Governmental Affairs
Governmental Affairs Director Contact:
Janelle Camesano
Human Resource Manager
Harper International
(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: January - February 2015

Upcoming deadlines:

OSHA 300 A summary forms must be posted from February 1 - April 30 for covered employers



OSHA Reporting Updates:

New for 2015, OSHA has announced some update to the reporting requirements.

  • Previously, if 3 or more employees were admitted to the hospital for a work-related accident/incident, OSHA needed to be notified (directly) within 24 hours. This requirement is now changed to ANY employee, instead of three. If anyone is admitted to the hospital for an accident/incident, OSHA must be notified within 24 hours.
  • If someone suffers an amputation, OSHA must be notified directly within 24 hours
  • If someone loses an eye, OSHA must be notified within 34 hours

These incidents can be reported by phone at 1-800-321-OSHA, or online, although that service is not up and running yet.

Additionally, OSHA has published a new list of exempt industries and a new list of newly covered industries:

IRS Announces Cost of Living Adjustments for 2015:

The chart below, from SHRM, illustrates the changes to take effect on January 1st 2015. Of note, the contribution limit for 401(k), 403(b) and most 457 plans increased this year, as did the catchup contribution and the annual defined contribution limit from all sources.

Defined Contribution Plan Limits
For 401(k), 403(b) and most 457 plans, the COLA increases for dollar limits on benefits and contributions are as follows:



Maximum employee elective deferral



Employee catch-up contribution (ages 50 and older)



Defined contribution maximum limit, all sources



Defined contribution maximum limit (ages 50 and older)



Employee compensation limit for calculating contributions



Compensation of “key employees” in a top-heavy plan (unchanged)



Compensation of “highly compensated employees” in a top-heavy plan (HCE threshold)




IRS Issues Guidelines for New Departures from Cafeteria Plan Elections

Effective September 18th, the IRS issued a voluntary notice outlining two new circumstances under which an employee can be allowed to revoke their health insurance election under a cafeteria plan. The notice, Notice 2014-55 is voluntary to employers, but if you want to comply with it, plan documents should be amended as such.

The first situation is if an employee’s hours are reduced to (an average of) less than 30 a week, but they are still eligible for company-sponsored health insurance. In this instance, the employee may be eligible for a subsidy on the insurance exchanges, and per the new guidelines, the employee would be allowed to drop their group plan in order to purchase a qualified plan on the marketplace.

In the second situation, an employee may cease employer-sponsored group coverage when they’ve purchased a plan on the marketplace, in order to avoid a period of duplicate or no coverage.

For more information

To see the notice