Note: this post will be a bit more “in the weeds” than most of our other content. These answers come from our notes made on verbal replies to questions — as we get more “official” written guidance, we will update this post.
On May 22, NYC Department of Consumer and Workforce Protection held an “Employer Roundtable” regarding the implementation of Local Law 144. The format included a short presentation, then Q&A from previously submitted questions.
Here are our take-aways — limited to items that clarified (rather than repeated) important points from the final rules.
Local Law 144 Will Not Be Enforced As Widely Geographically As Some Thought
There has been a lot of discussion around how widely 144 would be enforced, with some thinking that NYC could or would enforce the law on any company that hired a NYC employee, even remotely.
DCWP confirmed that they will enforce 144 on companies that have a NYC office only. So, in a situation where a company did not have an office but were hiring NYC employees, the law would not be enforced.
Test Data Can Be Used When Companies Do Not Collect Race/Ethnicity Data
One of the biggest challenges our clients have had in complying with 144 is the simple fact that the vast majority of companies do not collect race/ethnicity data of job applicants. (Most medium to large companies would collect this data only after actually having made the hiring decision).
DCWP was very clear that in this case, test data may be used. This is a pretty substantial change to how companies will have to comply with the rules, as it will make the majority of employers reliant on test data rather than historical data.
For extra clarification, DCWP was also asked whether race/ethnicity could be “imputed or estimated”, and a simple “no” was the response. This is an area where we have requested clarification, as the use of statistical models to estimate race/ethnicity would seem to be a more obvious solution to “everyone just use test data.” We will update here as we learn more.
The July 5 Enforcement Date Was Reiterated
After having enforcement pushed back several times, DCWP made it clear that this date would stick. They also were explicit that companies needed to be doing the work now to be compliant by July 5 — as opposed to considering starting those efforts after that date.
Proceptual provides audit and compliance solutions for NYC Local Law 144.