A Message from ABC Empire State President, Brian Sampson
Good Morning Friends,

There are a few times each year when we feel compelled to send you a Merit Messenger that contains rather unfortunate information. It’s not our preferred approach. However, when government creates laws and regulations and times them in such a way as they take effect around the same date, our hands get tied. This is one of those emails.

Please take the time to read this important Legislative Update. This is information we deem critical to keeping you in compliance with the new laws/regulations. As you read, please know we’ll have webinars out soon that will further clarify the steps you’ll need to take to keep your company safe from the clutches of an overzealous government.

We stand ready to assist you with any questions or concerns.
In This Issue:

  • New York State's New Paid Sick Leave Law Starts 9/30/20
  • DOL Issues Ruling on Federal Paid Sick Leave
  • PRO Act Overview

New York State's Paid Sick Leave Law
As part of the fiscal year 2020-2021 budget, New York State passed a Paid Sick Leave Law that kicks in on September 30, 2020.
 
The law requires all New York state employers, depending on the size of the company, to provide paid sick leave to employees. The amount of leave you are mandated to provide is dependent on the number of employees in your company. 

You should use this outline to determine the ANNUAL amount of pay you need to provide:
 
  • Employers with 100 employees or more must provide 56 hours of paid sick leave
  • Employers with fewer than 100 employees must provide 40 hours of paid sick leave
  • Employers with fewer than 5 employees and a net income in excess of $1 million in the previous tax year must provide 40 hours of paid sick leave
  • Employers with fewer than 5 employees and a net income of less than $1 million in the previous tax year must provide 40 hours of unpaid sick leave
Companies must begin accruing paid sick leave beginning on September 30th. However, employees are not entitled to use the leave until January 1, 2021.
You have two options for how you want your employees to accrue their paid leave hours:
  1. You can frontload the leave and give your employee the required hours at the beginning of the year, or;
  2. Your employees gain one hour of paid leave for every 30 hours they work
 
It is our strong recommendation that you begin to accrue the hours rather than frontload them at the beginning of the year. Should you choose to lumpsum them at the beginning, you will not be allowed to take them back or prorate them should the employee leave. Once they’re on the books you will be required to pay them.
 
Your employees can use this paid leave for:
  • Employee’s mental or physical illness, or injury, or diagnosis, care, treatment, or preventive care for employee’s mental or physical illness or injury;
  • Covered family member’s mental or physical illness or injury or diagnosis, care, treatment, or preventive care for a covered family member’s mental or physical illness or injury;
  • Absences related to employee’s status as a victim of domestic violence, family offense, sexual offense, stalking, or human trafficking; or
  • Absences related to a covered family member’s status as a victim of domestic violence, family offense, sexual offense, stalking, or human trafficking

IMPORTANT NOTE: There remain a number of issues with the new law and we’re expecting the Department of Labor to issue additional guidance. Once that guidance is released, our Professional Services Committee will host a webinar walking our members through the details and sharing how you can remain in compliance.
 
As always if you have any questions, please call or email Brian Sampson, Tanner Schmidt or your Membership Director for further clarification.
U.S. DOL Clarifies Paid Leave Requirements Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)
 
As passed, the FFCRA requires employers with fewer than 500 employees and certain public employers to provide covered employees expanded family and medical leave.
 
The FFCRA’s paid leave provisions went into effect on April 1, 2020, and apply to leave taken between April 1, 2020, and Dec. 31, 2020.

The recently released revisions, issued after New York’s Attorney General Letitia James sued for the federal Department of Labor, now clarify workers’ rights and employers’ responsibilities under the FFCRA’s paid family leave provisions. A review of the answers on the DOL’s FAQ section clarify the following as they relate to schools doing “virtual” classes or those implementing a hybrid (virtual and in-person) system:
 
  • Any employer with under 500 employees (except employers of fewer than 50 employees who can show their viability as a “going concern” would be jeopardized – see FAQ No. 4) must grant the employee the paid family leave
  • This applies to most situations where work from home isn’t an option or where the employee needs to help their child where the unavailability of childcare during hybrid on-line schooling prevents the employee from working (see FAQ Nos. 20-22)
  • DOL now defines “intermittent” as within a day, as opposed to within a week (see FAQ Nos. 20-22). 
The potential impact of this new ruling could be immense. It can be interpreted to mean that many employees can take federal leave and DON’T need their employer’s approval to do so.
 
The revisions to the temporary rule will be effective from Sept. 16, 2020, through the expiration of the FFCRA’s paid leave provisions on Dec. 31, 2020.
 
For more information click here
PRO Act Overview
On May 2, 2019, Democrats in Congress introduced the Protecting the Right to Organize
(PRO) Act.

ABC has been fighting this piece of far left legislation since it was first introduced last May. This is an extremely important piece of legislation to pay attention to as it will have dire consequences for the merit shop construction industry if passed.
This radical legislation included provisions that would:
  • Strip away workers’ free choice in union elections as well as their privacy rights;
  • Codify into law the NLRB’s controversial Browning-Ferris Industries joint-employer standard that has threatened our country’s small and local businesses;
  • Curb opportunities for people to work independently through gig economy platforms or more traditional independent contractor roles;
  • Eliminate Right-to-Work protections for workers across the country, including in the twenty-seven states that have passed Right-to-Work laws;
  • Interfere with attorney-client confidentiality and make it harder for businesses, particularly small businesses, to secure legal advice on complex labor law matters;
  • Prohibit arbitration agreements in employment contracts;
  • Infringe on the due process rights of employers; and
  • Strip away “secondary boycott” protections that prevent unions from using their antitrust exemptions and immunity from certain state laws to target businesses for anticompetitive purposes other than organizing

For a deeper dive into the PRO Act, click the button below.
ABC will continue to fight and monitor this legislation and provide you with updates throughout the process. What we need from you is to download the "ABC Action app" in your google play or apple app store and pay attention to that app as updates and campaigns will be at your disposal. Click the button below for instructions on how to download the Action app
Don't forget to register for the National webinar that will provide a more detailed look at this harmful piece of legislation. Information on this webinar can be found below:
New Updates on the PRO Act and its Negative Impact on Merit Shop Contractors
Date: Wednesday, October 7, 2020
Time: 3:00 to 4:00 PM

Speakers: Maury Baskin, Littler; Jimmy Greene, ABC Michigan; Brett McMahon, Miller & Long Co.; Kristen Swearingen, ABC National
Moderator: Ben Brubeck, ABC National

Webinar Description:
Will passage of the ABC-opposed PRO Act put you out of business? Get the latest insights from ABC leaders and experts about the impact of negative legislation targeting employers and threatening employee freedom, privacy and choice in the workplace.