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New York Commissioner of Labor, Roberta Reardon, Fields Questions at MCLI Roundtable

New York Commissioner of Labor, Roberta Reardon (seated) and Ann Shybunko-Moore, President of GSE Dynamics Inc.

Just how will Long Island Businesses be affected by upcoming increases in Minimum wage rates?

“How will minimum wage hikes will impact our ability to stay competitive with manufacturers located upstate and out-of-state?”  This was one of the many questions posed to the panel organized by The Manufacturing Consortium of Long Island (MCLI) to discuss upcoming regulatory changes and minimum wage rate increases that will have a direct impact on businesses of all sizes on Long Island.

In attendance was New York Commissioner of Labor, Roberta Reardon, who heads the New York State Department of Labor. Commissioner Reardon addressed the New York State minimum wage hikes scheduled over the next several years as well as other wage and hour issues effecting Long Island businesses. 

The round table discussion was lively and Commissioner Reardon fielded questions on a wide range of subjects.  The energy in the room and the diversity of businesses represented clearly pointed to a need for more clarity on these very important issues.  

Keith Frank, Partner and Co-Chair of our Labor & Employment Law group, commented; “Labor & Employment Law in the age of President Trump is likely to be somewhat of a roller coaster, add to that the New York State response to unwieldy changes (namely rolling them back via State legislation) and businesses face potentially confusing and disruptive regulatory change. Businesses need to be aware of what’s coming, how it affects the employer/employee relationship, and their bottom line. President Trump is in a unique position to change the landscape of labor & employment law with his appointments to the federal courts, the EEOC, the NLRB and other agencies to either favor business, likely, or not favor business.  The excellent and lively discussion at the MCLI event signaled growing anxiety among employers. These are certainly interesting times!”

The potential impact on business of these regulatory changes shouldn’t be underestimated.  But Long Island business owners have what it takes to navigate these turbulent times. Anthony Acampora, Partner -In-Charge, commented;

“The anticipated increases to the minimum wage rate will add a level of expense to Long Island businesses and likely place business owners at a competitive disadvantage because of increased costs. That said, Long Island business has always found ways to weather adversity. One way for business owners to hedge against the disparity in the minimum wage is to make sure that there are no expense or profit leaks in other areas of their operations and ensure that they are completely compliant with all state and federal regulations. Plan, prepare and focus on growth; we can do this.”

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