Labor & HR Committee Update

Staff Contact: Frank Kerbein
October 11, 2017

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 on the HR Line (800) 332-2117 or at frank.kerbein@bcnys.org.


Paid Family Leave "Waiver" Form Released

The first of the paid family leave forms to be developed by the Workers’ Compensation Board have been released.  They include:

PFL-Waiver:  Employee Opt-Out of Paid Family Leave Benefits
PFL-135:  Employer’s Application for Voluntary Coverage – No Employee Contribution
PFL-136:  Employer’s Application for Voluntary Coverage – Employee contribution Required

[Note:  There have been some difficulties reported in opening PFL-135 and PFL-136 – the Board is aware of the problem and working on a solution]

Of particular importance is the waiver.  Remember – there are only two groups of employees eligible to apply for waivers from participation in paid family leave.  These are employees who would be exempt from the PFL withholding and would not be eligible to receive PFL benefits.  They are:

For employee’s who regularly work a schedule that may fluctuate more or less than 20 hours per week, employers may make a good faith determination as to whether or not they may be waiver eligible.

Interestingly, these forms were not released on the Workers’ Compensation Board Forms page.  But rather can be found on the NYS Paid Family Leave website.  There is now a section for “Forms.” That section advises us that more forms will be released “soon.”  That would include the required PFL poster and a “statement of rights” to be included in employee handbooks.


Hearings on Employee Scheduling

On Sept. 9, 2017, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that the Commissioner of Labor would hold public hearings on employee scheduling concerns. The New York State Department of Labor will use these hearings to solicit public comment on how best to address what's known as "just-in-time," "call-in" or "on-call" scheduling, common practices that allow employers to schedule or cancel workers' shifts just hours before or even after it starts. 

The Business Council submitted testimony and appeared before the DOL panel.  You can find our testimony here. There is an additional hearing scheduled for October 17th in New York City. If you are interested in letting the DOL know your thoughts on this topic, we encourage you to participate.  You can find information on how to participate here.

Next Webinar

Fall is upon us and that means a new series of 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.  Each of these has been approved for 1-hour of HRCI credit.  Our first webinar is:

Topic: Best Practices-Corrective Action/Progressive Discipline
Date: Thursday, October 12, 2017
Time: 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Cost: Free to Business Council members / $49 for non-members
Presented By: Frank Kerbein, Director of the Center for Human Resources
The Business Council of New York State, Inc.

Information and on-line registration for this and future labor/HR webinars is available here

Upcoming topics this fall will include:
November 16 - Wage and Hour Law Update 
Including Federal changes as a result of the Trump Administration. We’ll discuss the latest enforcement activities of the state and federal governments as they enforce wage and hour laws. Specifically, how New York and the Trump administration are similar – and different – in their interpretation of laws regarding minimum wage, overtime, independent contractors, exempt employees, etc.

December 14 - Final Paid Family Leave Preparations/Preview of the 2018 NYS Legislative Session
It’s here! New York State’s paid family leave law will be fully implemented on January 1, 2018. We’ll discuss all the things you will need to have in place for effective administration of this new law. We will also preview the 2018 State Legislative session to identify topics of interest to human resource professionals.

Each fall session will also include the latest information regarding developments in Paid Family Leave implementation.