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December 29, 2006
Military Leave Bill Signed, Others Vetoed

Military Leave. Chapter 495, signed on August 16, 2006 and effective immediately, allows spouses of members of the U.S. armed forces, national guard, or reserves who have been deployed during a period of military conflict to take up to 10 days of unpaid leave. It also bars employers from retaliating against those who seek such leave. The new right applies to public and private employers of 20 or more, and to employees who work 20 or more hours per week.

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Employees may take the leave only when the military spouse is on leave. The bill also explicitly states that it doesn't prevent employers from providing leave under any other provision of law, and that it doesn't affect those other leaves.

Among the employment-related bills the governor has vetoed are:

Job Listings. Assembly Bill 173, the New York State Job Listing Act, would have required all employers of over 20 who are performing work on state contracts valued at $2,500 or more, or who are receiving state economic development aid or tax reductions, to list all job vacancies for which those employers would have used the state Labor Department's job listings or jobseeking services.

Charity Care Disclosures. Senate Bill (SB) 6682 would have required recipients of public or charity health care to disclose information about their employers, and also required the state Labor Department to publish annual listings of employers whose employees resort to public health care.

Healthy New York. SB 8448 would have set up a pilot project allowing union health plans to tap into Healthy New York, a program that offers affordable insurance coverage to small businesses, uninsured working individuals, and sole proprietors.

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