Workplace Issues

Has Your Company Complied with the October 9, 2019 Sexual Harassment Prevention Training Deadline?

By: Joel J. Greenwald, Esq., Greenwald Doherty, LLP, Council of Industry Associate Member

A reminder to all employers in New York State, that in addition to updating sexual harassment prevention policies, New York law now (effective this past October 2018) requires all employees working any portion of their time in New York State to be trained on sexual harassment prevention on an annual basis. The  

read more »

Apprenticeship Obstacles – Build your own workforce

Struggling to find the skilled workforce you need to fill your open positions? The Council of Industry launched a New York State Department of Labor Sponsored Apprentice Program in 2017.In this mini-podcast Harold King and Johnnieanne Hansen discuss the obstacles of hiring experienced candidates versus building your workforce internally. Learn more inside.

read more »

What Do Americans Think about Manufacturing—and Its Future?

Do Americans think manufacturing is important? How do they view the technological changes transforming the industry along with the rest of the economy? Two recent surveys shed light on these important questions. Read more inside.

read more »

What Do Americans Think about Manufacturing—and Its Future?

From NAM Input, The National Association of Manufacturers

Do Americans think manufacturing is important? How do they view the technological changes transforming the industry along with the rest of the economy?

Two recent surveys shed light on these important questions. First, a survey conducted by the Brookings Institution asked Americans what they think about manufacturing’s present state. More  

read more »

Council of Industry Roundtable with President Williams of New York Federal Reserve Bank

On Wednesday, July 10, member executives of the Council of Industry met with John Williams, the President of the New York Federal Reserve Bank for a roundtable discussion of issues affecting Hudson Valley Manufacturers. It was an opportunity for manufacturing leaders to provide insight on issues such as the skills gap, tariffs, trade, and the overall economy. Read more inside.

read more »

Council of Industry Roundtable with President Williams of New York Federal Reserve Bank

On Wednesday, July 10, members of the Council of Industry met with John Williams, the President of the New York Federal Reserve Bank for a roundtable discussion of issues affecting Hudson Valley Manufacturers. The event was arranged by the Council of Industry and held at MPI, Inc. It was an opportunity for manufacturing leaders to provide insight on issues such as the skills gap, tariffs, trade,  

read more »

New York Legislature Passes Significant Amendments to the New York Human Rights Law

On June 19, 2019, the New York State Assembly and Senate passed legislation that makes sweeping changes to the New York Human Rights Law. This legislation will have a significant impact on the litigation of discrimination and harassment claims filed with the Division of Human Rights and in court. It is expected that Governor Cuomo will sign the legislation soon. The legislation does not apply retroactively, so only future claims under the Human Rights Law will be affected.

read more »

10 Steps to Improve and Grow Your Business

There are those who think their businesses are running perfectly and don’t need to improve or grow. Maybe they’re right, but this type of thinking goes against my guiding principles. For those of us who recognize the importance of change through improvements and growth, success typically boils down to commitment, prioritization, focus, discipline, action, and leadership. It’s always easier said than done.

read more »

EEOC Provides Pay Data Reporting Update

The past few weeks have seen a flow of new developments involving the recently reinstated EEO-1 pay data reporting obligations.  And Friday, May 3rd, was no exception.  At the same time EEOC was announcing its decision to collect pay data for 2017 as well as 2018, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) was filing a Notice of Appeal of Judge Tanya S. Chutkan’s Order reinstating the pay data reporting obligation.

read more »

The Council of Industry’s Collaborative Recruiting Program Is Helping Hudson Valley Manufacturers Find the Talent they Need

When Johnnieanne Hansen began her role as Director of Workforce Development and Apprentice Coordinator for the Council of Industry her first priority was to recruit companies to participate in the newly formed Intermediary Apprentice Program. As she began to pitch the idea she found that many Hudson Valley manufacturers also needed help with recruiting. Thus, in Spring 2018 the Collaborative Recruiting Initiative was hatched.

read more »

Possession Of A Medical Marijuana Card Alone Does Not Prove Marijuana Use, Appeals Court Holds

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals refused to dismiss a medical marijuana-using applicant’s disability discrimination claim because he did not state that he actually used marijuana at the time of his interview — even though he provided a copy of his medical marijuana card – and was not subjected to a drug test.

read more »

The Council of Industry’s Collaborative Recruiting Program Is Helping Hudson Valley Manufacturers Find the Talent they Need

“In my previous positions as a recruiter and corporate trainer I had done some research into Applicant Tracking Systems. It occurred to me that the Council could purchase a subscription and make the service available to participating members.”  Hansen said.  “Hiring managers get a system where they can post jobs, sort and track candidates and get other resources and support throughout the hiring process. Posted jobs are distributed to over 100 job boards like: Indeed, Hotjobs, Monster, Zip Recruiter, LinkedIn and Glassdoor.”

read more »

How Do Vacation and Sick Leave Buy-Back Programs Affect the Calculation of the Regular Rate for Overtime Purposes?

The U.S. Department of Labor takes the position that under the Fair Labor Standards Act, paid out vacation time does not become part of the regular rate, but paid out sick time does. Under 29 C.F.R. 778.219(a), if an employee “is entitled to a certain sum as holiday or vacation pay, whether he works or not, and receives pay at his customary rate (or higher) in addition for each hour that he works on the holiday or vacation day, the certain sum allocable to holiday or vacation pay is still to be excluded from the regular rate.” Despite this regulation applying to vacation and holiday time buy-back pay, the USDOL takes an opposite view regarding sick leave buy-backs. In 2009, the USDOL released an opinion letter explaining that it viewed sick time buy-back pay as a non-discretionary bonus because of its link to attendance. According to the USDOL, sick leave buy-backs encourage employees “not to use or abuse sick leave, resulting in reduced absenteeism.” Therefore, like attendance bonuses, sick leave buy-back pay must be treated as a non-discretionary bonus and must be included in the regular rate.

read more »

New York City and State Expand Protections for Transgender, Non-Binary, Gender Non-Conforming Workers

Protections for transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming employees in New York have been given a boost. Significant changes to the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) will expand the scope of prohibited discriminatory conduct. Additionally, New York State has enacted the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA), which went into effect on February 25, 2019.

read more »

The Magic Question for a Motivating Manufacturing Work Environment

The question you may be asking is “how do you create that engaged workforce that contributes ideas to the company and is motivated beyond the job they’re being paid for?”

Surprisingly, the answer is simple.

You ask.

By asking you give your people the one thing that they, and most human beings crave more than anything, even more than more money in their paycheck.

Autonomy!

read more »

Future plant design links data, operations

Read about how some manufacturers plan to update their facilities and increase digitalization to increase productivity and production quality, provide better work conditions and improve their bottom line in this article from Plantengineering.com

read more »

Manufacturing Alliance to Focus on Workforce and Taxes this Legislative Session

The New York State Manufacturing Alliance, of which the Council of Industry is a founding partner, is focusing on two issues of vital importance to manufacturing businesses across the Hudson Valley and the State – Workforce Development and Taxes. Learn more about how we're advocating for continued support in this post.

read more »

Manufacturing Alliance to Focus on Workforce and Taxes this Legislative Session

The New York State Manufacturing Alliance, of which the Council of Industry is a founding partner, is focusing on two issues of vital importance to manufacturing businesses across the Hudson Valley and the State – Workforce Development and Taxes.

On the Workforce development front, we are advocating for continued support of the P-TECH program, Career and Technical Education programs, and community colleges. Of particular importance to the Alliance is the expansion of the hugely successful Manufacturers Intermediary Apprenticeship Program (MIAP).

read more »

Cuomo Unveils Plan to Legalize Recreational Marijuana Use

On January 15th, Gov. Andrew Cuomo revealed the details of proposed Cannabis Regulation and Taxation Act, which would restrict access to anyone under 21, automatically seal marijuana offenses on a person's criminal record. The proposed legislation would impose three taxes on the adult-use of marijuana, which together would generate roughly $300 million in new revenues for the state by the program's third year. According to Cuomo counties and large cities would be allowed to "opt out" of the retail industry by passing local laws that prohibit marijuana shops from opening within their jurisdictions.

read more »

State of The State Health-care Roundup

Cuomo has said he supports single-payer at the federal level, but thinks a state-only plan – conservatively estimated to require a $139 billion tax hike – is not practical. Also notably missing from his spending plan was any reform of the notoriously dysfunctional $1.1 billion Indigent Care Pool, which theoretically compensates hospitals for charity care but distributes the money with little rhyme or reason. The health-related proposals the governor did include in his budget were relatively small-bore, such as requiring certain insurers to cover in vitro fertilization, bolstering an existing mandate for coverage of birth control and reinforcing and expanding the state laws that legalize abortion. Meanwhile, his administration’s efforts to control Medicaid costs – a success story in his early years as governor – show signs of falling apart.

read more »

Join The Recruiting Initiative

The Council of Industry has launched a Collaborative Recruiting Initiative, designed to allow HV Manufacturing companies to work together to promote the manufacturing sector, attract candidates and ultimately pace them into manufacturing jobs. 

read more »

Having Trouble Finding Candidates? Have You Considered Attracting Veterans?

In the manufacturing industry, one of the challenges that we all face is attracting quality candidates. Have you ever thought about trying to reach veterans through your candidate search? Did you know that jobs can be made searchable by MOS code? MOS codes are a specific code used in the military that identifies a particular job. Each MOS code has its own job description.

read more »

E Verify Services Unavailable During Government Shutdown

E-Verify—the federal electronic employment eligibility verification service—has expired due to a lapse in funding and will not be available during the partial shutdown of the U.S. government that began Dec. 22, 2018.

read more »

New York Minimum Wage Increases

An increase in the minimum wage, intended to eventually bring New York’s state minimum wage to $15 an hour, went into effect on December 31. As a result of a measure signed into law in April 2016, the state will continue to see minimum wage increases implemented on a regional basis. The state’s current basic minimum wage is $10.40 an hour.

read more »