Please join us at the GVC SHRM annual HR Conference which will take place in Rochester, New York on August 18, 2016. To find out more about the conference click here.
The New York State SHRM conference will take place in Lake Placid, New York September 18-20. To find out more about the conference click here.
July 14, 2016, 11 AM EDT
Meeting with Senator Rich Funke and staff, 230 Packett's Landing, Fairport, NY
Letter from Senator Funke to the DOL
Attendance: Rich Funke, New York State Senator from the 55th State
Sleezer, District Office Director; Paul Keneally, Partner, Underberg &
Kessler and GVCSHRM Board member; Christine O’Rourke, Director of HR, JCC and
GVCSHRM Board member; Jennifer Swayze, Employment Law Compliance Analyst,
Paychex, Inc. and GVCSHRM Board member; AnnMarie Depoian, Regional Vice President,
Primerica; Howard Cotton, Employee Relations Manager,
Hillside Family of Agencies and President GVCSHRM; and Ann Maynard, HR
Consultant, Maynard HR Consulting and President-Elect, GVCSHRM.
Senator Rich Funke and staff an overview of GVCSHRM, its membership and its
mission of advocacy and education.
Concern – Paid Family Leave – Discussed members concerns with NYS Paid Family Leave
Abuse – employees might abuse the leave program by requesting paid leave to
take time off from work improperly
Levels – hardship for employers who grant the leave to one or more experienced
workers who cannot be effectively replaced in the short term. This issue is
intensified for small employers.
We asked the Senator to continue
to pursue legislation increasing the threshold number of employees for covered
Concern – NYS Minimum Wage – Discussed members concerns with NYS Proposed
Minimum Wage Increases
on Small Employers
may cut back hours, keep fewer employees, reduce benefits, and increase prices,
We asked the Senator
to monitor the effect of the higher rates on employers of certain sizes, in
rural areas, in certain industries etc. and the possibility of modifying or
delaying future increases.
Concern- NYS Direct Deposit Authorizations – Discussed members’ concerns
regarding NYS Proposed Rulemaking on Methods of Payment of Wages
direct deposit authorizations that do not comply with the new requirements will
no longer be valid and based on new requirements that will likely be all prior
are other ways that employers could notify employees regarding rights that
would not require a new authorization
We asked the Senator to investigate
this issue and possibly contact the DOL regarding this onerous proposed
Concern - Limits of Self-Employment
Assistance Program (SEAP) for Financial Services ICs
who would otherwise qualify for SEAP are being rejected due to being in the Financial
Services industry and the requirement that they be sponsored by another entity.
They are Independent Contractors (“ICs”) by definition self-employed, but they
are unable to receive this assistance.
We asked the Senator to review the
possibility of extending this program to Financial Services ICs.
Concern – Mental Health issues in the workplace - Discussed members’ concerns
with increased number of mental health issues employers are facing with their
employees such as depression, anxiety, substance abuse, post-traumatic stress, and
just generally being stressed out. This can cause:
sick day usage;
decline in work productivity and quality;
self-medicating with alcohol and drugs-especially increased opioid usage;
and communication problems;
short-term disability and long-term disability claims.
HR Departments are not qualified to diagnose or handle the increasing number of
employee and supervisor concerns. Many Employee Assistance Programs are
overworked and understaffed to handle the large number of referrals that are
happening within our worksites.
We asked the Senator to
consider state attention to the mental health crisis.