New York City employers, time is running out to update your bulletin boards. Local Law No. 161, which took effect January 2, 2024, requires New York City employers to display and distribute to each employee a multilingual “Know Your Rights at Work” poster (the “Poster”) by no later than July 1, 2024.

The Poster’s main feature – a QR code – directs employees to the Workers’ Bill of Rights website created by the New York City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) to summarize protections available under federal, state, and local laws.

Specifically, Local Law No. 161 requires New York City employers to:

  • Display the Poster in a conspicuous, accessible, and visible location in the workplace;
  • Provide employees with the information in English, as well as any other primary language spoken by at least five percent of employees, if among the eleven languages for which the Commissioner of DCWP has made the information available on the Workers’ Bill of Rights web page;
  • Provide new hires with a copy of the Poster on or before their first day of work; and
  • Make the Poster accessible via electronic means, such as online platforms or mobile application, if the employer regularly uses these methods to correspond with its employees.

Enforcement is based on a complaint system administered by DCWP that includes an opportunity to cure the first violation. The Commissioner will notify a non-compliant employer of any violation and allow it thirty days to remedy the first violation and/or contest the findings. If an employer does not cure the violation within thirty days or commits a second violation, DCWP will impose a $500 civil penalty.

The DCWP, along with the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs and City Commission on Human Rights, plans to begin enforcing Local Law No. 161 immediately. According to a DCWP press release, these agencies will be conducting outreach to employers and employees about their rights and responsibilities under the new law.

For additional information about the issues discussed in this post, please contact one of the authors or the Epstein Becker Green attorney who regularly handles your legal matters.

Gianna Dano, a Summer Associate in Epstein Becker Green’s Newark office (not admitted to practice) contributed to the preparation of this piece.

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