A number of new state laws are set to take effect January 1st.
Probably the best known is marijuana legalization. It will be legal to possess marijuana. Communities must decide by the end of this week whether they will allow retails sales and/or on-premise consumption at those locations. Those that opt out can change their minds later. Those that do not will not be able to change their decisions. LocalSyr.com reports a number of other new laws take effect in the new year.
- The ban on polystyrene foam, often known by the Styrofoam brand name, as well as a ban on so-called packing peanuts.
- The state’s whistleblower law will expand to define “employees” of a company as including former employees. It also includes threats to or contacting immigration. The statute of limitations was also extended to two years. That law goes into effect January 26th.
- The state’s paid family leave law will be expanded to 12 weeks of leave for those who meet the requirements. You can get 67% of your average wage, up to $1,068.36 a week. Caring for a sick sibling will be permitted under the law.
- The HALT Solitary Confinement Act will limit solitary to 15 weeks. Minors, pregnant woman and people over 55 will not be subject to solitary confinement under any circumstances. That law takes effect April 1st.
- Employees must be notified before hiring if they will be subject to any form of electronic monitoring. Annual notice of the policy must be give to employees. That law takes effect in early May.
- The minimum wage outside New York City, Long Island and Westchester County will go to 13.20 per hour December 31st. Eventually, it will rise to 15 dollars across the state.
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