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					                                                      LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE
                                                        INFORMATION BLAST
                                                            October 2009
FEDERAL LEGISLATIVE ISSUES
DOL Approves 'Summary Prospectus' for 401(k) Fund Investors
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) released Field Assistance
Bulletin (FAB) 2009-03 on Sept. 8, 2009, finding that a 401(k)-style defined contribution plan might satisfy the
prospectus delivery requirements of section 404(c) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) by
furnishing a “summary prospectus,” rather than sending participants who invest in a particular fund the entire fund
prospectus document. Under new rules established by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), effective
as of March 31, 2009, the summary prospectus is a short-form document, written in plain English and a user-
friendly format. For more information visit: http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/regs/fab2009-3.html

Notice of Proposed Rule to Revise ADA Regulations Published
The Federal Register published the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)’s notice of proposed
rulemaking to revise its Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations on Sept. 23, 2009. The proposed rule
has been issued to align the ADA regulations’ definition of “disability” with the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) of
2008, which took effect Jan. 1, 2009. Comments on the proposed rule are due Nov. 23, 2009. For more
information visit: http://www.eeoc.gov/press/9-16-09f.html

ADEA Developments
On October 6, Congressman George Miller (D-CA) and Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), the respective chairmen of the
House and Senate labor committees, introduced the “Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act” (H.R.
3721/ S. 1756). The legislation would amend the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) to clarify
the standard of proof in such cases. Specifically, the measure would make clear that an ADEA plaintiff should
prevail if the employee can prove age “was a motivating factor for the (unlawful employment) practice complained
of, even if other factors also motivated that practice.” For more information visit:
http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=111_cong_bills&docid=f:s1756is.txt.pdf

IRS to Audit 6,000 Companies to Test Employment Tax Compliance
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced that beginning in February 2010 it will commence detailed
employment tax examinations of 6,000 U.S. companies. These examinations will provide statistical data for the
IRS’ first National Research Program (NRP) study of employment tax compliance since 1984. One stated objective
for this audit initiative is to provide updated estimates for the extent to which the so-called “tax gap” is derived from
employment tax compliance issues. Although the initiative is not specifically limited to these areas, the IRS has
indicated that these audits will focus on five primary employment tax issues: worker classification, fringe benefits,
reimbursed expenses, officer compensation and non-filers.

EFCA Update - Specter Unveils Revised EFCA Bill-
Hopefully, the revised measure would not include allowing workers to organize by getting their co-workers to sign
pro-union cards, instead of having to hold secret-ballot elections in the workplace. Unions argue that such
elections are unfairly dominated by employer threats and intimidation. The bill would try to make union elections
more fair by limiting the time between organizers' declaration that they have enough support to call an election and
the day of the vote. Organizers would also be guaranteed access to workers if employers held mandatory anti-
union meetings on company time. And the penalties for employers who break labor law rules would be triple what
they are today. The bill would also tweak mandatory arbitration for employers and unions who fail to reach a
contract within a few months. More than a third of newly formed unions never get a first contract.

Health Care update Health Care Reform
13 Oct 2009 http://www.voanews.com/english/2009-10-13-voa56.cfm
STATE LEGISLATIVE ISSUES
State bills can be viewed at http://public.leginfo.state.ny.us/menugetf.cgi, make sure you put in
correct number and year. The below state bills were 2008.
Gov. Paterson Revives Power for Jobs Program
Gov. David Paterson signed a bill July 13, 2009, to extend New York’s Power for Jobs and Energy Cost Savings
Benefit (ECSB) programs. The programs, which provide discounted electricity to employers that meet job creation
and retention criteria, expired June 30 and were revived in a July 10 legislative session.
The programs support nearly 330,000 jobs at more than 550 companies throughout the state. The law extends them
through May 15, 2010. To learn more about Power for Jobs and other economic development programs available
from NYPA, contact the Authority’s Marketing and Economic Development group at edpab@nypa.gov, or call 1-
888-JOBSNYPA.
http://www.shrm.org/LegalIssues/StateandLocalResources/Pages/GovPatersonRevivesPower.aspx

New York City Council Introduces Proposal Mandating Employers Provide Paid Sick Days
9/2/2009 By Jackson Lewis
NYC soon may be joining San Francisco and Washington, D.C. in requiring all private-sector employers to provide
employees a minimum number of paid sick days. The Earned Paid Sick Leave Bill, introduced Aug. 20, 2009, has 35
co-sponsors in the 51-member New York City Council. (One seat is currently vacant.)
http://www.shrm.org/LegalIssues/StateandLocalResources/Pages/EmployersProvidePaidSickDays.aspx

N.Y. Amends Human Rights Law to Protect Domestic Violence Victims
New York has recently amended its Human Rights Law (NYSHRL) to protect domestic violence victims from
employment discrimination. The amendment, effective July 7, 2009, seeks to prevent employment discrimination
against victims of domestic violence for taking time off from work to go to court; consult with a district attorney,
counselor and/or doctor; and recuperate from injuries. Thus, it is a violation of the law to treat an employee who is a
domestic violence victim differently than any other employee because of that employee's status as a domestic
violence victim. For instance, if an employer provides personal time off (PTO) or sick leave for its employees, it may
not deny a domestic violence victim use of those policies to attend to issues pertaining to domestic violence, such as
court appearances, going to doctors, etc.
http://www.shrm.org/LegalIssues/StateandLocalResources/Pages/NewYorkAmends.aspx

New York Increases Stakes for Wage and Hour Violators
9/11/2009 By Theo E.M. Gould
The Labor Code amendment, which takes effect Nov. 24, 2009, increases the minimum and maximum penalties that
can be assessed by the New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) against employers that have retaliated
against employees for exercising their rights under the Labor Law, including merely participating in a NYSDOL
investigation. Examples of potential retaliation cited by the legislature in support of the legislation included job loss,
work hour reductions, less favorable shifts, loss of benefits and reassignment of duties.
Currently, the New York Payment of Wages Law provides for both civil and criminal liability. In this amendment, the
minimum civil penalty for retaliation has been increased from $200 to $1,000 and the maximum civil penalty from
$2,000 to $10,000. Additionally, the amendment provides the NYSDOL with additional remedial powers to address
retaliatory behavior. The NYSDOL may now order an employer to pay lost compensation to employees who
experience retaliation in the workplace.
http://www.shrm.org/LegalIssues/StateandLocalResources/Pages/NewYorkIncreasesStakes.aspx

Governor Paterson signs Executive Order to Eliminate Unnecessary Regulatory Requirements on
Businesses and Local Governments (7 Aug 09)
Governor David A. Paterson today signed Executive Order No. 25, taking a major step toward modernizing the
State’s regulatory framework and eliminating regulations that are onerous or outdated. The Executive Order
establishes a Regulatory Review and Reform Program to eliminate or revise antiquated and burdensome regulations
on businesses, local governments, health care providers and other regulated entities, and focus the State’s
regulations on those necessary to retain and strengthen critical protections for public health, safety and welfare.
http://www.ny.gov/governor/press/press_0807091.html

				
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