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NON-UNION PUBLIC PROFILE EMPLOYEES NO LONGER CAN BE FORCED TO PAY UNION AGENCY FEES

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

For approximately 40 years, public sector employee unions could collect union “agency fees” from the paychecks of even those employees who chose not to join the union.  The premise was that even non-members benefitted from the contracts the unions negotiated with public entities, so should have to pay at least something for that benefit.  Many of the non-member employees objected because the unions at times took positions on political or other issues with which they disagreed, but were forced to pay to support.  The U.S.

Bereavement Leave Likely to Be Added to NY Paid Family Leave

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

The NYS Legislature has passed a bill which would add bereavement leave to the list of permissible reasons to take paid family leave.  The bill would allow employees to use paid family leave after the death of a family member.  It would also allow those who have already been using paid family leave to care for a family member to use any remaining time for bereavement.

New Guidance for Handbooks from NLRB

Monday, June 18, 2018

Earlier this month, the NLRB issued a guidance on employee handbook rules, which follows its landmark decision in The Boeing Company last December.  The Boeing case established a new standard when evaluating whether a work rule violates the law, and focused on the negative impact on the employees’ ability to exercise their rights and the policy’s connection to the employer’s right to maintain discipline and productivity in the workplace.  The guidance signals that the new General Counsel will take a more employer friendly approach than the Obama NLRB did in interpreting federal la

U.S. Supreme Court Ruling in Favor of Baker Refusing to Create Cake for Same-Sex Couple Does Not Change Law for Employers

Friday, June 08, 2018

In a narrow recent Decision, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission illegally found against a baker who claimed his religious beliefs prevented him from creating a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.   The key was that the Commission allowed other bakers to refuse to create cakes that demeaned gays and same-sex marriages.

Don’t Forget About the Interactive Process in Reasonable Accommodation Requests

Monday, June 04, 2018

When an employee informs an employer he/she has a disability that requires accommodation, employers must remember that engaging in an interactive process with that employee is imperative.  It is not enough for an employer to simply provide what it believes is a reasonable accommodation.  The interactive process must be used to facilitate a conversation between employer and employee to determine the different reasonable accommodation possibilities.  They can then decide together what the best option will be for that employee, as long as that option is not an undue burden on the employer. 

Expected 2019 PFL Developments

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

As New York State employers continue to manage their first year of paid family leave (PFL) benefits available to employees in 2018 (8 weeks maximum), comments and predictions about what the Legislature might do for 2019 have emerged.  As expected, we have heard that the disability insurers who pay out the PFL benefits to eligible employees are indicating that the current amount withheld from employees’ pay to cover PFL benefits is insufficient. 

New Anti-Harassment Provisions for Employers

Thursday, April 26, 2018

This month, Governor Cuomo signed a new anti-harassment law, and it contains provisions for private and public employers related to sexual harassment in the workplace.

Effectively immediately, employees are protected from harassment not only by other employees, but also “non-employees,” which can include vendors, consultants, contractors, and others providing services pursuant to a contract. 

Legislators Seek to Curb After-Hours Work

Monday, April 09, 2018

As reported recently by the Associated Press, a New York City Council member, perhaps influenced by a recent French law, has proposed legislation to allow some employees the right to ignore after-hours communications from employers. The proposal would apply to NYC employers with 10 or more employees, and would prohibit them from requiring employees to respond to or act on after-hours telephone calls, texts, emails etc. that are not emergencies, or discipline them for failing to do so.  It would not bar employers from sending such emails, and employees could respond if they so choose.

PFL Deductions Regulation Clarified

Thursday, March 29, 2018

A new regulation clarifies how deductions can be made from employee paychecks to fund New York’s Paid Family Leave program. 

Until this month, the general understanding was that a maximum of 0.126% of New York State Average Weekly Wage paycheck could be deducted from employees’ weekly wages.  That meant any deductions were capped at $1.65 a week.

Proposed Legislation: The Sunlight in Workplace Harassment Act

Monday, March 19, 2018

In another attempt to stem sexual harassment in the workplace, legislation proposed in both the House and the Senate at the end of last month would require publicly traded companies to report information related to harassment or discrimination settlements and complaints in their SEC filings.  So far the measure lacks bipartisan support, but this latest proposed legislation is further evidence that workplace harassment and discrimination has lawmakers’ attention and will for a long time to come. 

Governmental Affairs
18

YOUR ASSISTANCE IS NEEDED!  The NLRB's imbalanced "quick election" rule is scheduled to take effect on April 30, 2012. The congressional resolution to nullify the rule may considered by the U.S. Senate this week!

Please e-mail your U.S. Senators and Representative and either:

  • thank them for co-sponsoring the Enzi/Gingrey Joint Resolution, or
  • encourage them to do so!

Former HR professional and SHRM member, Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY), and Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA), have introduced Senate Joint Resolution 36 and House Joint Resolution 103 in the Senate and House, respectively. If adopted by Congress, these joint resolutions would nullify the National Labor Relations Board's (NLRB) new "quick election" rule, which will shorten the time employers have to respond to union petitions.

Please Take This Action:
Write your members of Congress using SHRM’s HRVoice program.  This advocacy campaign is automatically tied to your legislators' positions on each joint resolution.  The version of the message you see will be a "please support" communication or "thank you," based on the given legislator's current position at the time you send the message. Please write your legislators by following these steps:

1.    To write your member of the U.S. House, log onto the SHRM Advocacy Action Center by clicking HERE

2.    To write your member of the U.S. Senate, log onto the SHRM Advocacy Action Center by clicking HERE

3.    Personalize your message with your own story

4.    Include your home mailing address.


Issue

The NLRB's election case procedures rule, otherwise known as the "quick election" rule, was published on December 22, 2011. The rule intends to shorten the time employers have to respond to representation petitions to as few as 10 days. The quick election rule is scheduled to take effect on April 30, 2012.

Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY), ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, and Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA), introduced a joint resolution that, if passed, would nullify the NLRB's quick election rule.  The joint resolutions are based on the Congressional Review Act of 1996 (CRA), which allows the Senate and House to consider a joint resolution of disapproval that features the full force of law to stop a federal agency from implementing a rule or regulation.

Outlook

The joint resolution needs only a simple majority (51 votes) to pass the Senate, not the 60 votes it usually takes to defeat a Senate filibuster. If the resolution passes both the House and Senate and is not vetoed by President Obama, the quick election rule would be repealed.

SHRM Position

SHRM supports the Enzi/Gingrey joint resolution based on the belief that the quick election rule’s reduced timeframe is unnecessary. A recent NLRB annual report revealed that the median time from a representation petition to an election was 38 days in Fiscal Year 2011. This reasonable 38-day average period gives employees ample time to hear both the union and employer perspectives on collective bargaining prior to a representation election.

Should you have any questions regarding the Enzi/Gingrey joint resolution, please contact Michael Layman, SHRM's Government Relations Senior Associate, at michael.layman@shrm.org.

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