NFIB Continuing Challenges in 2023

Date: September 26, 2023

NFIB Challenges:

Unemployment Insurance:

Throughout the COVID pandemic, New York borrowed more than $10 billion from the federal government to fund the long-troubled Unemployment Insurance (UI) program. The state has not contributed any money to replenish the UI Trust Fund, resulting in the highest possible state UI taxes and increased federal taxes. Additionally, in August 2022 businesses were notified they owed an “Interest Assessment Surcharge” (IAS) on the federal loan’s interest. The 2022 IAS was $27.60 per employee and will continue to be charged annually if New York State has an outstanding debt. NFIB continues to advocate for the state to replenish the UI Trust Fund and provide much-needed UI tax  relief for small businesses.

COVID Sick Leave:

The federal COVID-19 Emergency ended on May 11, 2023, but New York’s COVID paid sick leave law remains in effect without an end date. Employers in New York State, dependent on the size of the business, are still required to provide at least 5, and up to 14 days of job protected, paid COVID sick leave to employees who take leave because of a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation due to COVID. This is yet another unnecessary burden on already struggling small businesses. NFIB strongly supports and is advocating for legislation to permanently end COVID-19 paid sick leave.

Weekly Pay:

While many businesses across the country pay on a bi-weekly schedule, anyone who qualifies as a manual worker under New York law is supposed to receive wages every week. A 2019 court ruling determined that manual workers not receiving their pay weekly were victims of wage theft. As a result, New York has seen an explosion of costly class action lawsuits, with plaintiffs being awarded liquidated damages (100% of the late wages for the last six years), attorneys’ fees, and pre-judgment interest. Settlements have reached $29 million, and these claims can be disastrous for businesses of all sizes. NFIB is leading the charge in rectifying this situation by working on legislation that will prohibit a party from filing a class action legal proceeding and remove the right to liquidated damages in the circumstance of misclassification.

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