Labor & HR Committee Update
May 10, 2012

NLRB Union Poster Rule Delayed While Challenge Proceeds

From Bloomberg News in late April...

The National Labor Relations Board can’t require businesses to tell workers their union rights on a workplace poster while challenges to a judge’s ruling upholding the rule proceed, an appeals court said.

The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington granted a request by the National Association of Manufacturers, the National Right to Work Legal Defense and Education Foundation and other business lobby groups who claim allowing enactment of the rule would affect more than 6 million employers who otherwise wouldn’t be subject to NLRB regulation.

The ruling follows a March 2 decision by U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson in which she left the poster requirement undisturbed while striking down the NLRB’s ability to punish any failure to comply. The agency said in a statement that its regional offices will not implement the measure, which was to take effect on April 30.

Legislative Watch

Earlier this year, bills were introduced that would make it an unlawful discriminatory practice for prospective employers to make certain inquiries relating to criminal convictions. A.3809/S.5428 would change the Corrections and Human Rights laws in New York State. In these bills, if an employer was considering an adverse employment decision because of a criminal conviction, the bills would require employers to strengthen the “direct relationship” between the crime convicted and duties of the job to “…immediate and substantial” while also having a requirement for an “unreasonable risk” to property or safety of others.

The bills would also prohibit written or verbal criminal conviction inquiries or background checks by employers until after a conditional job offer is made to the applicant. So that question about criminal convictions that you currently have on your employment application (which is currently legal) would have to be removed and could not be asked until after a job offer was made.

These bills have not moved out of committee, and we will continue to monitor them.

Wage Theft Prevention Act

Meetings have continued through April with members of the Assembly to seek additional co-sponsors and to get the bill on the Assembly Labor Committee agenda. There are over 60 co-sponsors of the bill, A8856/S6063, to date. Meetings have also been initiated with several advocates of the original wage theft legislation. The Business Council’s e-advocacy campaign for the repeal continues. If you haven’t participated, please do! Here is The Business Council’s memo in support of the repeal.

Meal Periods

From HR.BLR.com in April, we learned that the California Supreme Court finally issued its much-anticipated ruling in the Brinker case on the extent of employers’ responsibilities when it comes to mandatory meal and rest breaks.

The high court held that employers are required only to provide a meal period (unless waived in writing). An employer satisfies this obligation by:

The court stated that an employer isn’t obligated to police meal breaks to ensure no work is performed.

Here in New York, employers are required to provide employees a minimum 30 minute uninterrupted meal period and employees don’t decide whether to take it or work it. We continue to urge employers to make sure employees take their meals period.

See if You can Take Advantage of the NY Youth Works Tax Credit Program

This program focuses on placing youth (16-24) who reside in cities with populations of 62,000 or more in positions at businesses that are within reasonable commuting distance to those areas. 

The credit is a state tax credit that can be applied to the business franchise tax (or for individuals who file as businesses, their NYS tax obligation). The credit is $500/month for six months for new, full time employment (35 hrs. or more), with an additional $1,000 if a business retains the employee for a full year. There also is a credit for part-time employment (at least 20 hours) – it’s half the credit amount for full time. There is no limit to the number of individuals that a business could hire to receive the tax credit.
Businesses must apply for certification by November 30, 2012, and put new workers on their payroll by the end of calendar year 2012.

To apply online click on the link below:


For more general information about the program click on the link below: