Legislative Affairs - PRINTHREADS

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Legislative Affairs

15
Dec

Do you use temps or part time employees? If so, read on and take action!

On November 22, 2017, the New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) proposed new regulations that would make the following dramatic changes to how non-exempt employees are compensated:

  • “On-call” employees will have to be paid a certain amount, even if they are never called into work.
  • Employees called into work must be paid their regular wages for at least 4 hours, even if they work less than that amount; and
  • Employees whose work shifts are cancelled -- or could be cancelled -- on short notice will have to be paid extra.

Specifically, the new regulations would modify the “Minimum Wage Order for Miscellaneous Industries and Occupations”, which encompasses most private sector employers including printers, mailers and more.

On-Call Employees

The proposed regulations provide that employees who are on-call and required to be available for work shall be paid at least four hours of call-in pay. Call-in pay is defined as the New York State hourly minimum wage, thus an employee who is on-call would have to be paid at least four hours of minimum wage – whether they perform any work or not.

Employees Called to Work

This proposed regulation would require the employer to pay the “called-in” worker at least four hours of pay at their regular hourly rate (or overtime, if applicable) regardless of whether they actually work four hours or 15 minutes.

Extra Pay for Employees Subject To Short Notice Shift Changes

Employees would also be entitled to call-in pay under the following circumstances:

  • Unscheduled shift – Employee who reports to work for any hours that have not been scheduled at least 14 days in advance will get an additional two hours of pay.
  • Cancelled shift - An employee whose shift is cancelled within 72 hours of the scheduled start of such shift shall be paid for at least four hours of call-in pay.
  • Call for schedule - An employee who is required to be in contact with the employer within 72 hours of the start of the shift to confirm whether to report to work shall be paid at least four hours of call-in pay.

Again, for these situations, the call-in pay is New York State’s minimum wage. Please note – the proposed regulation is unclear but it appears that call-in pay would be in addition to (or in lieu of) whatever pay received from actual work.

Proposed Exemptions

The proposal indicates that the following situations would be exempt from these planned requirements:

  • Employees who usually work less than four hours a day -- call-in pay would be equal to number of hours usually worked.
  • Employer cancels a shift at employee’s request.
  • The shift cannot begin or continue due to an “Act of God” or other cause not within the employer’s control.
  • Employees covered by a union contract if the contract addresses call-in pay.
  • If an employee’s weekly wage “exceed 40 times the applicable basic hourly minimum wage”, the employee would be exempt from the scheduling situations noted above. This does not seem to mean that the regulation only applies to employees making minimum wage. For example, an employee making $30 an hour who only works 10 hours in a given week would be eligible to receive pay under the scheduling provision as they would make less than NYS minimum wage x 40 hours for that week.

In an industry such as ours, these proposed regulations are particular troubling.

Work requirements are often very volatile with customer demands, hot jobs and equipment problems often requiring that scheduling be done “on the fly”. Of course, the extensive use of temporary employees, flexible work groups and part-time staff make this particularly troubling for our industry. 

Let New York State Know How This Will Affect Your Business!

The proposed regulations will be subject to a 45-day comment period, i.e., until January 5, 2018. Printing Industries Alliance has prepared a sample letter you can send, and personalize if you wish, to the NYS Department of Labor. A letter has also been prepared that can be sent to your elected officials expressing your opinion. Click here to visit PIA's Legislative Action Center to send both letters.  

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me or Michael Dodd at PIA Counsel Ferrara Fiorenza PC at (315) 437-7600.  We will keep you informed on future developments.

Tim Freeman, President
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Printing Industries Alliance
(800) 777-4742

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06
Aug

As Congress is making decisions on the future of the USPS we thought it important to discuss the value a strong postal service plays in the success of American business and direct mail campaigns.

According to a “Smarts of the USA” article, 500 million pieces of mail are delivered daily through the United States Postal Service.  Each day businesses send out correspondence via the USPS to other businesses and consumers and, for some, the delivery system is the ‘life-blood’ of their business.

Maintaining a strong USPS is integral to business communication. The Senate Bill 1789, which was passed in late April, offers key components such as maintaining overnight and Saturday delivery for at least the next two years.  By continuing to offer these features, businesses will continue to send out direct mail, invoices and other essential business forms to their consumers and other businesses that help to maintain businesses’ cash flow.

Finally, a strong postal system will need to focus on growing through technology that makes “paper smarter.”  This includes technology such as Quick Response codes and pURLs that allow marketers to transition their audience swiftly from the printed piece to the digital realm.  By focusing on these up and coming technologies, the USPS can see increases in the mail volume.

Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman, Joe Lieberman, stated that “This legislation (Senate Bill 1789) will change the USPS so it can stay alive throughout the 21 century to serve the people and businesses of this country.”  It’s important to have a strong USPS infrastructure to continue the success of American business.

For more information on print and direct mail, click here.

 

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