Labor & HR Committee Update
January 14, 2014

Staff Contact: Frank Kerbein

2014 Legislative Session

The New York State Legislature opened its 2014 legislative session yesterday in Albany. Here is a link to the session calendar.

Before the Senate session began, I had a chance to meet with Senator Diane Savino, chairwoman of the Senate Labor Committee, and ask her about labor and HR priorities in 2014. She told me that she and her Independent Democratic Conference will be introducing a 6 week paid family medical leave bill. Here at The Business Council, we’ll be examining it as soon as it is introduced. Also, last week in Albany, our own U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and newly-elected Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan held a news conference highlighting Senator Gillibrand’s call for an expansion of the 12 week federal family medical leave from unpaid to paid status. It’s called the FAMILY Act. This would be accomplished with an additional payroll social security tax of 0.2% imposed on both employers and employees to be administered by the Social Security Administration. Here is the press release. According to Senator Gillibrand, it would only cost the equivalent of a cup of coffee per week yet produce a paid leave benefit of 66% of an employee’s monthly wage with a cap that will be indexed to inflation. We can all certainly expect to keep busy with both federal and state paid family leave proposals.

Last week, Governor Cuomo presented his 2014 State of the State address. In terms of employee related topics, he brought up last year’s 10-point Women’s Equality Act which failed to pass both houses during the 2013 legislative session. This package contained a number of employment related changes that The Business Council worked on during the session. The governor will pursue passage again this year. Here is a summary from last session.

HR Legislative Briefings

In 2014, please plan to attend an HR Legislative Briefing near you!  These are 2 hour programs, highlighting HR related legislative and regulatory issues of interest to our legislators in Albany. The programs also carry 2 Business Management and Strategy credits from the HRCI towards PHR, SPHR and GPHR recertification. For Business Council members, there is no charge to attend these briefings.

Here is the current list with dates and general locations. Two months prior to each presentation, information and registration links on the Labor & HR Committee web page will be activated.

Capital Region-Albany
Thursday, February 6, 2014

Mid-Hudson Valley-West Point
Thursday, April 24, 2014

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Long Island-Melville
Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Southern Tier-Corning
Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Central NY-Syracuse
Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Western NY-Buffalo
Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Northern NY-Gouverneur
Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Please contact Frank Kerbein with questions or follow up on these and other HR related legislative topics.