Governmental Affairs Director Contact:
Human Resource Specialist
(p) (716) 684-7400
Governmental Affairs Mission
BNHRA Governmental Affairs partners with SHRM Governmental Affairs program to anticipate and address regulations and legislation that could change the way human resource professionals perform their jobs. BNHRA collaborates with NYS SHRM and SHRM to advance the human resource profession in the area of government affairs. BNHRA provides an opportunity for local chapter members to assist in shaping regulation and legislation as the subject matter experts in employment relations in Western New York.
What's New In Governmental Affairs: May 2013
NYS Minimum Wage to Increase Over Three Years:
On April 10th Governor Cuomo signed legislation to increase the state minimum wages. The increases will begin on December 31st 2013 and will occur in three stages:
$8.00 on and after Dec. 31, 2013.
$8.75 on and after Dec. 31, 2014.
$9.00 on and after Dec. 31, 2015
Once the new wage goes into effect on December 31 of this year, New York State will become one of at least twenty states with minimum wages higher than the federal minimum wage. Note that the minimum wage for food service/tipped workers was not changed.
The Working Families Flexibility Act Moves from Committee to House:
SHRM supports this legislation to allow private-sector employers to give nonexempt employees the choice of paid time off in lieu of payments for any overtime hours worked. If the legislation passes, employers can chose to allow (non exempt) employees to earn 1 ˝ hour of paid time off (at regular rate) for each hour worked over 40. SHRM has taken several steps to support this legislation, including testifying at the committee hearing, writing blog posts about the importance of comp time, and submitting an employer-community letter to congress.
Do you feel strongly about the importance of comp time? Show your support for SHRM and this legislation by voicing your opinion here.
Read the SHRM position paper:
Health Care Reform
HHS Issues Proposed Rule Delaying Competitive Options for Small Businesses:
The Department of HHS issued a proposed rule that would delay (by one year) the SHOP (Small Business Health Options Program) provision of health care reform on state exchanges. SHOP is designed to allow small businesses ( ) to offer multiple plans/different carriers to their employees, while still receiving only one bill. Under the proposed new rule, the SHOP provision will only offer one plan for small businesses during the first year, instead of many competing options.
A final ruling is expected shortly; check back for updates.
Final Rule Issued on Essential Health Benefits and Plan Value:
On February 20th the Department of Health and Human Services finalized standards under PPACA that define essential health benefits and actuarial plan value. These standards apply to state insurance exchanges and health insurance issuers.
Non grandfathered plans in the individual and small group markets are required to meet standards in ten different essential health benefits categories. The majority of standards pertain to areas already covered by most health plans, but others include items such as rehabilitative services and pediatric dental care.
The HHS also published final calculators to determine actuarial value of plans and to determine if large employer g plans meet the minimum value requirement of the shared responsibility provisions.
There are minimal changes from the proposed regulations issued in November. The following two articles provide more details:
Employer Shared Responsibility Provisions of Health Care Reform
One of the hottest legislative/HR issues of this year promises to be health care reform. With deadlines looming, many of us are eagerly waiting guidance on several provisions of the new law. On December 28th the IRS issued proposed regulations/guidance regarding the pay or play provisions (also known as the employer shared responsibility provisions) of the federal health care reform law.
Additionally, the IRS posted a question and answer page to address concerns. The Service stated that in the absence of confirmed regulations, the proposed regulations should be used as guidelines moving forward, and that the final guidelines will not be applied retroactively.
· The definition of “large” in terms of the PPACA provision that “large” employersprovide affordable health care coverage to employees. The proposed rule has a comment period that ends on March 18, 2013
· How to define “affordability” and “minimum value” under the act
The full text of the proposed regulations, the Q and A page, and a summary from SHRM can be found by visiting the following pages:
New York State’s Benefit Exchange website:
SHRM interactive timeline:
SHRM resources page: http://www.shrm.org/hrdisciplines/benefits/Articles/Pages/HealthCareReform.aspx
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