As 2021 came to an end, there is much progress to reflect on and celebrate in New York, a state that has in many ways served as a model for strong, supportive work-family policies at the state level. Last year alone, we saw expansions to New York Paid Family Leave adding siblings as covered family members under the program, the enactment of paid leave to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, and the state’s new paid sick leave program taking effect at the start of 2021.
The first few days of 2022 have also brought forth exciting new rights for New Yorkers already, including expanded vaccination leave for workers in New York City and new protections for domestic workers throughout the state. We at A Better Balance are proud to have worked with Governor Hochul and our state and local partners to build upon the growing momentum for work-family justice we’ve seen in the Empire State, and we’re already laying the groundwork for an exciting year of continued progress for working New Yorkers.
As we highlighted in our 2022 New York State Work-Family Agenda, the pandemic and accompanying care crisis have placed a tremendous strain on working New Yorkers and their loved ones. Some key ways state leadership can ensure that workers can care for themselves and their loved ones in times of need without sacrificing their economic security include:
- Issuing additional guidance on the state’s paid sick and safe time law and prioritizing enforcement and outreach
- Ensuring that state paid family leave benefits are more accessible to workers
- Strengthening temporary disability insurance benefits
- Ensuring that all workers have a right to fairer and more flexible scheduling practices
- Engaging in strong outreach, education, and enforcement of worker-protective laws, including the state’s pregnancy and lactation accommodations laws
- Expanding the Human Rights Law to protect all caregivers from discrimination in the workplace and increase their access the accomodations they need
We remain committed to not only fighting to pass the policies that make New York a model for federal progress, but also to ensuring that workers are aware of their rights and feel equipped to exercise them. We hope to see increased state funding for outreach, education, and enforcement of these vital policies, so that workers can be empowered with knowledge of their rights on the job as we continue to fight for the policies New Yorkers need and deserve. For more information about existing protections under New York State law, visit our Workplace Rights Hub.