New York Termination (with Discharge): What you need to know

New York is an “employment-at-will” state. Therefore, an employer may generally terminate an employment relationship at any time and for any reason, unless a law or agreement provides otherwise. For example, a federal or state law, collective bargaining agreement, or individual employment contract may place limitations on an otherwise at-will relationship.
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New York employers must provide written notice to discharged employees stating the date of termination and the date that employee benefits, such as health and accident insurance, will be cancelled. This notice must be given to the employee no later than 5 working days after the discharge (NY Labor Code Sec. 195).
Even if an employer has no explicit employment agreement with an employee, certain actions and representations can bind the employer just as if there were a written contract. There are more details available on employment contracts.
New York has enacted several laws that specifically limit the ability of employers to terminate their employees.
Court attendance. Employers may not discipline or discharge employees for absences resulting from a summons to jury duty or from a subpoena to appear as a witness or victim in a criminal case (NY Jud. Code Sec. 519 and NY Penal Law Sec. 215.14).
Criminal offense. Employers are prohibited from discriminating against current employees, as well as applicants, convicted of a criminal offense when the conviction occurred before employment began, unless there is a direct relationship between the offense and the employee’s job, or continuation of employment would involve an unreasonable risk to property or the safety of specific individuals or the general public ...

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New York Termination (with Discharge) Resources

Termination (with Discharge) Products

The Termination Process Webinar Recording
BLR Webinar: "The Termination Process: Exit Interviews, Termination Pay, and Post-Termination Steps to Keep You Out of Court""
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Record retention is complex and time consuming. However, in addition to complying with various federal and state laws, keeping good, well-organized records can be very helpful in documenting and supporting an organization’s employment actions.
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This special report will discuss how you can ensure your records are in good order, and establish a record-retention policy.

Topics covered:
1. Hiring Records
2. Employment Relationships
3. Termination Records
4. Litigation Issues
5. Electronic Information Issues
6. Tips for Better Recordkeeping
7. A List of Legal Requirements

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