March 2017

CNY SHRM E-Newsletter

In This Issue...


Mental Illness: 
What you need to know in the workplace

This two-hour program will explore what business leaders and HR professionals should know about dealing with mental illness in the workplace.  We will work to reduce the stigma of mental illness by creating an open dialogue and lead the change of seeing mental illness as an opportunity and not a deficit.

This program will give its attendees a chance to interact with three individuals providing a personal, legal and clinical perspective.

Katelin Arnold will discuss her challenges and triumphs with mental illness.  Katelin is a Syracuse native who graduated from Liverpool High School before going on to receive a 2-year certificate in Industrial Labor Relations from Cornell University and a B.S. in Human Resources Management and Industrial Labor Relations from Le Moyne College. She interned locally at MACNY while attending Le Moyne and then began her career in HR at Philips Medical Systems, a division of Royal Philips Electronics based in the Netherlands. In addition to manufacturing, Katelin has since gained experience in the healthcare and logistics industries. Katelin is a member of SHRM as well as a member of the Diversity & Workforce Readiness Committee of CNY SHRM.

Kerry Langan, a labor and employment law attorney, will cover the legal “do’s and don’ts,” and best practices for employer’s who have employees with mental illness.  She works closely with management and provides counsel on a variety of labor and employment-related matters, such as managing leaves of absence, compliance with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), compliance with federal and state wage and hour laws, workplace investigations, reductions-in-force, plant closings, policy development and review, employment agreements, separation agreements, labor arbitration, unfair labor practice charges and collective bargaining negotiations.  

Dr. Shannon Stewart Forshee is a licensed, clinical and forensic psychologist practicing in the Central New York area.  She is the Chief Psychologist and Director of Treatment Services at Central New York Psychiatric Center for the sexual offender treatment program.  Dr. Forshee has over 15 years of experience providing individual, group and family therapy in a variety of settings.  For the past nine years, Dr. Forshee has also been an Adjunct Instructor in the psychology department at SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Utica.  Her research interests include trauma, wellness, and the treatment of personality disorders.
We will end our program with an open Question and Answer period.

List of Panelists:

Kerry Langan - Labor and Employment law attorney from Bond, Schoeneck & King
Katelin Arnold – HR Professional
Dr. Shannon Stewart Forshee – Licensed clinical and forensic psychologist

When:  March 16th, 2017
Where:  Bella Domani

Member Cost: $45
Non-Member cost: $55
Student/Transitional Cost: $25
½ table:  $200 (5)

Learn More/Register Now

CNY SHR HR Job Market Remains Active

Based on the steady stream of requests from local and regional employers seeking to post HR positions on the CNY SHRM job posting site, it certainly appears that the market for HR professionals in the CNY region is quite strong!  CNY SHRM offers this job posting service to provide local employers access to the CNY SHRM deep pool of talent.  If you are considering a job change, or know another HR professional who is, please be sure to check out the job postings section of the CNY SHRM website. And if you are an employer seeking to hire an HR professional, send your job posting request to [email protected].  We will promptly post it for free, and it will stay posted for 30 days (or longer if requested.)

Legal Q & A

By: Katherine Schafer, Esq.
CNY SHRM Legislative Chair
[email protected]

Question:  Do I need to revise my direct deposit authorization forms before March 7, 2017?

Had this question been asked a few days ago, the answer would have been “yes.”  However, last Thursday, the New York State Industrial Board of Appeals (“IBA”) issued a decision revoking the New York State Department of Labor (“DOL”) regulations regarding payment of wages by debit card and direct deposit, which were set to go into effect on March 7, 2017.  

The IBA is an independent review agency tasked with reviewing the validity and reasonableness of certain rules and regulations issued by the New York State Commissioner of Labor.  The IBA’s February 16th decision held that the regulations – which imposed new notice and consent requirements for paying wages by direct deposit or payroll debit cards – were invalid because they exceeded the Commissioner’s rulemaking authority provided in Article 6 of the New York Labor Law by regulating the banking and financial service industries. 

Accordingly, for the time being, employers need not act to come into compliance with the DOL’s new regulations. However, the Commissioner could choose to appeal the IBA’s decision, so employers should stay tuned for new developments.  

The material contained in this column is intended to provide general information and understanding about the law for educational purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice, nor should it be used or relied upon as a substitute for consultation with competent legal counsel.

 Legislative Update
New York Releases Proposed Paid Family Leave Regulations

By: Kristen Smith, Esq. ([email protected])

Last week, on February 22, 2017, New York State unveiled proposed regulations concerning the state’s new Paid Family Leave (PFL) law.  The PFL law was passed as part of the 2016 state budget and will require virtually every New York employer to provide up to 12 weeks of paid leave for employees for the purpose of (1) birth, adoption or placement of a new child; (2) to care for a family member with a serious health condition; or (3) for qualifying exigency (as defined in the federal Family Medical Leave Act).  

The Workers’ Compensation Board will be accepting comments on the proposed regulations for forty-five days from the date of their release – until May 7.  Click here [] to review the proposed regulations and to access an online link to submit comments.  The state also recently launched a website [] providing information about PFL for employers and employees and set up a new helpline.  Notably, however, the details on this new PFL website reflect the proposed regulations, meaning the information there is not yet final (despite how it appears.)  

The proposed regulations contain a great deal of detail to digest, but a few significant points should immediately catch the attention of employers.  First, the state envisions a system where employees apply directly to the employer’s insurance carrier for PFL benefits.  The insurance company makes the final determination—not the employer.   That determination can be appealed to an arbitrator (appointed by the state workers’ compensation board) if the employee disagrees, but if an employer believes that benefits should not have been awarded, it does not appear to have a right to appeal. This is significant because the insurance carrier’s determination will have an impact beyond just the payment of benefits to the employee:  it also requires the employer to protect the employee’s job, and to maintain his/her health insurance benefits for the duration of the leave.  

Second, employers cannot require employees to use accrued paid time off (such as PTO, sick or personal time) for the requested PFL time.  It can offer the option and then seek reimbursement from the insurance carrier.  But this will allow an employee to save PTO to be used after their return from PFL.

Third, state disability and PFL will never run concurrently, so that in the case of maternity leave, it appears that an employee could conceivably collect disability payments for the first 6-8 weeks of leave, and then transition to PFL for an additional 12 weeks paid leave.  

These are just a few highlights; there is much, much more covered in the PFL proposed regulations.  CNY SHRM encourages employers to take the time to review and submit comments to the Workers Compensation Board on how the proposed provisions will impact their workplace in order to encourage the Board to make changes that will be more workable for New York employers.

Did You Know? CNY is on Social Media!

One of the strategic goals of the CNY SHRM Board of Directors for 2017 is to increase its social media engagement with members and the outside community. Did you know CNY SHRM is on both Facebook and LinkedIn?  We encourage members to “Like” our page, and link with the LinkedIn group to get event information and to connect with other members.

Coming Soon: Member Survey

The CNY SHRM Board of Directors and Committees strive to provide relevant and useful programming and resources for the entire membership.  To help ensure that future events, programming and services meet the needs of CNY SHRM members, we are launching a member survey to collect your input this spring.  The target release date for the survey is _____________, and we ask that all responses be completed by ________________.  Responding members will be entered into a raffle to win _________ gift cards.  We hope you will take the few minutes required to provide CNY SHRM with valuable input.

SHRM Foundation Initiatives

The SHRM Foundation is a values-based charity organization whose mission is to champion workforce and workplace transformation by providing research-based HR solutions for challenging inclusion issues facing current and potential employees. The SHRM Foundation has some very  important initiatives including The Aging Workforce, Engaging & Integrating Military Veterans, Building an Inclusive Culture and Preparing for Future HR Trends.  Learn more about the Foundation and how you can support it here.

CNY SHRM Holiday Event a Tremendous Success

On December 6, over 100 attendees were treated to a highly inspirational presentation by Kevin Ames of O.C. Tanner present Living the Brand: Leadership Skills for Growing Your People, Brand, and Bottom Line.  Members left feeling re-energized and ready to re-think the way their organization values its employees.  Following Kevin’s fantastic presentation, members mingled at the annual holiday celebration.  Always a favorite, Premierbooth provided its fun photo booth.  CNY SHRM is proud to announce that the raffle basket raised approximately $800 for the Chapter’s selected charity: Charity for Children.

Re-certify Early

Did you know you may submit your completed re-certification application one year into your 3-year re-certification period? If you complete your re-certification cycle early, your end date will not change. Learn More

SHRM-CP & SHRM-SCP Certifications

SHRM Preferred Provider
CNY SHRM is now recognized by SHRM to offer Professional Development Credits (PDCs) for the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP. More information regarding these certifications is available on the National SHRM website.

Upcoming Events

Mental Illness: What You Need to Know in
the Workplace

March 16, 2017 @ 8:00 AM

Cybersecurity for Human Resource Professionals
April 6, 2017 @ 8:00 AM


To renew your National SHRM Membership, click hereTo renew your CNY SHRM Membership, please complete the Primary Chapter Designation Form.  Please email the form to: [email protected]

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