Governmental Affairs Committee

Governmental Affairs Mission

BNHRA Governmental Affairs partners with the 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 national 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. 

Do you have questons, suggestions or general feedback?  Please contact the Director of Governmental Affairs!

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Exempt and Non-Exempt Salary changes EFFECTIVE 12/31/2019

Increases to the minimum salary levels are required across NYS for both exempt and non-exempt workers.  It is important to note that the minimum wage for tipped food service workers is also increasing this year which did not occur for much of NYS for the past few years.   Please see charts and links below that may pertain to your particular industry and region.  Legal posters are not available as of the date of this published content (11/25/2019), however NYS DOL should update the available PDFs in link below once available.  If you need assistance or would like addiitonal content published regarding these changes, please reach out to the Director of Governmental Affairs at the link above.

General Minimum Wage Rate Schedule
Location 12/31/16 12/31/17 12/31/18 12/31/19 12/31/20 2021*
NYC - Big Employers (of 11 or more) $11.00 $13.00 $15.00      
NYC - Small Employers (10 or less) $10.50 $12.00 $13.50 $15.00    
Long Island & Westchester $10.00 $11.00 $12.00 $13.00 $14.00 $15.00
Remainder of New York State Workers $9.70 $10.40 $11.10 $11.80 $12.50 *

* Annual increases for the rest of the state will continue until the rate reaches $15 minimum wage (and $10 tipped wage). Starting 2021, the annual increases will be published by the Commissioner of Labor on or before October 1. They will be based on percentage increases determined by the Director of the Division of Budget, based on economic indices, including the Consumer Price Index.







NYC - Large Employers (11 or more employees)


($58,500 annually)

No change set as of yet

No change set as of yet

No change set as of yet

((NYC - Small Employers (10 or fewer employees)


($52,650 annually)


($58,500 annually)

No change set as of yet

No change set as of yet

Long Island & Westchester


($46,800 annually)

$975.00 /week

($50,700 annually)


($54,600 annually)


($58,500 annually)

Remainder of New York State


($43,264 annually)


($46,020 annually)


($48,750 annually)

No change set as of yet




Hospitality Industry:

Posters: ;

NYS DOL FAQ on determining exempt workers:

Phillips Lytle LLP Alert for BNHRA Members

NYS Businesses Must Comply with COVID-19 Reopening Requirements

After two months of non-essential businesses in NYS being closed due to the COVID-19 crisis, NYS began allowing them to reopen in five of the seven upstate regions (Central NY, Fingers Lakes, Mohawk Valley, North Country and the Southern Tier) on May 15th, and on May 19th, expanded reopening to a sixth region (Western New York).  Non-essential businesses in the other four regions of the State (New York City, Long Island, Capital Region and Mid-Hudson) must remain closed until further notice.  The reopening of non-essential businesses in each region will occur in four phases, with certain designated businesses being allowed to reopen in each phase.  Before reopening, each business will be required to prepare a safety plan to protect employees and customers that complies with applicable industry-specific safety guidelines issued by the State.  Businesses should start preparing now to meet the safety guidelines so that they will be able to reopen as soon as they are allowed.  

The Four Business Reopening Phases

NYS has identified the following four reopening phases and the businesses that will be allowed to reopen in each phase.  Read More...

Other Government Affairs Updates:

NYS Paid Voting Law Changes

Employers must be aware of and comply with the recent changes to New York’s “time off to vote” statute, Election Law Section 3-110.  Section 3-110 provides that: “(a) registered voter may, without loss of pay for up to three hours, take off so much working time as will enable them to vote(.)” Section 3-110 applies to federal, state, county, city, town, and village elections, including primary, general, and special elections. It does not, however, apply to school board elections.

Per the plain language of the statute, the employee does not automatically receive three hours to vote; rather, the employee is entitled to take off as much time (up to three hours without loss of pay) as will enable the employee to vote. While there is no easy rule as to what constitutes "so much working time as will enable them to vote,” the employer alone is not in the best position to make that determination. Voter wait times at the polls and traffic conditions, among other things, can cause the amount of time needed to be more or less. If the employer reduces the time a voter requests under this provision, the employer runs the risk of running afoul of this statute.

The statute and administrative guidance strongly suggest that employers cannot require employees to use any paid time off, personal time, etc. to cover the voting leave.  Employers are, however, empowered to designate whether an employee can use their voting leave at the beginning or end of his or her scheduled shift.

Employers must post a notice regarding the availability of time off to vote at least 10 days prior to Election Day (should be posted by now for 11/3/2019 election!). A link to the poster can be found below. Employees must notify the employer of their need for time off to vote at least two (2) working days prior to the election.  Employers can generally deny the employee’s request if request is made less than two (2) days prior to the election.

The law applies only to registered voters, but does not specify whether or not an employer can ask for proof that an employee is registered. Guidance issued by the New York State Civil Service Department suggests that employers cannot require such proof. It also remains unclear whether employers can require employees to submit proof that they used the time to vote.

According to guidance from the New York State Board of Elections, time off to vote is available only on Election Day and does not provide time off during early voting periods.


The Social Security Standard