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2.8.19

Elements of an Effective Internship

The first month of Spring Semester has flown by and college students are beginning to think about summer internship opportunities. College students understand the value of interning and getting real-world experience to put on their resumes, but a good internship should be mutually beneficial. Developing a successful internship might seem challenging but there are several best practices that can help guide employers through the process.

SUNY New Paltz shared some elements that they believe help to build an effective internship program. The most important element on that list is ensuring that interns have a clear and specific project to work on. “The best internship experiences typically include one or more well-structured projects with clear outcomes and expectations. Internship programs that are undefined, lack structure, or limited to menial tasks, usually result in more work for the supervisor and lack of opportunity for the intern to develop much needed professional skills.” By identifying a project that coincides with the intern’s major and the company’s needs, both the intern and the employer can benefit greatly.

Once a project is put into place it’s important that the intern is given the proper training to complete the project. Having a structured training and on-boarding program will help to ensure the intern has the knowledge, skills, and familiarity with the organization that’s needed to succeed.  

Assigning an on-site supervisor is also essential to the success of the intern. Regular supervision and feedback can provide the necessary structure and direction to make sure the project gets completed on-time and correctly. Assigning a supervisor also “provides the opportunity to mentor interns in the development of their professional skills.” Mentors monitor the interns progress, provide guidance and ensure that the employer is benefiting from the intern’s time and contributions.

Arranging networking opportunities has obvious benefits for interns but it can also be beneficial to employers. Introducing interns to staff in different departments can provide them with additional resources to lean on. It can also help your interns experience the totality of working for your organization.

Finally, it’s important to treat all interns as another professional staff member. Interns should be held to the same standards as other professional employees. Setting these clear expectations early on will help set the tone for the entire internship. Many employers hire interns that have come to love and value the company. There is a tremendous benefit in hiring an individual that you really know, rather than hiring a stranger whose trial period is on your dime.  

Creating a successful internship program requires a certain amount of time and commitment for all employees involved, but the outcome is often rewarding and beneficial. These best practices are a great guideline on how to create a mutually beneficial and successful internship experience.  

You can find the full article written by SUNY New Paltz here.

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Council Will Use its Collaborative Recruiting Program to Help you Recruit The Best Summer Intern Talent

One of the cool features of the Council of Industry’s Collaborative Recruiting Initiative  (CRI) is called “Job Target.”  In enables jobs posted on our board to be sent automatically to specified Job Boards such as those at Colleges and Universities.  In the coming months, we intend to use this feature to help you find the best interns for your company this summer.

We know that providing internships is one of the best recruitment strategies a company can have.  It opens a channel from a school to your company, serves as a “get to know you” period where both parties get a chance to see if there is a good fit, while at the same time enables you to get some needed work done at your business. To help our members find the best intern candidates for this summer we will:

  • Encourage companies participating in the CRI to post their internships on our site
  • Offer non-participating companies the opportunity to place their intern posting on the site at a reduced cost
  • Use “Job Target” to post these jobs on key college and University job boards such as SUNY Binghamton, Clarkson, RPI, SUNY Stony Brook, SUNY Buffalo and RIT to name a few.

Interested?  We hope you are because together we can attract some top talent to the region and maybe get some of the young people who live in the Hudson Valley, but attend these schools, to find a meaningful internship with you. If you are a CRI participant all you need to do is post your job and we’ll do the rest.  If you are not a CRI participant contact Serena Cascarano or Johnnieanne Hansen to get your intern job posted.

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New York Legislative Update — 2019 Starts With a Roar

From Jackson Lewis PC, a Council of Industry Associate Member
By Jonathan L. BingRichard I. GreenbergLisa M. MarrelloMichelle E. PhillipsDaniel J. Jacobs and Thomas Buchan

The New York State Legislature gaveled in for the 2019-2020 Legislative Session on January 9, 2019, with Democrats in control of all three chambers of New York State government for the first time since the 2008-2009 session. As expected, the Democrats are flexing their muscles and progressive legislation traditionally stalled in a Republican-controlled Senate has been given new life. For example, two long-stalled progressive pieces of legislation, Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA) and the Child Victims Act (discussed below), were quickly passed by the Legislature.

Jackson Lewis is tracking a number of proposals affecting employers that are going through the FY 2020 State Budget Process and 2019 Legislative Session.

Passed Legislation

GENDA – S.1047 (Hoylman) / A.747 (Gottfried)

Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act into law. GENDA will go into effect on February 24, 2019. GENDA prohibits discrimination based on gender identity or expression and includes such offenses under the hate crimes statute. The legislation codifies the position taken by the New York State Division of Human Rights. “Gender identity or expression” is defined as “a person’s actual or perceived gender-related identity, appearance, behavior, expression, or other gender-based characteristic regardless of the sex assigned to that person at birth, including but not limited to the status of being transgender.”

Child Victims Act – S.2440 (Hoylman) / A.2683 (Rosenthal)

Passed by the Legislature, the Child Victims Act extends the criminal statute of limitations for prosecuting sex crimes against children to when the child reaches 23 years of age. The legislation also extends the civil statute of limitations to allow commencement of child sex abuse cases until the alleged victim turns 55 years old. The law further creates a one-year opener or window for filing previously time-barred civil claims arising out of child sexual abuse, including negligence actions against employers, applicable to both public and private entities.

Discrimination based on Reproductive Health Decision – S.660 (Metzger) / A.584 (Jaffee)

Both houses of the Legislature passed legislation that would prohibit employment discrimination based on an employee’s or an employee’s dependent’s reproductive health decisions. The legislation creates a civil cause of action against employers alleged to violate the law, requires employers to include remedies provided under the law in their handbooks, and prescribes remedies, including liquidated damages, for relief. The bill has not yet been delivered to the Governor.

Policies in Governor’s FY 2020 Executive Budget Proposal

The Governor’s FY 2020 New York State Executive Budget Proposal includes many ideas that would affect employers. We highlight some that will be considered through the negotiation process with the Legislature that is expected to conclude on or about the State Constitution-mandated deadline of April 1. Many of these already are effective under New York City law.

Equal Pay; Salary History Ban

The Governor’s Executive Budget Proposal would amend the Human Rights Law to prohibit employers from inquiring about salary history or using salary history information as a factor in determining whether to offer employment to an individual. Currently, such a ban does not apply statewide, but only in certain localities, such as New York City and Westchester County.

The Executive Budget Proposal would further amend the Labor Law to require that members of a protected class receive “equal pay for equal work” in both the public and private sectors.

Workplace Harassment Protections

The Governor’s Executive Budget Proposal advances language to increase protections against workplace harassment by eliminating the restriction that the harassment be “severe or pervasive.” This standard, which tracks the New York City Human Rights Law, would expand the scope of potential harassment claims greatly.

The proposal also would amend the General Obligations Law to mandate that all pre-dispute non-disclosure provisions in an employment agreement allow the filing of a civil complaint. It would further require employers to conspicuously post a sexual harassment educational poster in the workplace.

Protect Breastfeeding in Workplace

The Governor’s Executive Budget Proposal includes a provision that would guarantee breastfeeding rights in the workplace and protect those rights under the Human Rights Law. The proposal also would require an employer to make reasonable accommodations for breastfeeding in the workplace. New York City already has enacted expansive legislation in this regard, including a policy requirement, effective this spring. (See our article, New York City to Require Private Employers to Establish Lactation Rooms and Policies.)

Wage Theft

The Executive Budget Proposal includes a provision that would increase the criminal penalties for wage theft and violations of other labor laws to align with comparable criminal offenses. The proposal would amend sections 198-a and 213 of the Labor Law to increase criminal penalties for employers who knowingly engage in wage theft. The class of penalty of which an employer would be guilty will be based on specified amounts of wage theft per employee. In addition, payment of lost wages to employees would be required as restitution.

Unemployment Benefits, Penalties

The Governor’s Executive Budget Proposal intends to minimize the financial impact on Unemployment Insurance (UI) claimants who work part-time while they seek full-time employment. Among other things, the proposal would permit a claimant who is partially unemployed and eligible for UI benefits to be paid a reduced benefit amount based upon the difference between the weekly benefit rate if totally unemployed and two-thirds of total remuneration of any nature payable to the claimant for services of any kind during such week. In addition, the proposal would amend section 594 of the Labor Law (“Reduction and recovery of benefits and penalties for wilful false statement”) to eliminate forfeit day penalties and to increase the monetary penalties.

Extend Workers with Disability Tax Credit

The Executive Budget Proposal would extend for three years the credits for qualified employers, including for-profit businesses, that employ individuals with developmental disabilities.

Employer Recovery Hiring Tax Credit

The Governor proposed the creation of an “Employer Recovery Hiring Tax Credit,” a credit of up to $2,000 per employee in drug abuse recovery that a business employs.

Workers’ Compensation Reform

The Governor’s Executive Budget Proposal would permit the New York State Insurance Fund (SIF) to cancel a workers’ compensation policy based on the policyholder’s failure to cooperate with a payroll audit. Prior to cancellation, the SIF would be required to provide policyholders with 45 days’ notice, aiming to pressure policyholders to act to avoid losing coverage.

Prohibiting Public Employers from Disclosing Union Members’ Personal Information

The Governor’s Executive Budget Proposal contains language that would prohibit public employers, including local governments, from disclosing the personal information of public sector employees. The Governor said this proposal aims to protect public employees from the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2018 decision that public sector employees who are non-members of a union cannot be legally required to pay agency or “fair share” fees as a condition of employment. (See our article, Supreme Court Rules Unconstitutional Mandatory Fees Imposed on Non-Union, Public Sector Employees.)

Newly Proposed Sexual Harassment Package

Senator Alessandra Biaggi and Assemblymember Aravella Simotas introduced a series of bills that aims to address issues related to sexual harassment in employment. S.2035/A.1115 would amend the Labor Law to require employers to inform employees that non-disclosure and non-disparagement provisions in employment contracts cannot prevent employees from speaking with law enforcement, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the New York State Division of Human Rights, or a local commission on human rights. The legislation is in the Labor Committees in both the Senate and Assembly.

S.2036/A.1042 would amend the Human Rights Law to extend the filing period for a complaint with the New York State Division of Human Rights from one year to three years after the alleged unlawful discrimination practice. The bill also would toll the statute of limitations during ongoing proceedings from the earlier of the commencement of an investigation or the filing of a complaint through the conclusion of an investigation. The legislation also would amend the Court of Claims Act to extend the filing period for a claim against the State and apply the same tolling provision in cases against New York State. The legislation is in the Government Operations Committees of both houses.

S.2037/A.869 would amend the General Obligations Law to demand that a person signing a confidential settlement agreement be fully informed of the rights she will be giving up and require a signed, written waiver before those rights are waived. The legislation would void confidentiality agreements that prohibit or restrict a party from lodging a complaint with the appropriate local, state, or federal agency; participating in an investigation conducted with a local, federal, or state agency; or filing or disclosing any facts necessary to receive unemployment insurance, Medicaid, or any other public benefit to which the party is entitled. The legislation is in the Judiciary Committee of both houses.

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Please contact the authors or the Jackson Lewis attorney with whom you regularly work with any questions you may have regarding your New York State legal compliance.

The Jackson Lewis Government Relations practice monitors and tracks all legislation introduced in New York and advocates for client positions at all levels of city and state government.

©2019 Jackson Lewis P.C. This Update is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended as legal advice nor does it create an attorney/client relationship between Jackson Lewis and any readers or recipients. Readers should consult counsel of their own choosing to discuss how these matters relate to their individual circumstances. Reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited without the express written consent of Jackson Lewis.

This Update may be considered attorney advertising in some states. Furthermore, prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

Jackson Lewis P.C. represents management exclusively in workplace law and related litigation. Our attorneys are available to assist employers in their compliance efforts and to represent employers in matters before state and federal courts and administrative agencies. For more information, please contact the attorney(s) listed or the Jackson Lewis attorney with whom you regularly work.

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EEO-1 Reporting Deadline Extended

From Bond, Schoeneck & King PLLC, a Council of Industry Associate Member
By: Subhash Viswanathan

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced Friday in a press release that the opening of the EEO-1 Survey for 2018 has been postponed until March 2019 and the deadline for submitting EEO-1 data will be extended until May 31, 2019.

The EEO-1 report must be filed by:  (1) private employers with 100 or more employees, excluding state and local governments, primary and secondary school systems, institutions of higher education, Indian tribes, and tax-exempt private membership clubs other than labor organizations; and (2) federal government contractors or first-tier subcontractors with 50 or more employees and a contract, subcontract, or purchase order amounting to $50,000 or more.

Filers should check the EEOC web page pertaining to the EEO-1 Survey in the coming weeks for details, instructions, and schedule updates.

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OSHA Update: Changes to Injury and Illness Reporting Requirements

From Bond, Schoeneck & King PLLC, a Council of Industry Associate Member
By: Michelle R. Billington

On January 25, 2019, OSHA published a final rule that rescinded a requirement adopted in 2016 for establishments with 250 or more employees to electronically submit to OSHA information from their OSHA Forms 300 and 301. Those establishments were already required to maintain Forms 300, 300A, and 301 and were already required to submit Form 300A to OSHA each year. The 2016 rule significantly expanded the scope of these reporting obligations by requiring submission of Forms 300 and 301 to OSHA, which contain detailed information about the employees who experienced a recordable injury or illness and about the circumstances of the injury or illness that occurred. The 2016 rule established a July 1, 2018 deadline for electronic submission of Forms 300 and 301 to OSHA. 

However, as this date neared, OSHA’s website advised employers that the agency was not accepting Forms 300 and 301. Then on July 30, 2018, OSHA issued a proposed rule to rescind the requirement and announced that it would not enforce the July 1 deadline that had already passed. 

Under the final rule issued January 25, permanently removing the requirement for employers to electronically submit Forms 300 and 301, establishments with 250 or more employees are still required to maintain OSHA Forms 300, 300A, and 301 on-site, and OSHA states that it will continue to obtain these records as needed during inspections and enforcement actions. These establishments also are still required to submit reports after severe injuries and to electronically submit to OSHA information from their Form 300A. The final rule also adds a new requirement that covered employers must submit their Employer Identification Number (“EIN”) electronically together with their annual injury and illness data submission.

OSHA identified three primary reasons for its decision to rescind the prior requirement for submission of data from Forms 300 and 301. First, OSHA determined that collecting the information contained in Forms 300 and 301—which include not only the employee’s name, date of birth, and job title, but also details about the nature of the medical treatment the employee received–would subject sensitive information “to a meaningful risk of public disclosure.” OSHA noted that its electronic collection of this large pool of data could incentivize cyberattacks and could compromise worker privacy in the event of a data breach, cyberattack, or malware. Second, OSHA concluded that enforcement and compliance benefits associated with collecting this data remains uncertain. Finally, OSHA found that collecting and reviewing this data would divert agency resources from existing priorities such as utilizing the Form 300A and severe injury reports that OSHA already collects and which have been useful for addressing areas of concern.

If you have questions about how this rule affects your recordkeeping and reporting obligations, one of our attorneys can assist.

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