to retirement age irrespective of their gender.

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How to negotiate the best office lease

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Contract

Office accommodation is one of the biggest expenses an expanding company has to consider. Every cent counts and negotiating the best deal possible can save your business enough to launch a marketing campaign or perhaps hire extra staff.

Here are a few useful tips that should enable you to get more for less:

Tip 1: Evaluate the permitted uses of the leased space. Are you planning to expand in a few years time? Do you intend on subleasing any of the space to a third party? It’s advisable to ask for an option to be able to sublet the premises in case you have to downsize or move part of your team to another office.

Tip 2: How long is the lease for? It’s generally easier to get discounts and concessions if you plan on signing a long-term contract. However, in the current economic climate you may be able to successfully negotiate a short-term deal with bonuses that would normally only be available to long-term tenants. Always investigate lease renewal terms and conditions, especially if leasing short-term.

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Top Ten Tech Conferences in New York City for 2016

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Conferences are opportunities for technology entrepreneurs and start-ups to look for co-founders, investors and partners. They also provide a forum for established businesses to showcase their services and products, as well as share best practice. An international centre for business and innovation, New York City hosts several technology conferences each year.

Social Media Week

Social Media Week spurs a worldwide conversation about connecting the world through technology. Events are held in 18 cities including London, Mumbai, Chicago, Sydney, Mexico City, Los Angeles, Milan and Jakarta. The theme for 2016 is ‘The Invisible Hand’, and events will delve into the hidden forces of technology and look at ways to harness them for good. Now in its eight year, Social Media Week New York attracts thousands of marketing, media and technology professionals. Held at The TimesCenter and the SVA Theatre from February 22 to 26, the expected line-up of 230 speakers include New York Times Company CEO Mark Thompson, CollegeHumor co-founder Ricky Van Veen, and Refinery29 co-founder Philippe von Borries. Go to http://socialmediaweek.org/newyork for more information. (Twitter: @smwnyc)

Techweek NYC

The fourth annual Techweek NYC takes place from October 10 to 16. At previous events, key note speakers included Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian and Buzzfeed founder Jonah Peretti. The event attracts businesses and innovators from every aspect of the technology sector, from Fortune 500 CEOs sharing their success stories to start-ups looking for investors. Techweek also includes events in Los Angeles, Dallas, Miami, Detroit, Chicago, Kansas City and Toronto. Speaker sessions showcase breakthrough trends and success stories to educate delegates on what is relevant and innovative. The Entrepreneur Expo is an opportunity for companies to present their services and provide advice to tech entrepreneurs and start-ups, while the launch Competition reveals the best new businesses in the New York area. Several events are also hosted by sponsors and partners. For further information go to www.techweek.com/newyork. (Twitter: @TechweekNYC)

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