July 13 Workforce Newsletter

Posted By: Taylor Dowd (deleted) Newsletters, Workforce News,

Jackson Lewis Attorneys Provide I-9 Compliance Update and Information on Asylum Seeker Status 

Otieno B. Ombok, principal with Jackson Lewis, LLP in the firm’s White Plains, New York office, and co-leader of their Immigration practice group along with Marissa A. Prianti an associate in the White Plains office who focuses on employment-based immigration law, headlined a webinar for Council of Industry members. The webinar focused on changes to the I-9 documentation requirements and the employability status of many of the asylum seekers and refugees living in the region.  


Participants learned about remote worker I-9 issues and the impact of the ending of COVID flexibilities including in person verification of documents, the use of designated agents and the penalties for failure to comply. There was also discussion of the use of E-verify. 


Mr. Ombok and Ms. Prianti also provided an overview of asylum-based work authorization including the difference between affirmative vs. defensive asylum applications, the work authorization timeline, asylum seekers with temporary protected status and employment-based green cards for asylum seekers. 



MIAP Apprentice Information Sessions Underway 

Looking to train your workforce to build the skills your company needs? The Council of Industry's apprentice program might be the answer. And we are presenting a series of webinars to highlight each of the program’s manufacturing trades, as well as the incentives and resources available to participating companies. 

The Council of Industry's Manufacturing Intermediary Apprenticeship Program (MIAP) is a comprehensive training program offering numerous benefits to employees and employers. Apprentices who complete this training will be awarded a recognized industry credential through the NYS Department of Labor. This webinar is designed to provide valuable insights on apprenticeships, incentives and best practices. During these sessions, you will: 

  • Learn more about partnership opportunities with SUNY community colleges and online resources such as Tooling U-SME that provide free classes to apprentices.  

  • Discuss the potential NYS Apprenticeship Tax Credits and the support available to employers throughout the apprenticeship training. 

  • Talk through how to use registered apprenticeships to recruit and retain skilled employees.  

  • Get more information on training categories, skill requirements and support available for companies and technicians to ensure success.   

Apprentice Program Information Series 

Email Johnnieanne Hansen to learn more. 


Certificate in Manufacturing Leadership Training (Remote) Begins This Fall 

Summary paragraph and list dates and times 


Looking to ensure all employees are equipped to be as safe as possible? Join the Council of Industry’s Workplace Safety Training Programs in partnership with LaBella Associates.  


These training programs offer comprehensive workplace safety education to employees, covering a range of critical topics. The programs include CPR/AED/FA training, Electrical Safety (NFPA 70E) training, and Hazwoper Refresher/ERT training. Each program is designed to provide participants with essential knowledge and skills to ensure a safe work environment.  


These programs will take place at the LaBella Associates location at 21 Fox Street Poughkeepsie, NY. 


National Safety Council CPR/AED/FA Training: This class will provide each participant with lifesaving information for cardiac emergencies and various other first aid injuries. 

              Date: September 21, 2023         Time: 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM         Tickets are $110.00 per person. 


Electrical Safety (NFPA 70E) Training: The training program is designed to educate and update facility employees on the critical occupational safety and health considerations when working around or on live electrical sources and equipment. 

              Date: October 26, 2023         Time: 8:30 AM – 2:30 PM         Tickets are $175.00 per person. 


Hazwoper Refresher, ERT Training: This annual refresher training program is designed to educate the responder on all the essential site-specific hazards, personal protective equipment (PPE), equipment, policies, and procedures regarding a safe response to potential hazardous material events. 

              Date: November 2, 2023         Time: 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM         Tickets are $175.00 per person. 

Please email Johnnieanne Hansen at jhansen@councilofindustry.org for any questions.  


Welcome New Apprentices!  

Zach R.– CNC Machinist, Elna Magnetics 

Congratulations Apprentice Graduates!  

Jarred B. – CNC Machinist, Sono-Tek 



New York is Poised to Ban Non-Compete Agreements 

In what will likely be a sea change to existing law, the New York legislature passed a bill this week banning post-employment non-compete agreements. If Governor Hochul signs the bill, as she is expected to do, New York will soon join a host of other states restricting non-compete agreements. The bill, which becomes effective 30 days after it is signed, would ban agreements that seek to prohibit a worker from competing with a company after the work relationship has ended. This bill represents a sweeping change to the existing legal landscape in New York. 

There are some ambiguities in the law, but it appears that confidentiality agreements and agreements protecting trade secrets will still be permitted. The same goes for agreements prohibiting non-solicitation of clients and customers, but they must be limited to clients and customers the employees learned about through their employment (which generally formalizes the current approach taken by NY courts). Significantly, the bill allows workers to bring suit against a company if they are presented with an agreement that violates the law.  


77% of Companies Are Currently Undertaking or Considering Layoffs  

It’s no secret that CFOs and human resources leaders don’t always have the same motivations. But finance chiefs, especially those who oversee human resources (HR), might be interested to know there are also significant disconnects between HR leaders and employees. The misalignment is a theme in a new survey report from Lee Hecht Harrison (LHH), a large provider of talent acquisition and job recruitment services. The research polled 2,524 HR leaders from organizations with 500+ employees, as well as 7,028 white-collar workers, in five countries. 

Much of the survey was dedicated to issues around layoffs. A key finding was that many workforces are shrinking. More than three-fourths (77%) of participating HR leaders said their organizations are currently undertaking or considering layoffs. The top five drivers of layoffs, all about equal in prevalence, were identified as over-hiring in recent years, cost-cutting imperatives, restructuring or reorganization, poor business performance, and merger/acquisition causing duplication. 


Your Employees’ Well-Being Is Getting Worse, Not Better 

As many as 60% of employees and 75% of the C-suite say they’re seriously considering quitting their jobs for new ones that would better support their well-being. That compares to last year, with 57% of employees and 69% of the C-suite ready to quit, according to a survey released today by consulting firm Deloitte and HR research and advisory firm Workplace Intelligence.  

Yet there’s a marked difference in how top leaders and employees perceive the problem. Three in four employees said they believed their health worsened over the past year—but 75% of C-suite executives believed their workforce’s health improved. About 84% of the C-suite surveyed said their companies have made public well-being commitments, but only 39% of employees agreed. The good news is that executives surveyed generally agree they should be more accountable to well-being at work over the next few years. As many as 78% of top leaders said their company’s leaders should step down if they can’t maintain an acceptable level of workforce well-being, and 72% believe executives’ bonuses should be tied to workforce well-being metrics.  


How to Avoid Putting Your Lockout/Tagout Program at Risk 

Thanks to advancements in technology, manufacturers are increasingly using computer-based controls in their equipment and machines. These can be programmed to lock out the machine or equipment. This is necessary during minor repairs and servicing because they require constant energization. Built-in technology can help prevent and reduce electrical injuries and fatalities by designing out electrical hazards and risks. 

Over the last few years, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has also been exploring whether modern technology can effectively protect workers from hazardous energy. OSHA issued a Request for Information (RFI) in May 2019 to understand the strengths and limitations of this new technology as well as the potential hazards to workers. The comment period ended in August 2019. In the years since, employers continue to wait patiently, anticipating OSHA’s Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) on the issue. Meanwhile, employers continue to deal with four lockout/tagout (LO/TO) problem areas. 


What’s Old is New Again. The National Labor Relations Board’s “New” Independent Contractor Test 

On June 13, 2023, the National Labor Relations Board (the Board), in its decision in the Atlanta Opera, Inc, brought back for an encore, its 2014 FedEx standard for determining independent contractor status under the National Labor Relations Act (the Act). In doing so, the Board overruled and closed the curtains on its 2019 SuperShuttle decision, bringing back a pro-employee standard for determining whether workers are employees covered under the Act or independent contractors not subject to the Act’s protections. 

The petitioning Union in this case, Make-up Artists and Hair Stylists Union, Local 798, IATSE, sought to represent gig workers, collectively known as “stylists,” claiming that they are statutory employees. However, the Atlanta Opera asserted that the stylists were independent contractors and thus not covered by the Act. In its decision, the Board determined that these gig workers, were not independent contractors as designated by the Atlanta Opera, but actually employees covered under the Act. Employers now have a new script to follow: a guide on how to interpret a list of common law and other factors when conducting an independent contractor analysis under the Act.  


What You Needs to Know About the EEOC AI Guidance 

How can employers do their part to mitigate potential harm from emerging Artificial Intelligence technology? That question drove a recent technical assistance document issued by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which one employment labor says organizations must pay attention to. EEOC Chair Charlotte A. Burrows recently commented that the technical assistance document represents “another step in helping employers and vendors understand how civil rights laws apply to automated systems used in employment.” 

Marissa Mastroianni, an employment member at national law firm Cole Schotz, explains that, most importantly, the document cautions employers that the EEOC will use its longstanding disparate impact analysis to consider whether employers that are using AI for hiring and employment decisions are compliant with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.In the document, Mastroianni says, the EEOC unequivocally confirms that improper use of AI could violate Title VII, outlining several examples of AI tools that could give rise to such violations: 


Empire State Development - Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) Round XIII Deadline is July 28.  

Governor Hochul announced last month the launch of Round XIII of the Regional Economic Development Council Initiative. Round XIII includes core capital grant and tax-credit funding combined with a wide range of programs from 10 State agencies, including $150 million in grant funds from Empire State Development, available to projects on a continuous basis. The Councils are encouraged to support projects that advance or address strategic State priorities - those projects, will be eligible for additional award funding.  

The 10 REDCs are guided by their regional strategic economic development plans, which emphasize each region's unique assets and provide strategies to harness local resources to stimulate regional economic development and create jobs Statewide. In the Mid-Hudson region advanced manufacturing is considered a priority sector and firms in the industry are encouraged to apply.  


Younger Workforce is Not Afraid to Leave Their Jobs, Study Finds 

A new survey by Amdocs says that employees are looking for opportunities beyond just their individual careers. Thirty-three percent of people said they would leave their job if they lacked support for internal mobility – the ability to take on a completely new challenge or team and be supported in doing so. However, less than half (45%) said their workplace supports it. 

Growth and talent mobility are a priority for 85% of respondents. 46% of respondents have already left a company despite liking the compensation, benefits and culture due to lack of growth in their role, mobility to other roles, or reskilling/upskilling opportunities. Additionally, 57% said that a lack of growth opportunities would cause them to leave their current role. Compared to the national average, Gen Z and younger Millennials (ages 25-34) show the greatest likelihood of leaving a job if they lack areas like hybrid work, reskilling, the ability to change roles within a company, and more. This group also reports the highest instance (53%) of a job not meeting expectations with three to six months of starting the role. 


26% of Workers Are Seeking New Jobs 

Keeping employees in their seats and on the factory floor continues to be a challenge. That is clearly demonstrated in a study, 2023 Global Workforce Hopes and Fears Survey, released on June 20 by PwC. The report found that one in four (26%) employees say it is likely they will change jobs in the next 12 months, up from 19% last year. Workers who said they are most likely to change employers include those who feel overworked (44%), struggle to pay the bills every month (38%), and Gen Z (35%).  

Purpose, company culture and inclusion also remain key concerns. Among workers who said they are likely to change employers, less than half (47%) said they find their jobs fulfilling compared to 57% of those unlikely to change employers. Those likely to change employers are also eight percentage points less likely to say that they can truly be themselves at work than their counterparts who intend to stay (51% vs. 59%). The survey uncovered some underlying factors to explain those findings.  


3 Ways HR Can Mitigate Rampant Change Fatigue 

Change can often feel never-ending as if there’s always one more thing to adjust to around the corner. This constant cycle can trigger a natural Survive response by creating a sense of lack of control and continued energy drain. And yet, in today’s world, we don’t often have the luxury of maintaining the status quo. 

How can HR leaders help employees balance the need for change while also mitigating change fatigue? These three strategies are a useful starting point: Connect the dots, Truly prioritize and Build and activate a network. 


iCIMS May Labor Market Insights – “Stubbornly Positive” Labor Market  

Data from iCIMS showed across-the-board increases in both candidate and employer activity, which aligns with the surprising surge in job gains reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for May. While the media and many economists keep waiting for the other shoe of a recession to drop, the robust market continues to defy expectations — even as unemployment ticks up a notch.  

Job seekers for tech roles remain undeterred by the slump in hires and openings for those jobs since late last summer. In fact, applicants per opening for tech jobs jumped 86% in one year. Do you think job seekers can still hear their high school guidance counselors telling them that tech jobs would be the wave of the future? The financial industry had the most growth in tech job openings as technology continues to remake the industry requiring skilled workers for jobs like software development, analytics and cyber security.