Under NYC’s Commuter Benefits Law (CBL), for-profit and non-profit employers with 20 or more full-time, non-union employees in New York City must offer their full-time employees, in writing, the opportunity to use pre-tax income to purchase qualified transportation fringe benefits. A full-time employee under the law is defined as any employee who works an average of 30 or more hours per week, any portion of which was in New York City, for a single employer. Notably, the law applies to both temporary help firms and “chain businesses” whose coverage under the law is determined by all full-time employees at all locations in New York City.
Employers must offer full-time employees the benefit by January 1, 2016, or four weeks after an employee begins full-time work, whichever is later. However, the law also provides employers with a six-month grace period — from January 1, 2016 until July 1, 2016 — before the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) is authorized to seek penalties. Additionally, after July 1, 2016, employers will have an opportunity to cure (correct) any violation of the Commuter Benefits Law within 90 days before any penalty may be imposed.
The DCA recently issued “Frequently Asked Questions” on the new CBL, along with a list of approved mass transit providers and examples of third-party providers.
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