Government Affairs Updates

    Governmental Affairs Director Contact:

    Twyla Hardy 
    Clarus Linen Systems


    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.   

    Interested in helping out with Government Affairs?

    Contact the Director of Governmental Affairs!

     What's New In Governmental Affairs: February 

    The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released a new version of its Form I-9, the Employment Eligibility Verification form. All U.S. employers must begin using the new Form I-9 after January 22, 2017.

    Currently, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement conducts over 3,000 I-9 employer audits annually, and immigration enforcement is anticipated to increase during the Trump presidency. 

    Form I-9 is used for verifying the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired for employment in the United States. All U.S. employers must ensure proper completion of Form I-9 for each individual they hire for employment in the United States. This includes citizens and noncitizens. Both employees and employers (or authorized representatives of the employer) must complete the form. 

    On the form, an employee must attest to his or her employment authorization. The employee must also present his or her employer with acceptable documents evidencing identity and employment authorization. The employer must examine the employment eligibility and identity document(s) an employee presents to determine whether the document(s) reasonably appear to be genuine and to relate to the employee and record the document information on the Form I-9.  

    The list of acceptable documents can be found on the last page of the form. Employers must retain Form I-9 for a designated period and make it available for inspection by authorized government officers.  

    The new version of the Form I-9 includes some clarifications as well as some changes designed to make the form easier to fill out electronically. Form I-9s completed electronically will still need to be printed and signed by the employee and employer agent by hand. One of the changes is in Section 1 which now asks for “other last names used” rather than “other names used.” 

    Enhancements for easier completion of the form include drop-down lists and calendars for entering dates, the addition of prompts to help ensure that information is entered properly, on-screen instructions for each field, and easy access to the full instructions. It also includes an option to clear the form and start over. Other changes you’ll find on the new I-9 include:

    • Question regarding whether a preparer or translator was used
    • Space to enter multiple preparers and translators
    • A supplemental page for the preparer/translator
    • Creation of a QR code once the Form I-9 is completed electronically
    • A field to enter additional information such as E-Verify confirmation numbers, termination dates and correction notes
    • Separating the full instructions from the form itself. 


    All U.S. employers should review their I-9 policies and procedures to ensure they are up to date with the changes to the form. Employers that are responsible for the completion of Form I-9 should become familiar with the changes immediately to ensure timely transition to exclusive use of the revised form. Compliance will be critical as Form I-9 enforcement audits are anticipated to increase.  

    For more information or to order copies of the Form I-9 please contact the USCIS, you can call 1-800-870-3676 or go to 

     Labor and Employment Law Under the Trump Administration

    By James D. Donathen and Christine Donovan Bub, Phillips Lytlle LLP

    Many employers enthusiastically greeted the election results and hoped that President Trump would “Make America Great Again” in the employment area. Now that the first 100 days have passed, some may be disappointed and ask if this is just more “fake news.” As in politics, the truth may lie somewhere in the middle.
    Although broad policy changes were expected, many employment law issues may be largely unaffected by the new administration. This is particularly true in New York State where progressive policies and agenda may trump any changes at the federal level. A short sampling of significant issues follows.  Read more...

    Fiduciary Article provided to BNHRA Members by Westminster Consulting (March 2017)

    We apologize for the bad news
    Many of our readers are fiduciary trustees for large pools of money: pension funds, charitable foundations, employee welfare & retirement plans, and so on. You, the fiduciaries, should be applauded for adopting this burden, for it is often an under-appreciated duty. As fiduciaries, you are responsible for a great deal and the scope of your responsibilities is ever increasing.

    At Westminster Consulting, we sometimes are bearers of bad news. It would be easier to tell investment committees all the ways that their attention wasn’t required and how much more leisure time everyone gets. In reality, we are obligated to explain where your fiduciary duties are.  Read more....


    Fiduciary Article provided to BNHRA Members by Westminster Consulting (February 2017)

    “There are known knowns. There are things we know that we know.

    There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don’t know.

    But there are also unknown unknowns.  There are things we do not know we don’t know.”

    -US Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld 


    The mistake we see far too often is this:  employers have tasked non-fiduciary advisors with fiduciary duties and vice-versa.


    The laws that govern institutional investing are constantly in flux.  The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), having started in 1974, is relatively mature but the application and expansion of these legal constructs are ongoing.  For example, Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act (UPMIFA) and the Pension Protection Act (PPA) circulated in a wave of reform in 2006 through 2007.  Read More....

    For more information contact: David Bard at 716-445-4518