Employee Handbooks - Work Rules - Employee Conduct: New York
Federal law and guidance on this subject should be reviewed together with this section.
Author: Jason Habinsky, Haynes & Boone
- New York is an employment at-will state. When an employee signs and acknowledges an employee handbook, this does not generally create a contract of employment. The employee can still be terminated at-will. See At-Will Nature of Employment.
- Employers generally may not discriminate against employees for lawful activities outside of the workplace, including political activities. See Employee Personal Activities Outside of Work.
- Employers may prohibit dating or sexual fraternization amongst employees. See Work Rules Concerning Personal Relationships and Personal Activities.
- New York has particularly strict laws banning smoking in the workplace. However, there are no express employment drug or alcohol testing laws in New York, so private and public employers can administer such tests. See Work Rules Concerning Smoking, Alcohol and Drug Use.
- New York employers may establish dress codes for employees so long as they do not violate any of the state's laws prohibiting discrimination. See Work Rules Regulating Employee Dress, Grooming, and Personal Appearance.
- Employers in New York must provide employees with notice of the employee's pay rate, scheduled pay date, and exempt status. New York state also has passed laws which protect employees who have to miss work for certain designated reasons such as jury duty or for voting. See Work Rules Regarding Employee Work Schedules and Attendance.