Bill S2880A-2013

Establishes a task force on occupational wellness

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.

Details

Actions

  • Jan 28, 2014: PRINT NUMBER 2880A
  • Jan 28, 2014: AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO HEALTH
  • Jan 8, 2014: REFERRED TO HEALTH
  • Jan 24, 2013: REFERRED TO HEALTH

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.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 2880--A 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE 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
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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