New legislation aimed at protecting warehouse workers in New York is now in place, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced. The Warehouse Worker Protection Act, signed in December, took effect Monday.

The law applies to employers and employees at warehouse distribution centers.

“New York’s warehouse workers deserve to be treated with fairness, dignity and respect, and we are making a significant stride toward achieving that,” Hochul said.

The law requires employers at warehouse distribution centers to disclose any quota systems used to track, monitor and discipline warehouse workers. Signed into law at the end of 2022 but amended and delayed by the state legislature earlier this year, the revised version still marks a “sea change” for employers of warehouse workers, law firm Fisher Phillips wrote in a blog post discussing the new law.

Among the provisions of the act, workers are protected from:

  • Being forced to work through meals to make quota.
  • Limiting use of bathroom facilities to make quota.
  • Retaliation from an employer relating to requesting quota information or reporting violation related to quotas.

Employers must also provide written descriptions of quotas to workers within 30 days of their start date.

The law also allows employees to request a written description of the quota to which they are subject if they believe their employer is in violation of the protections. They can also request a copy of the most recent 90 days of personal work-speed data and a copy of the aggregate work-speed data for similar employees at the same establishment during the same period.

While the Department of Labor is likely to issue further guidance about the WWPA, employers in the warehouse industry should act now to take steps to comply with the provisions of the law now, according to Fisher Phillips. If you use quotas for your warehouse employees, the law firm suggests you:

  • Create written descriptions of all quotas employees must abide by and prepare to distribute them to employees within 30 days of the WWPA’s effective date.
  • Develop or review methods to preserve and easily share employee work-speed data.
  • Develop or review methods to compile, preserve and easily share the aggregated data of an employee’s peers.
  • Develop a written process to comply with oral or written requests for information by current or former employees within 14 days of the request.
  • Procure necessary services to translate the written quota descriptions and personal work-speed data, to the extent there are employees with a primary language other than English.
  • Advise and train any employees with authority to implement the provision of the WWPA and employees with supervisory authority of the act’s requirements and reinforce anti-retaliation policies and procedures.