Federal Laws that NY Businesses should Consider: NY Compliance Law Basics

Depending upon certain factors, every New York business must comply with federal laws governing employment and liability to third parties. We shall be updating the reader on major compliance issues over the next couple of weeks.  This week, we are going to look at three federal laws that you should consider.


We have already discussed the recent changes to New York law as it pertains to Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) / Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) in New York. PDA prohibits discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth and other related medical issues by businesses with 15 or more employees. This does not just include the legally mandated time-off for family and medical leave, which we will address shortly. On a larger scope, FMLA grants job-protection and unpaid leave to certain workers in companies with at least 50 employees working within 75 miles of the work site. We encourage you to check out how the law has changed in New York.

  1. ADA / ADA Amendments Act
    The ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) provides certain protections for workers with disabilities, but only applies if your company has fifteen or more employees. That being said, your business must be ADA-compliant regardless of how many people you employ because it applies to accommodations for customers. If your New York small business services customers on-site, then you, usually, must provide ramps and other accommodations for customers using wheel chairs or other devices when they are entering or exiting your place of business.
  2. Age Discrimination in Employment Act
    The Age Discrimination in Employment Act prohibits employers from discriminating against people age 40 or older in hiring, firing, layoffs, wages and benefits.  New York Age Discrimination Law also shall apply to most New York Businesses.
  3. Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act
    COBRA gives workers and their families who lose their health insurance benefits the right to choose to continue with those benefits provided by their group health plan under certain limited circumstances such as job loss, reduction in hours worked, job transitioning, death, and other life events.

Now that you have had a taste of what is to come, check back daily for in-depth analysis of these laws that business owners in New York should understand and consider.

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