New York State Requirements

Employers doing business in the State of New York are required to comply with certain provisions related to employee benefits.  In addition, employers doing business in the City of New York have additional requirements.

Group Health Plans

New York Mini-COBRA

Fully insured group health plans sitused in the state of New York must offer an additional 18 months of COBRA at the conclusion of the Federal COBRA requirements. This requirement is referred to as “state continuation coverage” or “mini-COBRA.”

Dependent Coverage through age 29

Fully insured group health plans sitused in the state of New York may cover dependents through the age of 29 (or upon the attainment of age 30) upon the request of the policyholder or certificate holder.

New York Health Care Reform Act

The New York Health Care Reform Act was passed in 2000 and establishes a fee applicable to healthcare services provided in the State of New York.  This law is applicable to self-insured and fully insured plans and covers “services” provided in the State of New York.

Essential Health Benefits

Employers in the small group market, must offer Essential Health Benefits (“EHBs”) as determined by each state.  Essential health benefits include: 1) ambulatory patient services; 2) emergency services; 3) hospitalization; 4) maternity and newborn care; 5) mental health and substance use disorder services including behavioral health treatment; 6) prescription drugs; 7) rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices; 8) laboratory services; 9) preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management; and 10) pediatric services, including oral and vision care.

New York’s EHB Plan includes state mandated benefits.

Church Plans

A plan established by a church is exempt from the federal requirements of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”).  As a result, the church plan would be subject to state legal requirements.  Relating to a self-insured health and welfare plan established by a church, the plan may require registration as an insurer if employees pay any portion of the contributions.  In addition, church plans under NY state law are required to comply with continuation coverage requirements.

New York City Requirements

Employers in the City of New York have additional legal requirements.

New York City Human Rights Law

The New York City Human Rights Law prohibits discrimination against individuals based on race, religion/creed, color, age, national origin, alienage or citizenship status, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, pregnancy, marital status and partnership status and additional protections based on employment or housing.

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New York City Commuter Benefits Law

Employers with 20+ Full Time Employees (employees working 30+ hours per week) must offer commuter benefits to employees working in the City of New York. Employers must maintain proof of offer for at least two years.

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New York City Paid Sick Leave

Employers with employees in the City of New York that work more than 80 hours per calendar year must provide paid sick leave to employees.  This applies to employers that may be located outside of the City limits, but that have employees working in the City of New York.  The law covers full time, part time, temporary, per diem, transitional jobs program, and undocumented workers.

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New York City Domestic Partnerships

The City of New York permits unmarried couples in a committed relationship to document the relationship.  The couple must be residents or employees of the City of New York.

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New York State Requirements

New York Disability Benefits

Employers in the State of New York are required to provide disability benefits to employees for non-employment related injuries.  Disability benefits may be insured or self-insured.

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New York Paid Family Leave 

Employees working in New York are eligible for family paid leave capped at 67% of the statewide average weekly wage.  Once fully phased in (FY 2021), employees will be eligible for 12 weeks of family paid leave.  The leave is funded through employee payroll deductions.

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New York Human Rights Law

The New York State Human Rights Law prohibits discrimination in employment, education, and medical treatment (very specific).  Relating to benefits, employers should ensure discrimination in employment does not occur based on an individual’s age, race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, military status, sex, marital status, or disability.

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New York Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act

The Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act (“SONDA”) prohibits discrimination based on actual or perceived sexual orientation in employment, housing, public accommodations, education, credit, and the exercise of civil rights.  This protection is included in New York’s Human Rights Law, the Civil Rights Law, and the Education Law.

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Miscellaneous


The information contained on this site is for educational purposes only. USI does not provide legal or tax advice. For advice specific to your situation, please consult an attorney or other professional.

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