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Labor & HR Committee Update

Frank Kerbein, Director, Center for Human Resources
October 26, 2016

Hello Everyone:

Below you will find information regarding new developments in human resource management. Feel free to contact me directly if you would like any additional information or if you would like to discuss potential impacts and compliance strategies. I can be reached at frank.kerbein@bcnys.org or at (518) 465-7511, ext. 210.

Proposed NYS Exempt Salary Thresholds May Exceed FLSA's $913 Per Week

As you know by now, the Wage and Hours Division of the U.S. Department of Labor has raised the minimum salary level to be considered an exempt employee (i.e., exempt from overtime) from $455 per week ($23,660 per year) to $913 per week ($47,476 per year) effective December 1, 2016.

In a little noticed provision of proposed rules in the October 19th State Register, the NYS Department of Labor has proposed changing the NY salary level for Executive and Administrative exemptions. Apparently these salary levels (currently $675 per week; $35,100) are pegged at 75 times the State’s minimum wage and are to be proportionally increased as the State implements its new minimum wage. You can find the proposed changes here (see page 27). In summary, the proposed minimum salary levels for exempt employees are:

New York City Large Employers (11 or more employees):
$825.00 per week on and after December 31, 2016
$975.00 per week on and after December 31, 2017
$1,125.00 per week on and after December 31, 2018

New York City Small Employers (10 or fewer employees):
$787.50 per week on and after December 31, 2016
$900.00 per week on and after December 31, 2017
$1,012.50 per week on and after December 31, 2018
$1,125.00 per week on and after December 31, 2019

Remainder of Downstate (Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester counties):
$750.00 per week on and after December 31, 2016
$825.00 per week on and after December 31, 2017
$900.00 per week on and after December 31, 2018
$975.00 per week on and after December 31, 2019
$1,050.00 per week on and after December 31, 2020
$1,125.00 per week on and after December 31, 2021

Remainder of the State:
$727.50 per week on and after December 31, 2016
$780.00 per week on and after December 31, 2017
$832.00 per week on and after December 31, 2018
$885.00 per week on and after December 31, 2019
$937.50 per week on and after December 31, 2020

Take note that there are other proportional increases related to allowances related to tips, meals, lodging, etc.

The Business Council will be submitting comments regarding the proposed rules to suggest, if nothing else, consistency with the federal levels for ease of administration, and we welcome your input. Feel free to contact me by phone or email – my contact information is provided below. Employers have 45 days to submit comments. The comment period will end December 2, 2016. If you plan on submitting your own comments, instructions for submitting comments can be found here.

Voting Leave Poster Must Be Displayed Beginning Today

NYS employers must permit an employee -- who is a registered voter -- two hours of paid leave to vote in any election, unless the employee has four consecutive non-working hours to vote while the polls are open. Since polls for the upcoming election will be open from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. in New York, this leave requirement may not be a common occurrence. The employer may specify the hours to be taken.

The employer must display a notice of these voting provisions 10 days prior to the election. A sample of this posting can be found here. The notice must be posted "conspicuously in the place of work where it can be seen as employees come or go to their place of work" and must remain in place until the polls close on Election Day. Since this posting is required before every election -- not just Presidential elections -- it may be best practice to leave this poster in place year-round.

Survey

In preparation for the 2017 legislative session, I am asking for input from the more than 1,000 HR and business professionals that make up the Labor & Human Resource Committee on New York State legislative and regulatory issues of significance to you and your company.

Attached is las year’s Business Council Legislative Agenda. Many issues from last year will carry over into 2017. I also expect increased legislative interest in such things as predictive scheduling, “ban the box,” restrictions on pre-employment credit checks, mandatory paid sick leave, proposed regulations regarding implementation of Paid Family Leave and more.

Please take this opportunity to let me know what issues are important to you. You may reach me at (800) 332-2117 or at frank.kerbein@bcnys.org. Thank you for your consideration and for your feedback.

Input Needed - CTE Assessments

The Business Council is seeking input from its members on the 25 career and technical education (CTE) assessments currently approved by the New York State Education Department (NYSED). Students are required to take and pass four Regents exams in English, math, science and social studies; they may take a CTE assessment deemed "properly rigorous" by NYSED in lieu of a fifth exam. Please click here to access the full list of CTE assessments,

Webinars

They’re back! We’ve scheduled a new series of HR related webinars. These one hour webinars are designed to cover hot topics in human resource/labor management and to keep you apprised of what’s going on legislatively. We have applied for HRCI credit for each of these webinars.