senate Bill S2880A

Establishes a task force on occupational wellness

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Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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actions

  • 24 / Jan / 2013
    • REFERRED TO HEALTH
  • 08 / Jan / 2014
    • REFERRED TO HEALTH
  • 28 / Jan / 2014
    • AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO HEALTH
  • 28 / Jan / 2014
    • PRINT NUMBER 2880A

Summary

Establishes a task force on occupational wellness to study and evaluate the existing health of the state's workforce and the potential benefits of implementing occupational wellness programs; provides such task force shall be within the department of health and shall consist of thirteen members.

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Bill Details

Versions:
S2880
S2880A
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Current Committee:
Senate Health
Law Section:
Health
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Cycles:
2011-2012: S3962A
2009-2010: S5051
2007-2008: S2433

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S2880A

TITLE OF BILL: An act to establish a task force on occupational
wellness and providing for the repeal of such provisions upon
expiration thereof

PURPOSE: To provide for a task force to substantively undertake a
study of the subject of occupational wellness as it relates to
employees, employers, the health care industry, insurance premiums,
best practices and other tangentially related subjects akin.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1-- Details the legislative findings
and intent relative to the value and benefit of occupational wellness
programs to the overall health and well-being of individual employees
and to the associated business or corporate enterprise offering such
programs.

Section 2-- Creates a task force on occupational wellness within the
New York State Department of Health. Specifies appointment power
relative to membership on the panel, including the requirement that at
least one member be a small business owner. Designates a member from
the Department of Health as the Director of the task force; authorizes
the Commissioner of the Department of Health to assign personnel to
the task force.

Subsection 2 of Section 2 enumerates the primary research agenda for
the task force--To study and evaluate the existing state of employees
health and ascertain if their health can be improved by employers
implementing an occupational wellness program.

Subsection 3 of Section 2 establishes the requirement that the task
force prepare a report on or before January 1, 2014 and share it with
governmental principals.

The report shall include information on occupational wellness
programs, specifically--

A. If such programs would be beneficial to the citizens of New York
State.

B. How such programs can be improved.

C. History of the concept, where and how it has worked, costs and
implications of such programs.

D. Creation of a blueprint of the best practices of wellness, concrete
steps to realize the concept in practice.

JUSTIFICATION: Occupational wellness programs have been undertaken by
major companies and organizations throughout the United States. The
conjoined subject of preventative health care is another issue that is
germinating into a major area of policymaking concern. There is clear
evidence of the direct benefit of occupational wellness programs to
the literal, physical and mental health of employees. In addition,
studies have shown that such programs have a tertiary benefit to
employers relative to job performance, health care and insurance
costs, and other synonymous factors. For more specific information,


see Senate Bill and corresponding memoranda concerning S.3835 of
2005-2006. It is quite clear that the entirety of New York State--
individuals, families, collectivities, proprietors, organizations,
small businesses, corporations, the health care and insurance
industries, the business climate- can all benefit from a substantive
exposition of the potential multicolinear paradigmatic panacea that is
occupational wellness.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: Senate 2433 of 2007-08/ REFERRED TO HEALTH
Senate 5051 of 2009-10/ REFERRED TO HEALTH Senate 3962 of 2011-12/
REFERRED TO HEALTH

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None of note.

EFFECTIVE DATE: On the 120th day after it shall have become law.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                 2880--A

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            January 24, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen.  SMITH  -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Health --  recommitted  to
  the  Committee  on  Health in accordance with Senate Rule 6, sec. 8 --
  committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as  amended  and
  recommitted to said committee

AN  ACT to establish a task force on occupational wellness and providing
  for the repeal of such provisions upon expiration thereof

  THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section  1.  Legislative  findings  and intent. The legislature hereby
finds that healthier  employees  experience  less  absenteeism,  greater
productivity, better mental performance, and increased job satisfaction,
performance and morale.
  The  legislature  hereby finds that occupational wellness programs and
preventative health strategies directly address the  leading  causes  of
disability  and  premature  death in the United States. Furthermore, the
vital importance of this issue was recently crystallized by  the  United
States  Centers  for  Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) who earmarked
$14 million to study occupational wellness programs.
  The legislature hereby finds that there is a significant state  inter-
est  in encouraging a proactive approach to preventing illness and inju-
ry, as opposed to the traditional reactive, sick-care method. A reorien-
tation of our systematic approach  to  health  care  is  exemplified  by
United  States  Senate  Bill 2558, the Healthy Lifestyles and Prevention
(HeLP) Act and New York State Senate Bill 5774-A of 1999-2000, The Well-
ness and Preventative Health Care Program.
  The legislature hereby finds that individual studies  and  evaluations
of wellness programs have concluded that such endeavors have dual, rein-
forcing,  and  parallel  benefits. In the first instance, employees have
become more fit, reduced obesity, lessened stress levels, quit  smoking,
and  achieved  other propitious outcomes. Secondarily, wellness programs

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD07223-02-4

S. 2880--A                          2

have increased overall productivity,  economic  viability,  and  reduced
health care costs relative to employers.
  The  legislature  hereby  finds  that encouragement of a healthy life-
style, while accruing  concrete  benefits  to  employees  and  employers
alike,  in the final analysis -- empowers individuals, strengthens fami-
lies, and promotes a greater quality of life.
  The legislature intends to ensconce the ethic of a  healthy  workforce
into  the fabric of our personal and professional lives, while realizing
the tertiary benefits of savings on insurance premiums as the result  of
reducing  the  number  and  instance  of  health  insurance and workers'
compensation claims filed by employees.
  S 2. Task force on occupational wellness.  1. There is hereby  created
within  the  department of health a task force on occupational wellness.
The task force shall consist of nine members to be appointed as follows:
three members to be appointed by the governor, including  one  represen-
tative  each  from the department of health and the insurance department
and a representative who is a small business owner; two  members  to  be
appointed  by the speaker of the assembly; one member to be appointed by
the minority leader of the assembly; two members to be appointed by  the
temporary  president of the senate and one member to be appointed by the
minority leader of the senate. The member from the department of  health
shall  serve  as  the director of the task force and the commissioner of
health may assign such personnel within the amounts appropriated  as  is
necessary  to  carry  out  the  provisions of this section.   Task force
members shall receive no compensation for their services  but  shall  be
reimbursed  for  travel  expenses  incurred  in the performance of their
duties.
  2. The task force shall study  and  evaluate  the  existing  state  of
employees'  health  and  ascertain  if  the  health  of employees can be
improved by employers implementing an occupational wellness program.
  3. On or before January 1, 2016, the  task  force  shall  prepare  and
submit  to  the  governor,  the  temporary  president of the senate, the
speaker of the assembly, the minority  leader  of  the  senate  and  the
minority leader of the assembly a report which shall include, but not be
limited to:
  (a)  information  on  whether  the  creation  of occupational wellness
programs encouraging or providing incentives for employees who regularly
engage in physical activity and preventive health care would be  benefi-
cial to the citizens of the state of New York;
  (b)  recommendations  regarding how occupational wellness programs can
be improved;
  (c) examining the concept of occupational wellness as a whole, includ-
ing the history of such concept, where and how it  has  worked  and  the
costs and implications of such programs; and
  (d)  creating  a  blueprint  of the best practices of wellness, how to
implement such practices and what steps need to be taken to realize  the
concept of occupational wellness in practice.
  S 3. This act shall take effect on the one hundred twentieth day after
it  shall  have  become  a  law provided that the provisions of this act
shall expire September 1, 2016 when upon such  date  the  provisions  of
this  act  shall  be  deemed repealed; provided, however, that effective
immediately, the addition, amendment and/or repeal of any rule or  regu-
lation  necessary  for  the  implementation of this act on its effective
date is authorized and directed to be made and completed  on  or  before
such effective date.

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