Category Archives: Human Resources

Nominate your company for Best Companies to Work for in New York

Best Companies

October 3, 2014 is the deadline to register for the eighth annual “Best Companies to Work for in New York” list sponsored by The Business Council, NYS-SHRM and the Best Companies Group.

Created in 2007, these celebrated annual awards are part of a distinctive program that evaluates and ranks the best places of employment. This statewide survey and awards program is designed to identify, recognize and honor the best places of employment in New York, whose practices benefit the State’s businesses, economy, and workforce.

NYS-SHRM is an affiliate of the national Society for Human Resources Management, the world’s largest association devoted to human resources, serving the needs of and advancing the interests of the HR profession.

For more information visit www.BestCompaniesNY.com.

Business Council HR expert legislative briefing on Long Island

Minnick

The Business Council will host an HR Legislative Briefing at member company Jackson Lewis LLP on Long Island on Tuesday, July 1 from 8:30 — 10:45 a.m.

Now that the 2014 legislative session in Albany has ended, The Business Council’s Director of Government Affairs Tom Minnick will recap the pressing HR-related legislative issues this session and cover areas moving forward.

Topics include repealing the annual employee notice requirement of the Wage Theft Prevention Act, the “bullying” bill, mandated time off proposals, proposed limits on background checks, pay equity, paid family leave, and more.

This briefing is approved for 2 Strategic Business credits from the HR Certification Institute. There is no charge for Business Council members attending this briefing.  Jackson Lewis will provide a complimentary light breakfast.

For more information or to register visit The Business Council website.

New York City HR Legislative Briefing

MinnickThe Business Council will host an HR Legislative Briefing at member company Amida Care in  New York City on May 14 from 8:45 — 11:00 a.m.

With less than two months left to the 2014 legislative session in Albany, The Business Council’s Director of Government Affairs Tom Minnick will cover current HR-related legislative issues and recap the 2013 legislative session.

Topics include repealing the annual employee notice requirement of the Wage Theft Prevention Act, the  “bullying” bill, mandated time off proposals, proposed limits on background checking for new employees, pay equity, paid family leave, and more.

This briefing is approved for 2 Strategic Business credits from the HR Certification Institute. There is no charge for Business Council members attending this briefing. Amida Care will provide a complimentary light breakfast.

For more information or to register visit The Business Council website.

 

Scaffold letter highlights need for reform

Yesterday, The Business Council of New York State, Inc. signed on to a letter to Governor Cuomo, along with other groups seeking to reform Section 240 of New York State’s Labor Law, known as the Scaffold Law.

The letter encourages Governor Cuomo to take a harder stance on reforming the Scaffold Law in light of comments he made recently to Crain’s New York.

Read the Crain’s New York article, “Scaffold-law foes are undeterred by Cuomo comments,” by reporter Andrew Hawkins.

The letter is available online here. Excerpts from the letter highlight the need for reform:

“The Scaffold Law drives up costs on virtually every segment of our economy, from major employers, small business and farmers seeking to make capital investments in their businesses, to school districts and local governments. They not only face higher construction costs, but are also on the hook for the Scaffold Law’s outrageous, only-in-New York absolute liability standard…It has risen to the level of a serious crisis, and with your leadership and determination, we have no doubt that fair, common sense reform that protects both workers and the many diverse stakeholders demanding reform can be enacted…”

Groups signing onto the letter include:

Associated General Contractors of NYS
The Business Council of NYS
Unshackle Upstate
Real Estate Board of New York
General Contractors Association
Manhattan Chamber of Commerce
National Federation of Independent Business
The Business Council of Westchester
New York Farm Bureau
New York State School Boards Association
New York State Conference of Mayors and Municipal Officials
Associated Builders and Contractors
Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York
New York State Council of School Superintendents
Manufacturers Association of Central New York
New York State Builders Association
American Insurance Association
Professional Insurance Agents of New York
Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber
Rochester Business Alliance
Builders Exchange of Rochester
Rochester Home Builders Association
Seneca County Chamber of Commerce
Syracuse Builders Exchange
Construction Exchange of Buffalo & WNY
Professional Abatement Contractors of New York
Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors Association NYS
Construction Industry Association of Rochester
Southern Tier Builders Association
Associated Builders and Contractors of the Triple Cities
Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce
Upstate New York Towns Association

 

Small Business Day

The Business Council advocated for New York’s small businesses last week at Small Business Day in Albany. Approximately 100 participants representing small businesses, trade associations and chambers of commerce attended the event organized by Business Council member the National Federation of Independent Business. The agenda included a ten-point agenda including repealing the wage notification portion of the Wage Theft Prevention Act, mandate relief, reforming New York’s Scaffold Law, out-of-network coverage, the 18-a energy tax, the manufacturers’ credit and paid sick leave.

“Small business day focuses on how small employers are challenged by New York’s tax and regulatory climate,” said Heather C. Briccetti, Esq., president and CEO of The Business Council of New York State. “Eighty percent of our 2,400 members have fewer than 100 employees, so we welcome this opportunity to share their concerns and help push for measures that make New York’s small business climate more conducive to growth.”

“Small Business Day not only recognizes the importance of main street businesses, but also serves as a critical reminder to lawmakers of the complex issues they face. From tax relief to sensible regulatory reform measures, our agenda is essential to the sustainability of New York’s small business owners.  This collective effort should serve as a reminder to lawmakers that small business is the backbone of New York’s economic present and future,” said Mike Durant, state director, NFIB/NY.

Other Business Council members also spoke out on the importance of Small Business Day, including the Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce, Associated General Contractors (AGC), the Buffalo Niagara Partnership, the Chamber of Schenectady County, Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York, Manufacturers Association of Central New York, New York Farm Bureau, New York State Hospitality and Tourism Association, North Country Chamber of Commerce, and the Rochester Business Alliance.

Visit NFIB’s website for more on Small Business Day.

Businesses fear job losses from paid-sick-day deal

An article in Crain’s New York today notes that business groups are concerned about job losses that will result from the expected announcement today from Mayor Bill de Blasio and Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito that would expand paid sick leave in New York City to include companies with as few as five employees.

Kathryn Wylde, president of the Partnership for New York City, a Business Council member told Crain’s, “We assume that the bill that he and the speaker have agreed on will extend the mandate to businesses with five or more employees. Our hope is that it is crafted to avoid unintended consequences, including undue hardship on small businesses that translate into reduction of jobs.”

The Business Council of New York state testified a hearing in New York City last year on this issue.  Read our full testimony on our website at www.bcnys.org.

New York private sector employers recognized

The New York Society for Human Resource Management (NYS-SHRM) has announced the 60 winners of the 2014 Best Companies to Work for in New York State awards.

The 2014 Best Companies to Work for in New York State awards are presented by two major sponsors: Jackson Lewis, LLP and Capital District Physicians’ Health Plan (CDPHP), as well as five supporting sponsors: Acorda Therapeutics; Anchin, Block and Anchin LLP; DigitasLBi; MBMS, Inc. and WellnessRebates LLC. The program is a partnership of NYS-SHRM, The Business Council of New York State, Inc., Best Companies Group and Journal Multimedia Corporation.

Created in 2007, these celebrated annual awards are part of a distinctive program that evaluates and ranks the best places of employment in New York State. This statewide survey and awards program is designed to identify, recognize and honor the best places of employment in New York, whose practices benefit the State’s businesses, economy, and workforce. The winners will be recognized at an awards ceremony and dinner on May 6 in Albany. A list of the 2014 winners may be found here.

Health care cost transparency needed

Capital New York is reporting that state health commissioner Nirav Shah reacted to a New York Times story on the the high costs of minor services at hospitals by decrying “the lack of transparency in hospital pricing.”

At a health summit in New York City, Shah addressed the need for smarter healthcare spending and  promised the stat would soon reveal new plans to address the issue.

Shah’s stated commitment to cost transparency is welcome news as New York consumers have been at a distinct disadvantage in anticipating their health care costs.  Most consumers don’t learn of the costs of their health care until after care is completed and they receive bill.  As the cost of health care continues to rise, transparency is needed as a key component that would allow employers and employees tools to manage their costs.

De Blasio could expand sick pay and living wage laws

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that some members of New York City’s business community are concerned over Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio’s plans to expand sick pay and living wage laws for more than 300,000 New York City residents.

Kathryn Wylde, president of the Partnership for New York City told the Journal, “I’ve heard the mayor-elect say he’s well aware in government of the impact of unintended consequences, and I would say that all of these mandates on business at a municipal-government level have the potential for unintended consequences, which is why we would urge careful consideration.”

Senator Gillibrand promotes paid leave mandate

In a speech before the Center for American Progress on September 27, Senator Gillibrand introduced her American Opportunity Agenda, which contains proposals for an increase in the minimum wage, accessibility to child care, universal pre-K, equal pay for equal work and, last but not least, paid family medical leave.

Federal Paid Family Medical Leave would be funded by new payroll taxes of 0.2 percent of wages levied on both employees and employers and managed through the current Social Security Administration’s system. In her press release, Senator Gillibrand cites “… the cost to the average worker would be similar to the expense of one tall latte a week.” A formal legislative bill introduction is expected soon.

The Center for American Progress report upon which this proposal is apparently based may be viewed here. Senator Gillibrand’s press release may be viewed here.

 

On both the state and federal levels, The Business Council supports the employer’s ability to formulate its own employee leave and time off programs based on its particular finances, industry competitiveness and geographic area. Paid family leave legislative mandates would be another government policy barrier contributing to uncompetitive state and national business environments.