Urgent Update to Changes to Federal Overtime Exemption Rules
On March 17th the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) were to review the final overtime rule, forwarded by the Department of Labor (DOL), with the proposed increase in the guaranteed salary basis. This is the last required step that the DOL had to take before issuing the final regulations. Due to the expedited process, it's possible the overtime rules could be released in April or May, allowing employers 60 to 90 days to implement the changes. For more information visit www.sescomgt.com
District 9 Board of Governors Election
PFDA's District 9 consists of Lancaster, York and Dauphin counties and the Capital City local. Bruce Parthemore of New Cumberland and Melanie Scheid of Lancaster are both running to be the new PFDA Board Member for District 9. The original ballots, which have been mailed to all members within this district, must be returned to the PFDA office by April 14, 2016. The ballots will be tallied and the elected District Governor will be announced in the May reporter.
Schuylkill County Coroner's Office Cremation Fee Increase
Starting on April 1, 2016, the Coroner's Office in Schuylkill County is increasing its fee to authorize a cremation. The fee will go from $25.00 to $50.00.
American Airlines HIA TLC Shipping Schedule
As of March 1, 2016, with the current three arrivals and three departures to/from HIA, American Airlines Cargo is able to accommodate up to six human remains shipments per day. The TLC desk can be reached at 800-852-3333. Below is the current shipping schedule for TLC shipping out of Harrisburg International Airport (HIA).
SCHEDULE FOR FUNERAL HOMES SHIPPING OUT OF HARRISBURG INTL ON AMERICAN AIRLINES
DEPARTURE TIME ANDAIRTRAY TYPE ALLOWED
6:25 AM* TO CHARLOTTE, NC (CLT) COMBO UP TO 350 LBS
9:00 AM TO CHARLOTTE, NC (CLT) COMBO/CASKET UP TO 500 LBS
3:16 PM TO CHARLOTTE, NC (CLT) COMBO/CASKET UP TO 350 LBS
*TO UTILIZE THIS 6:25 AM FLIGHT, REMAINS WOULD NEED TO BE DROPPED OFF THE EVENING BEFORE
SCHEDULE FOR FUNERAL HOMES SHIPPING INTO HARRISBURG INTL ON AMERICAN AIRLINES
ARRIVAL TIME AND AIRTRAY TYPE ALLOWED
2:44 PM FROM CHARLOTTE, NC (CLT) COMBO UP TO 350 LBS
9:15 PM FROM CHARLOTTE, NC (CLT) COMBO/CASKET UP TO 500 LBS
11:54 PM FROM CHARLOTTEN NC (CLT) COMBO UP TO 350 LBS
TO UTILIZE THIS 11:54 PM ARRIVAL, REMAINS WOULD NEED TO BE PICKED UP THE NEXT DAY
Philadelphia's "Ban the Box" Ordinance Now Applies to All Private Employers
New amendments to the Philadelphia "Ban the Box" ordinance took effect on March 14, 2016. Private employers with at least one employee in Philadelphia are prohibited from asking a Philadelphia applicant about any criminal convictions until after the initial job interview. Other limitations include: employers may only look at the applicant's criminal history for seven years from the date of the background check; an employer may only withdraw a conditional job offer based on a criminal record that would pose a risk in the position he/she applied for or that person does not meet the physical and legal requirements of the position; the employer must give the applicant notice of ineligibility due to a conviction and the applicant has 10 days to show if the background check is inaccurate. All Philadelphia employers must post a workplace notice outlining the amended ordinance. More information can be found at http://www.phila.gov/HumanRelations/.
PIMS Students Receive WPFDA Scholarship
Two students from Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science (PIMS) are recipients of the Western Pennsylvania Funeral Directors Association (WPFDA) scholarship. Steven Whiteman of Harrison City, PA and Tiara McClendon of Pittsburgh, PA were recently presented the scholarship checks from Mr. Roger Cunningham, Board Member with WPFD. Mr. Cunningham is also president/supervisor of R. Cunningham Funeral Home and Crematory in New Castle, PA. WPFDA awards two scholarships annually to PIMS students. PIMS is thankful for its relationship with WPFDA and for their concern in the advancement and support of mortuary science education.
PIMS Student Receives the Newcomer Funeral Service Group Scholarship
Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science (PIMS) is pleased to announce that Gabrielle Bieber of Palmyra, PA, was awarded the Newcomer Funeral Service Group's Tradition of Caring Mortuary Science Scholarship. Newcomer Funeral Service Group is headquartered in Topeka, Kansas, and operates funeral homes and cemeteries in nine states. Gabrielle Bieber of PIMS is one of the eight recipients of the $500.00 scholarship.
FDLIC Announces Project Agreement With Dr. Alan Wolfelt
Funeral Directors Life Insurance Company (FDLIC) has partnered with Dr. Alan D. Wolfelt, a well-known author, educator, and grief counselor. Dr. Wolfelt, in conjunction with FDLIC, will be working on developing information to educate funeral homes, pre-planning families, and FDLIC staff about the significance of funeral ceremonies. For more information on this project visit
Federated Offering Insurance Coverage for Cyber Threats
Federated Insurance is now offering data compromise and cyber coverage to help protect your business from day-to-day cyber threats. Any business that is "plugged in" is at risk for hackers to compromise your information. As these threats continue to change, so must your insurance.
For more information, ask your local Federated Insurance Marketing Representative or call 1-800-533-0472.
Free Mobile Devices/Risks and Solutions Webinar
Federated Insurance is offering a free webinar to all PFDA members about mobile device risks. The webinar, titled "Mobile Device / Risks and Solutions," is available at www.federatedinsurance.com until May 1, 2016 for members to view.
PFDA is actively monitoring the following bills:
o SB 874 (McGarrigle) - Would require cemeteries to provide price lists, trust money at the end of each month, and prohibit the practice of "constructive delivery."
o SB 538 (Tomlinson) - Would allow for expungement of certain infractions.
o SB 180 (Greenleaf) - Amends organ procurement law.
o HB 1364 (Santora) - Companion bill to SB 874.
o HB 815 (Millard) - Act providing for the licensing and regulation of cremation.
o HB 30 (Petrarca) - Amends organ procurement law.
o HB 72 (Readshaw) - Amends right to disposition law to majority rule.
o HB 802 (Readshaw) - Would allow for CE carryover for biennial renewal.
o HB 443 (Harhai) - Amends banking act to allow grandchildren to access funds at death.
State Board of Funeral Directors
The Pennsylvania State Board of Funeral Directors recently elected William (Bill) G.
Harris, President and owner of Harris Funeral Homes in Johnstown and Baker-Harris Funeral Chapel in Conemaugh, as their chairman and Milian E. Rodriguez, Founder and owner of Rodriguez Funeral Home Inc. in Philadelphia, as the vice-chair.
What Do You Do with Unclaimed Cremated Remains?
If you've found yourself holding unclaimed cremated remains, you're not alone. Kathy
Ryan, Esq., PFDA Executive Director, suggests you do not keep unclaimed cremated remains for more than one year. One way to avoid being in the above situation would be to have express direction from the next of kin at the time of death as to what will happen with the cremated remains.
So, what can you do if you are faced with the dilemma of unclaimed cremated remains? Send a letter, certified mail and regular mail, to the next of kin stating: "XYZ Funeral Home has had the cremated remains of DECEASED NAME since DATE. No instructions were given as to what should happen to the cremated remains of DECEASED NAME. If we do not hear from you on or before DATE, the cremated remains of DECEASED NAME will be interred at ABC CEMETERY, and retrieval of the remains will be at your expense."
Kathy also suggests that the cremated remains should be labeled in case someone does claim them after being interred – especially if they're interred with a number of other cremated remains. Interring cremated remains, along with other funeral homes in the same situation, can help reduce the expense for all funeral homes involved.
Ways to Create Value in Cremation Services
Recently funeralOne conducted a survey asking people why they would choose
cremation over a traditional burial. The number one answer was lower cost. Based on the survey findings, funeralOne has come up with ideas on ways funeral directors can show value in their services, including cremation. Here are their three suggestions: 1. "Work the importance and tradition of funerals into cremation process," 2. "Be aware of today's families changing needs," and 3. "Educate your families before they even walk through the doors."
For more information on these steps and to see all of the survey results, visit http://blog.funeralone.com/grow-your-business/
Member funeral homes have received an invoice for toner in the mail from Int. Supply Center in Arizona. The phone number listed is for a cellphone and the company doesn't exit. Do not respond to the invoice, it's a scam.
PFDA Annual Convention & Expo
The 2016 PFDA Convention & Expo will be June 12-15, 2016 at the Holiday Inn Harrisburg/Hershey, Grantville, PA. Registration brochures for this year's annual convention have been mailed. Information on the PFDA Convention and Expo, "Invest in Your Future," can be found at www.pfda.org.
Local Association Presidents, Secretaries, and PFDA members are asked to submit names of deceased members and immediate family members to be honored at the Service of Remembrance during the PFDA Annual Convention. The service will be held on Tuesday, June 14, at 11:00am in the Winner's Circle.
The annual service awards ceremony will take place during the PFDA Annual Convention on Tuesday, June 14 at 10:30am in the Winner's Circle.
PFDA invites you to join in making a donation to this year's silent auction at Convention. All proceeds go to the Funeral Service Action Fund and Building Fund. In 2015, $7,500 was raised due to many baskets and items that were received. Your help is needed again this year.
Forms for all of the events listed above are enclosed.
Book of the Month by Jessica
Women in the Funeral Industry
Confessions of a Funeral Diva: A Riveting Exposé of One Woman's Rough Life in the Funeral Industry that Provides Hope and Faith to All by Muneerah Warner, is the latest book on women in the funeral industry; an industry that was once dominated by men. In 1976 women made up only 5% of the funeral industry in the United States; a statistic that has now reached an outstanding 43%. The funeral industry was one of the few industries welcoming to women during the feminist movement in the late 1900s. In the beginning of the 20th century, Lina D. Odou, a Spanish nurse, went to Switzerland to study embalming before opening an embalming school for women in 1899, producing one of the first graduating classes of women embalmers. The class was made up of ten ambitious women. These women broke the glass ceiling for women in the funeral industry and today the Milwaukee Technical College reports that it's Funeral Science Program student body is made up of 75% women. Copies of the book can be purchased on amazon at http://www.amazon.in/Confessions-Funeral-Diva-Riveting-Industry-ebook/dp/B01CSUZMF2
Elizabeth C. Snyder, 89, North Huntingdon, died on March 1, 2016. She is survived by her son William R., Daughter-in-Law, Dawn, and grandson, J.W., all working in the family business at William Snyder Funeral Home, Irwin and Forgie Snyder Funeral Home, East McKeesport.
Anthony J. Pusateri, 57, Millheim, died on March 16, 2016. Anthony was the owner of the Steven R. Neff Funeral Home, Millheim.
Bruce Long, 87, Carlisle, died on March 21, 2016. Bruce formerly worked for Superior International and Advertising Sales Co. selling funeral supplies. He exhibited at convention for many years.