New NYC Laws That Could Impact You In 2022
From legal weed to a styrofoam ban to new protections for delivery workers, here are the city and state-level laws taking effect in 2022.
Nick Garber andAlex Costello,Patch Staff
Posted Thu, Dec 30, 2021 at 10:58 am ETReplies (10)
NEW YORK, NY — Each year, hundreds of laws are passed at New York City Hall and at the State Capitol in Albany that affect New Yorkers. But not all of them take effect right away.
Scores of new laws that were passed in recent months will come on the books in 2022. From marijuana to styrofoam to job postings, here are the ones you need to know about.
Salary range in job postings
Starting in April 2022, New York City employers will be required to mention the minimum and maximum starting salaries for all job openings.
It applies to any business with four or more employees. The bill was passed by the City Council in December by a 41-7 vote, sponsored by Manhattan member Helen Rosenthal. New York’s law follows similar efforts at wage transparency recently passed in California, Connecticut, Maryland and Washington State, according to an analysis by law firm Davis Wright Tremaine.
Delivery worker protections
A set of groundbreaking laws protecting the cyclists who speed around the city delivering food orders placed on apps like DoorDash and Grubhub will take effect next year after being approved by the Council following months of worker advocacy.
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They include a minimum payment for each delivery, a requirement for restaurants to let workers use their bathrooms, and a ban on the practice of charging workers fees to access their tips.
People are still ordering out and having tons of food delivered. But the packaging that food comes in will be changing in 2022.
In 2020, New York passed the nation’s strongest ban of polystyrene, single-use foam food containers and packing peanuts. Starting Jan. 1, 2022, those materials are all banned.
The state says that foam packing is one of the largest contributors of litter and pollutes many waterways and wildlife areas. When polystyrene foam is thrown away, it can last for years and break down into microplastics, which find their way back into foods.
Polystyrene is hard to recycle, and there isn’t much demand for it anyway. So the state is banning the material to protect the environment.
Under a law going into effect in 2022, employers will have to tell their employees if they are being monitored, and how.
Employers will have to alert employees if their internet, email and phone usage is being monitored. The employers will have to notify all employees about the monitoring, and give new employees a written notice explaining how they will be monitored.
Any employer caught violating the new law will be fined $500 for the first offense, $1,000 for the second offense and $3,000 for the third and subsequent offenses.
Amendments to the state’s whistleblower law go into effect in 2022, and they will help protect whistleblowers more thoroughly.
The changes expand coverage to protect former employees and independent contractors who bring criminal actions to light, and also broadens the definition of “retaliatory acts” that employers are not allowed to engage in. If an employee is retaliated against, the new amendments also give them more remedies to seek recompense.
Though recreational marijuana for adults was legalized in New York in 2021, the sale of the substance is still not allowed.
Municipalities across the state have until Dec. 31, 2021 to pass a law opting out of the sale of recreational marijuana. New York City has not done so, but many municipalities on Long Island and upstate have.
Though there is no set date, sales of marijuana products are expected to begin in 2022.
Changes to solitary confinement
The HALT Solitary Confinement Act was passed in 2021 and goes into effect April 1, 2022. It limits the amount of solitary confinement for an incarcerated person to 15 days.
Rules adopted by the United Nations, called the Nelson Mandela Rules, call solitary confinement of more than 15 days torture. The law will bring New York into line with those new rules. It will also expand the definition of solitary confinement and eliminate its use for vulnerable incarcerated populations.
It also establishes guidelines for humane conditions in solitary confinement, outlines reporting requirements and adds due process protections by prohibiting placement in solitary confinement prior to a disciplinary hearing and by allowing access to a lawyer.
Minimum wage increase
New York City workers won’t experience the same minimum wage increase that employees in other parts of the state are getting — but that’s because the city has already had a $15 minimum wage since 2019.
Other localities are only just getting there, like Long Island, whose minimum wage goes from $14 to $15 on Dec. 31. Other areas upstate are going from $12.50 to $13.20.