While we're ringing in the new year, there will also be some new laws going into effect. Here's a few that may affect you as a resident of New York State.

  • 1

    Divorce Law

    Changes in temporary and long-term spousal support.

    According to the Browde Law press release:

    The first part of the law to take effect dramatically alters the formula by which temporary support is to be calculated. Under the old law, adding child support payments and temporary spousal support payments together could leave the receiving spouse in great financial shape while the paying spouse could not have enough money to meet bills. The new formula is described as “needs-based” rather than mechanically shifting income. One of its key features is that it has different formulas for those who are paying child support and those who are not.

    Another important feature is that the “cap” in the formula, the maximum amount of annual income on which a payer of temporary support will automatically be assessed temporary support is being dramatically reduced, from $543,000 to $175,000...

    In January 2016 the new law eliminates another major economic benefit that has either delighted or angered parties, depending upon which side of the table the party has been sitting. No longer will “enhanced earnings” from a degree earned or a license acquired during the marriage be considered an asset to be valued and divided, usually as a lump sum, inequitable distribution. The earnings will be used in the calculation of support – but that’s it.

    The changes in the law also apply in Family Court support calculations.

    Tatiana Gladskikh/ThinkStock
  • 2

    Wage Equality Law

    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed several bills into law in late October 2015 that affect employers, including amendments to the state’s equal pay law.

    New York & New Jersey Business Lawyer Blog says:

    Senate Bill 1, the Achieve Pay Equity (APE) law, amends the New York Labor Law’s provisions on pay disparities based on sex. New York business owners—both those with employees and those who might have employees some day—should be aware of how these new laws could affect them.

    Federal and state laws prohibit employers from paying different wages to employees based on sex, if the requirements, qualifications, and working conditions of the jobs are otherwise the same...

    Some employers prohibit employees from inquiring about or discussing co-workers’ wages or salaries. The current version of New York’s equal pay law is silent on this type of policy, although federal law already prevents some New York employers from prohibiting employees from discussing wages with one another. Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), 29 U.S.C. § 157, for example, protects employees’ rights to form unions for the purposes of collective bargaining. Discussion of wages is considered essential to such activity. Federal contractors are prohibited from enacting policies against discussing wages under Executive Order 13665.

    Follow the link above for more on this topic.

    Andres Rodriguez/ThinkStock
  • 3

    NY Drivers License And Domestic Flight

    Starting in 2016, travelers from four U.S. states will not be able to use their driver’s licenses as ID to board domestic flights—a pretty major development considering an estimated 62 percent of Americans don’t have passports.

    Travel and Leisure reports:

    The standard licenses from New York, Louisiana, Minnesota, New Hampshire, and American Samoa are considered “noncompliant” with the security standards outlined in the Real ID Act, which was enacted back in 2005 but is being implemented in stages. Why are these specific licenses deemed sub-par? In these five places, getting a license doesn't require proof of citizenship or residency.

    The new rules will go into effect sometime in 2016 (the exact date has not been announced), and there will be a three-month forgiveness period, during which people with these licenses will be warned that their IDs are no longer valid for flights.

    For more info visit: Major New York Airport Change Coming In 2016

    Fuse/ThinkStock/TSM
  • 4

    Commuter Benefits Law

    NYC’s Commuter Benefits Law takes effect on January 1, 2016. Under the law, for-profit and nonprofit employers with 20 or more full-time non-union employees in New York City must offer their full-time employees the opportunity to use pre-tax income to purchase qualified transportation fringe benefits. The law is based on the Internal Revenue Code that authorizes pre-tax commuter programs, which benefit employers and employees.

    The Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) enforces the law and coordinates the City’s public education and outreach campaign to help employers and employees know their responsibilities and rights when it comes to commuter benefits.

    Visit NYC Consumer Affairs for more info

    Jack_Sorokin/ThinkStock
  • 5

    All Drones Must Be Registered

    Now in effect, anyone who owns a small unmanned aircraft of a certain weight must register with the Federal Aviation Administration's Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) registry before they fly outdoors. People who previously operated their UAS must register by February 19, 2016. People who do not register could face civil and criminal penalties.

    Federal Aviation Administration:

    Owners must register their UAS online if it meets the following guidelines:
    Weighs more than 0.55 lbs. (250 g) and less than 55 lbs. (25 kg). Unmanned Aircraft weighing more than 55 lbs. cannot use this registration process and must register using the Aircraft Registry process.

    For more information visit All Drones Must Be Registered With FAA 

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