In This Issue:
  • OSHA Issues New FAQs on the Agency’s Injury and Illness Reporting Requirements
  • Premium Credits Related to Covid 19 ERISA Fiduciary Rules
  • New York contractors ask Gov. Cuomo to repeal state Scaffold Law
  • New York’s New Sick Leave Law: 11 Things Employers Need To Know As Benefit Kicks In
  • Upcoming Webinars
  • 2020 Empire State Chapter Annual Meeting
  • Upcoming ABC Empire State Chapter Training's
  • October, November, and December Tool Box Talks
  • Empire Chapter Resources
OSHA Issues New FAQs on the Agency’s Injury and Illness Reporting Requirements
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued new frequently asked questions and answers regarding the need to report employees’ in-patient hospitalizations and fatalities resulting from work-related cases of the coronavirus. The FAQs help employers apply the agency’s existing injury and illness recording and reporting requirements to COVID-19.
FAQs on Reporting:
  1. How do I report the fatality or in-patient hospitalization of an employee with a confirmed, work-related case of COVID-19?
  2. An employee has been hospitalized with a work-related, confirmed case of COVID-19. Do I need to report this in-patient hospitalization to OSHA?
  3. An employee has died of a work-related, confirmed case of COVID-19. Do I need to report this fatality to OSHA?
For information on recording cases of COVID-19, see OSHA’s revised enforcement guidance.
Visit OSHA’s coronavirus webpage for updates.
Premium Credits Related to Covid 19 ERISA Fiduciary Rules
The COVID 19 pandemic significantly decreased health care utilization due to appointment cancellation of patients and providers and postponement of elective procedures. Many group medical, dental, and vision carriers are providing employers with premium credits reflected on their invoices. Below are a few key points to be aware of.
  • Employers that receive premium credits from carriers must comply with ERISA’s fiduciary rules
  • Any portion of the premium credit that is a plan asset must be used for the exclusive benefit of plan participants
  • The DOL’s rules for MLR rebates provide guidance on determining whether the credit (or any portion of the credit) is a plan asset
  • Any employee contributions must be used for proper plan purposes and cannot be retained by the employer for its own use

There are also specifics that apply to ERISA-covered plans as pointed out below:

  • Most employee benefit plans sponsored by private-sector employers are subject to ERISA
  • Employee benefit plans sponsored by government and church employers are exempt from ERISA
  • There are also exemptions for certain payroll practices and voluntary plans 
The ABC Empire State Chapter and various business groups joined together to form a coalition aimed at removing New York State's Scaffold Law. Recently, the group known as the Scaffold Law Reform Coalition, sent a letter to Gov. Cuomo asking him to use the state budget process to scrap the Scaffold Law.

The Scaffold Law is a New York State law that holds employers and property owners fully liable for all gravity related injuries on a job site.

ABC Empire State Chapter President, Brian Sampson, is quoted in a recent Construction Dive article about the letter.

"This is a law that needs to be repealed," said Brian Sampson, president of ABC Empire State. "It’s created a general liability cost nightmare for contractors."

"The ABC Empire State Chapter maintains that because of the Scaffold Law, general liability costs are higher in New York than in any other state and that some insurance carriers won't even write policies for New York contractors".

The ABC Empire State Chapter will continue to fight for the repeal of this archaic law to help ease the burden that general liability insurance puts on contractors.
As you know, New York's new Sick Leave Law went into effect on September 30, 2020. Last week we sent an important special update of 11 things employers should know as this kicks in.
The PRO Act and its Negative Impact on
Merit Shop Contractors
Date: Wednesday, October 7, 2020
Time: 3:00-4:00 PM EDT

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.
Federal DOL Changes COVID-19 Paid Family Leave: What You Need to Know to Understand the Impact on Your Business
Date: Wednesday, Oct. 14
Time: 1 p.m. EDT
Speaker: Maury Baskin, Littler Mendelson P.C.

On Aug. 3, an Obama-appointed federal judge in New York nullified key sections of the U.S. Department of Labor’s rules governing paid leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Following the court decision, on Sept. 11, the DOL revised its guidance that restricted paid leave during layoffs and furloughs, required employer consent to paid intermittent leave and required employees to provide documentation before taking leave. ABC General Counsel Maury Baskin will discuss how the revised FFCRA guidance impacts construction contractors and chapters.
2020 Empire State Chapter Annual Meeting
The 2020 Annual meeting will be held on:

Friday, November 20th
12:00-1:00 PM
The meeting will be held using Zoom with details to follow later this Fall. The Annual Meeting is a time for the Chapter and Board to share the successes of the year and set the agenda for the following year. We hope you’ll join us.
Online Sexual Harassment Training
To combat harassment in the workplace, every employer in New York State, regardless of size, must provide documented sexual harassment training for all employees.

To comply with the state regulations the training must:
  • Be interactive
  • Explain sexual harassment using examples
  • Inform employees about laws regulating harassment, reporting procedures and legal rights available to victims
  • Address conduct by supervisors, and additional responsibilities for supervisors
  • Be completed annually

With vast experience preventing and defending sexual and other workplace harassment claims; Bond, Schoeneck and King, PLLC will provide a program to your organization that meets the standards set by the state. This interactive web-based training is compliant with regulations in New York State and New York City and available in English and Spanish.

At no additional charge, updated versions will be provided if needed to address legislative developments. discount pricing is available for the larger employer or for the company with their own Learning Management System (LMS).

For details, please contact Amy Platenik 585-363-1657 or
NYS Sexual Harassment Awareness
October 9, 2020 
3:00pm - 4:30pm
ABC Buffalo Office
2363 Broadway
Buffalo, NY 14212
*This training will be delivered via ZOOM
What you will Learn: 

  • How to identify sexual harassment behaviors and issues 
  • Difference between sexual harassment and discrimination 
  • Distinguish between the work and social environments and identify boundaries 
  • How to recognize correct /incorrect behaviors 

*Training Fee: $100 per person
Long Island First Aid/CPR/AED Training
October 22, 2020 
8:00 AM to 12:30 PM
ABC Long Island Office:
1 Comac Loop #4
Ronkonkoma, NY 11779
*This training is in person and all COVID guidelines will be followed

Training Topics include but are not limited to:

  • Care for Wounds
  • Cuts & scrapes
  • Drug overdoses
  • Electroshocks
  • Strokes
  • Heart attacks and more

This training will save lives by preparing your workforce for the worst. We hope things that were listed above don’t happen, but you can rest easier knowing that your workforce has the skills that can potentially save lives.

*Training Fee: $100 per person
ABC Empire Chapter Resources