2018: New Year, New Laws in New York State

2018: New Year, New Laws in New York State

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For the second year in a row, minimum wage is going up, from $9.70 an hour to $10.40 an hour in our area. Fast Food workers will also see an increase from $11.75 an hour to $12.75 an hour. It's all part of making minimum wage $15 an hour statewide by 2021.

A new paid family leave program starts in 2018. It provides employees with wage replacement when they're away from their jobs. New parents, people caring for a close relative with a serious health condition, and family members of someone who is called to active duty military service are eligible for paid family leave. The program starts with eight weeks of paid leave and by 2021 employees will get 12 weeks of paid leave.

A new law that started in December, allows school bus drivers to administer EpiPens in emergency situations. Like if a child with a food allergy goes into anaphylactic shock.

People who care for people with disabilities will see more money in their paychecks in 2018. Their wages for will go up 3.25 percent in January and another 3.25 percent in April. Right now, the lowest paid workers at Jefferson Rehabilitation Center in Watertown make $9.70 an hour.

"As of January 1st the lowest paid position here at Jefferson should be around $11 an hour, the base rate would go up to $11.35 an hour in April so it's a significant increase for our direct support professionals," said JRC Executive Director Howie Ganter.

There's also a change to the state constitution starting in 2018. Public officers who are convicted of a felony will have their public pension reduced or revoked. Although, it only applies to public officers that commit felonies on or after January 1.

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