New York: New Employment Laws

For employees in New York who often have to make an accounting of either going to work while having a sick child at home or losing money, thanks to Brooklyn’s UncommonGoods this problem may soon be eliminated. Bringing home a new baby, caring for someone, helping a loved one or doing anything that requires one to not be at work but is surely not classified as a vacation, this small business is there to help.

With around 200 employees, the online unique product retailer is offering employees up to eight weeks of paid time per year for such situations.  According to company CEO David Bolotsky, as well as being good for the employees, this makes economic sense.  He explained:

“It’s important because families are important, and being able to care for loved ones is essential.  Providing our workers with the ability to balance their personal needs with their work requirements, we think, is in our business interest as well.”

And thankfully, very soon, this policy will extend to other companies in New York.  This is because on January 1, 2018, all businesses will be subject to a program that is being seen as one of the nation’s “most progressive family leave policies.”

In a gradual way, by 2021, families will be given up to 12 weeks paid time off for new children (meaning biological, adopted and fosters).  This will extend to sick members of the family (including in laws and domestic partners) as well as those undergoing family pressures (such as military responsibilities).

Job Increases

Alicia Green, Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development in NYC, recently announced the establishment of the VR/AR hub for business creation, education, investment, research and training.  The NYU Tandon School of Engineering has been chosen to develop and operate this – the first ever government funded hub at a 15,000 square foot space in the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

Students will be able to prepare at these hubs for careers in both these sectors (Virtual and Augmented Reality). Meanwhile the NYCEDC (New York City Economic Development Corporation) together with (MOME) the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment has invested $6 million into the incubator.

It is hoped that this will result in: the support of new ventures (equipment, infrastructure and workspace) to startups; create a citywide VR/AR talent pipeline; ensure that the area has the highest quality VR/AR research center through expertise of those from NYU, Columbia, CUNY, to expand technological advance in these fields; develop the VR/AR Community and activate innovation in the field.