• Legislative Updates

  • Pending NYS Legislation on Economic Development

     

    Notes below on Business Council of NYS Webinar on Legislative Session

     

    CANNABIS:   The section legalizing cannabis requires in Sec. 85 1. Any such business employing over 25 people must be unionized to maintain their license to operate.

    VOTING:   Time off for voting will be increased from 2 hours to 3 and it can only be taken at the beginning or end of the work day.  The employer will have to post the rules 10 days before an election and the employee is to give the employer at least a two day notice.

    MINIMUM WAGE:   In Westchester is now $12 / hr.  The breakpoint for Exempt salary is $900 / week ($46,800 per year) as of 12/31/2018 and applies to executive and administrative positions.  The federal minimum is only $455 / week but it also applies to profession, computer and outside salespersons.

    PAID FAMILY LEAVE:  Up to 10 weeks with 55% of the average wage up to a max not to exceed 55% of the state average which is wage which is $1,357.11.  55% equals $746.41 per week.  Employee contributions are 0.153% of wages up to a max of $2.07 / week, $107.97 / year.  An employee would take about 7 years to cover one day of leave.  How does this plan pay for itself ?

    CALL IN PAY:  Still will require paying 4 hours when worker reports to work and there is none.  Changing the wording from “each day” to “each shift.”  Notice of cancellation less than 14 days in advance requires 2 hours of pay and if less than 72 hours requires 4 hours of pay.  Scheduling work less than 14 days in advance requires 2 hours of pay.  An employee required to be on-call is to be paid 4 hours.  Not specified as to per shift or per day?

    They also reviewed the Sexual Harassment schedules, equal pay rules and the issue of wage theft.

    Following is the plan for the BUSINESS COUNCIL OF NY:

     

    Labor and HR Issues Support:

    • Update definition of employee v. contractor

    • Adopt workable pay card standards

    • Update UI tax tables • Repeal weekly pay mandate

    Monitor:

    • Implementation of “Secure Choice”

    • Enrollment opens after April 2020

    Oppose:

    • Further expansion of paid leave

    • Including paid sick leave

    • Enhanced wage theft provisions

    • Comparable worth and other “pay equity” provisions

    • Increased DBL benefits • Hiring Restrictions (Ban the box; wage history; credit check)

    • Non-compete agreements

    • Farm labor standards

     

  • Public Hearing on Proposed County Law prohibiting expanded polystyrene containers

     

    Restaurant owners, deli owners and hot dog truck vendors.  Take note, the Westchester County Board of Legislators is conducting a public hearing on a proposed Local Law to Ban the use of Expanded Polystyrene Containers at their May 20, 2019 meeting.

     

    The proposed law prohibits all food service vendors, mobile food servers and retail food outlets from processing, serving or offering any food in an expanded polystyrene container, plate, tray, bowl or cup.  This includes one time served meals, take-out foods and the wrapping of left over foods.

     

    It does not apply to prepackaged and sealed food, raw eggs, fresh produce, raw meat, pork, fish, seafood or poultry in a butcher case of a retail appliance.

     

    Westchester County’s Earned Sick Leave Law is in effect; July imposes other employer obligations.

    Effective April 10, 2019, employees in Westchester County are entitled to earned sick leave.

    Beginning on July 10, 2019 (or on the date of first employment, if hired after July 10, 2019), employees will begin earning one hour of sick leave for every thirty hours worked. Some employees will be entitled to paid sick leave. Employees can use sick leave to access medical or mental health diagnosis, treatment, or preventative care for themselves or a family member.

    Some highlights:

    • Requires all businesses with five or more employees to provide at least an hour of paid time for every 30 hours worked. Employees covers full time AND part time.
    • Applies to Part Time employees – even if they worked as little as 80 hours in a calendar year.
    • Employees accrue one hour sick time for every 30 hours worked.
    • Sick time not used must be carried over, but many not exceed 40 in a given year.
    • Earned Sick Time may be used for the employee’s physical or mental illness or injury as well as care for a family member’s illness.
    • If a business is found to have violated the law, it could be made to pay three times the amount they would have paid for the sick time or other penalties.
    • Attached is a notice all employers must post in the workplace.
  • 2019 Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber Legislative Agenda

    THE HUDSON VALLEY GATEWAY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE SUPPORTS ADOPTION OF THE PUBLIC PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP AT THE COUNTY AIRPORT
    The Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber of Commerce supports the proposed Public Private Partnership (PPP) to manage Westchester County Airport (HPN). The PPP will provide the county with a steady stream of revenue for 40 years while enhancing the quality of service, improving environmental protection and maintain current flight operation restriction. The clear facts regarding the PPP are:
    1. It will release locked up revenue to benefit beleaguered taxpayers.
    2. Improve the airport’s infrastructure without any increase in the terminal size or the number of gates.
    3. Maintain the County’s ownership of the airport.
    4. The County government has never operated the airport. Since 1946 it has entered a series of operating agreements with management companies.
    5. Better protect the environment and watershed.
    6. Enhance the passenger experience.
    7. Maintain County control over any growth, structural changes or the Terminal Use Agreement, which strictly limits the number of passengers per hour.
    Revenue: For decades federal law mandated that all revenue generated at a government owned airport could only be used for airport purposes; regardless of how much revenue exceeded expenses. Recognizing the provision as outdated and unfair, President Clinton and Congress passed a reform that would allow (after a FAA process) a municipal airport to become part of a PPP. The proposed PPP agreement would have the private partner (Macquarie) pay $ 35 million up front to the public partner (Westchester County) for the privilege of leasing and operating HPN. In addition to up front revenue, annual rent would be paid to the County. Today every dollar in revenue (passenger fees, rental cars fees, parking) collected HPN goes to the airport operator not the County general fund.
    Flights cannot increase for two simple reasons: the terminal building and the number of gates cannot increase unless the Board of Legislators votes to do so; and, the current Terminal Use Agreement, which limits the number of passengers per hour, will remain in place unless the Board of Legislators modifies it. This is all very clearly stated in the PPP agreement.
    Under the PPP Agreement, the private partner is responsible for making certain infrastructure improvements in a timely workman manner totally at their expense plus whatever grant money they may secure.
    The County will continue to own the airport. The PPP agreement is a lease, not a sale.
    The PPP agreement includes a host of environmental rules and requirements the operator must install and abide by.
    II. THE HUDSON VALLEY GATEWAY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE SUPPORTS AMENDING THE 2018 COUNTY PAID LEAVE LAW TO REDUCE THE BURDEN ON SMALL BUSINESS
    The HVGCC supports amendments to the Paid Leave Law, enacted last year, to reduce the heavy burden it places on small businesses and businesses that employ seasonal workers. Many small businesses can only remain financially viable through the use of part time and/or seasonal employees. Many such employees are hired in the hospitality, not for profit and construction/maintenance sectors. The majority of these hires are high school and college students working during school breaks and summer vacation. The current Local Law applies only to employees who work during a eighty-day period or more, many seasonal and part time workers begin employment in mid-May and work through September. In addition, they may return to their employer at various holiday times to work additional day. Such employees could exceed the 80 day threshold. The majority of these workers are not a head of household or co-head of household. The HVGCC urges the Board of Legislators to consider increasing the applicability to employees who are employed for a period to exceed 120 days.
    III. THE HUDSON VALLEY GATEWAY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE SEEKS THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A QUARTERLY JOINT MEETING ON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT WITH THE CITY OF PEEKSKILL, the B.I.D. the P.I.D.A. AND OFFICIALS RESPONSIBLE FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
    Institute monthly economic development meeting with HVGCC, BID, IDA and city staff to coordinate economic development, facilitate applications and permits, compare notes on activities, programs and projects.
    IV. IN VIEW OF THE INPENDING CLOSURE OF INDIAN POINT, THE HUDSON VALLEY GATEWAY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE SEEKS THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A QUARTERLY JOINT MEETING ON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT WITH OFFICIALS OF THE TOWN OF CORTLANDT AND VILLAGE OF BUCHANAN
    Institute a monthly meeting either as a portion of the IP Task Force or as a separate meeting with the HVGCC and the Supervisor and appropriate Town staff, the Mayor and appropriate Village staff, the Montrose Business Association to coordinate economic development, facilitate applications and permits, compare notes on activities, programs and projects.
    V. THE HUDSON VALLEY GATEWAY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE SUPPORTS THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A SEWER DISTRICT AND CONSTRUCTION OF SEWERS IN THE MONTROSE BUSINESS AREA
    The HVGCC is aware of discussions between the Town of Cortlandt and the Village of Buchanan to explore the construction of sewers in the Montrose area. Particularly in view of the upcoming closure of Indian Point, the HVGCC supports this initiative. HVGCC will urge the County and State to
    engage and assist with both in kind services and funding. The installation of sewers would afford the Montrose area the ability to attract new business or expand existing business in the hamlet. Such business growth is important to replace the loss to the tax base with the IP closure.
    .

  • Required Employer Postings

     

    Below is a list of New York State mandated employee notices.  A few apply to select industries only.  Others can be included within an Employee Handbook or as a flyer given to the employee upon being hired.  There are some that must be posted in a common work area.  The link below can be used to download from the NYSDOL website the posting.

     

    A list of Westchester County required employer postings will be provided soon.

     

    https://labor.ny.gov/workerprotection/laborstandards/employer/posters.shtm

     

    Posting Requirements

    New York State Posting Requirements (Non-Agricultural)

    Topic

    Statute

    Poster

    Source

    Construction  Industry Fair Play Act

    New York State Labor Law

    Construction industry employers must post a notice about the Fair Play Act on the job site. Workers must be able to see and access the posting.

    Construction Industry Fair Play Act

    Criminal Convictions Records

    New York State Labor Law

    Use of correctional records for employment.

    As of February 1, 2009, employers must post a copy of Article 23-A of the correction law relating to the employment of people with a criminal conviction.

    Workers must be able to see and access the posting.

    Download a copy of Article 23-A

    Discrimination

    New York State Human Rights Law (Executive Law, Article 15)

    Discrimination based on Race, Creed, Age, Color, Disability, National Origin, Sex or Marital Status is Prohibited... (in English and Spanish)

    New York State Division of Human Rights1-718-741-8459

    Minimum Wage

    New York State Labor Law

    Attention Employees Minimum Wage Information

    Every employer engaged in the sale or service of food or beverages must post BOTH of the following:

    LS 605 - Deductions from Wages (Section 193 of the NYS Labor Law).

    LS 204 Tip Appropriation (Section 196-d of the NYS Labor Law).

    New York State Department of Labor, Division of Labor Standards

    Minimum Wage poster

    Download Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the above file

    Safety & Health*

    New York State Labor Law

    Job Safety & Health Protection

    Same as federal requirement.

    Public employers must post "You have a right to know! "

    NYS Department of Labor Division of Safety & Health "Public Employees Job Safety & Health Protection" Poster

    NYS Department of Health "You have a right to know" poster

    Public Work / Prevailing Wage Rates

    New York State Labor Law Article 8

    The current Prevailing Rate Schedule must be:

    • Posted on the site of the public work project where workers can see and access it
    • Encased in, or made of, weatherproof materials
    • Titled "PREVAILING RATE OF WAGES" in letters at least 2" x 2"

    Department of Jurisdiction (Contracting Agency)

    Public Work Project

    New York State Labor Law Article 8

    NYS Labor Law requires contractors and subcontractors to post a notice that includes:

    • The telephone number and address for the Department of Labor
    • A statement informing laborers, workers or mechanics of their right to contact the Department of Labor if he/she is not receiving the proper prevailing rate of wages and/or supplements for his/her particular job classification.

    They must post this notice at the start of every public work contract on each job site.

    New York State Department of Labor, Bureau of Public Work Public Work Project Poster

    Unemployment Insurance

    New York State Unemployment Insurance Law

    Notice to Employees (IA 133)

    New York State Department of Labor, Registration Subsection State Office Building Campus Albany, NY 12240-0339 Phone: (518) 485-8589 Fax: (518) 485-8010

    Workers' Compensation and Disability Benefits

    New York State Workers' Compensation Law

    Notice of Compliance (White) for Workers' Compensation

    Notice of Compliance (Blue) For Disability Benefits

    Supplied by employer's insurance carrier.

    Smoking

    New York State Clean Indoor Air Act

    Employers must post "No Smoking" signs or the international "No Smoking" symbol in every place where the act prohibits or restricts smoking.

    For more information on the Clean Indoor Air Act, visit the NYS Department of Health websiteor call 518-402-7600 or 1-800-458-1158.

    Mandatory Nurse Overtime

    New York State Labor Law

    Section 167

    Health Care Employers are required to make their Nurse Coverage Plan available to all nursing staff by posting in a location accessible to all nursing staff, or using any means to make it available to all nursing staff.

    Part 177 pursuant to Section 167

    Fringe Benefits and Hours 

    New York State Labor Law

    Section 195.5

    Every employer shall notify its employees in writing or by publicly posting the employer's policy on sick leave, vacation, personal leave, holidays and hours. 

    Guidelines; Notice Requirements for Fringe Benefits and Hours LS 606

    Expression of Breastmilk

    New York State Labor Law

    Section 206-c

    Employers shall provide written notification of the provision of Labor Law § 206-c to employees returning to work following the birth of a child of their right to take unpaid leave to express breast milk.  Notice may be provided individually to affected employees, or to all employees in an employee handbook, or by posting in a central location.

    Guidelines Regarding the Rights of Nursing Mothers to Express Breast Milk in the Work Place LS 702

    Equal Pay

    New York State Labor Law

    Section 194

    No employer shall pay an employee at a rate less than the rate at which an employee of the opposite sex is paid for equal work performed in the same establishment.

    Equal Pay Provision LS 603 

    Sexual Harassment

    New York State Labor Law

    Section 201-g

    Every employer shall provide its employees, in writing, a copy of their Sexual Harassment Prevention policy. This policy is to include annual sexual harassment prevention training.

    Article 7  Section 201-g

    Notice of Pay

    New York State Labor Law

    Section 195.1

    Every employer shall provide to its employees in writing, in English and in the primary language of the employee, a notice containing their rate of pay and pay day.

    Wage Theft Prevention Act P 715

    * Employers must keep a "Log and Summary of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses." They must post the Summary page (OSHA Form 300A), as required by OSHA, in the workplace on February 1. They must keep the Summary posted for three months. Private Employers can obtain forms from OSHA. Public employers should contact the Division of Safety and Health.

    Federal Posting Requirements