Inspiring HR is happy to provide Monthly State Law Updates as a service to our subscribers. These briefs provide a general description and are not meant to be all inclusive of compliance requirements.
This list is not inclusive of all legislative changes for employers across the U.S. Other changes may have been addressed in previous updates, which can be accessed online on our website https://inspiringhr.com/blog/
Employers are encouraged to work with their Inspiring HR Consultant before making policy changes to capture the full requirements of these laws.
Some of the notable recent and upcoming State Changes in this issue are as follows:
CO Paid Family Leave Insurance (FAMLI) Payroll Deductions to Begin – January 1, 2023
Beginning January 1, 2023, the state of Colorado will begin collecting insurance premiums for the new Colorado Paid Family Leave Insurance (FAMLI) from employers.
FAMLI creates a paid leave system funded by employees and employers for those employed in Colorado. Contributions will be collected as follows:
- Employers are responsible for “remitting” on behalf of their employees or paying into the fund on their employees’ behalf.
- Overall, FAMLI is a shared fee between employers and employees based on .9% of wages
- If you have less than 10 employees, you will not be required to pay an employer share.
- If you have 10 or more employees, you will be responsible for .45% (half the premium) and may deduct up to the other 50% of the .9% premium as a standard payroll deduction.
- Regardless of employer size, employers may voluntarily elect to contribute more than their required share of the premium.
Posting of employee’s rights under the Act is required and employers must track and provide balances on employee pay stubs. Additional provisions apply.
CO Enacts Revisions to Restrictive Covenants – Effective August 10, 2022:
Under HB 22-1317, newly enacted revisions to Colorado’s restrictive covenants (such as non-competes and non-solicitation clauses) will affect agreements entered into or renewed after August 10, 2022.
Highlights of the Revisions:
Changes include but are not limited to:
- Restrictive covenants will be void unless an employer provides separate notice to workers of the terms of the covenants before they accept an offer of employment, or 14 days before the covenant goes into effect for current employees. Agreements with restrictive covenants must be accompanied by a notice, signed by the worker and contained in a separate document, which describes the covenant in “clear and conspicuous terms.” The notice requirements are met by
- providing a copy of the agreement;
- identifying the agreement by name;
- stating that the agreement contains a covenant not to compete that could restrict the workers’ options for subsequent employment following their separation from the employer; and
- directing the worker to the specific sections or paragraphs of the agreement that contain the covenant not to compete.
- Moving forward, the primary exception to the law will be for persons who are:
- classified as “Highly Compensated Workers” (federally, the threshold is currently $101,250); and
- when the covenant is “for the protection of trade secrets and is no broader than is reasonably necessary to protect the employer’s legitimate interest in protecting trade secrets”; and
- the agreement is no broader than is reasonably necessary to protect the employer’s legitimate interest in protecting its trade secrets.
- Penalties for violations have increased
- Employers may not choose a different state for enforceability of an agreement
We suggest seeking legal advice to review existing non-compete and non-solicitation agreement templates to ensure compliance with this amended law, and to revise agreements for enforceability after August 10, 2022.
Delaware Governor Signs Paid Family Leave Legislation – Effective January 1, 2025
This law creates for covered employees up to twelve weeks of paid family and medical leave for qualified events through a new paid leave trust fund administered by the State and contributed to by employers
The new law provides benefits to replace up to 80 percent of a covered individual’s average weekly wage and job-protected leave for the following reasons:
- To care for a child during the first year after the child’s birth, adoption, or placement of the child through foster care.
- To care for a family member with a serious health condition.
- Because the covered individual has a serious health condition that results in the covered individual being unable to perform the functions of the covered individual’s position.
- Because the covered individual has a qualifying exigency, as defined under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act.
The maximum amount of leave benefits a covered individual may take is 12 weeks per year for parental leave and an aggregate of six weeks in any 24-month period for other qualifying reasons, for a cumulative total of up to 12 weeks of benefits per year.
Any employee, primarily reporting for work in Delaware, who has worked for one year for their employer and at least 1,250 hours in the previous 12 months is eligible to use the benefits and leave provided by the new law.
Employers with 10 -24 employees in Delaware must contribute to the program and provide parental leave. Employers with at least 25 employees also must provide family caregiving and medical leave. The law includes an exemption for employers that are closed for at least 30 consecutive days during the year, and those employers who have an approved plan for a similar benefit can opt to keep their plan and will not be required to contribute to the State fund.
Small businesses who do not qualify as “employers” under the Act will be able to opt into the plan on a benefit-by-benefit basis bust must do so for a period of least three years.
Employees who exercise their right to take covered leave are entitled to their previous position or one of equivalent seniority, status, pay and benefits upon return.
We anticipate this new regulation may raise many questions, so we suggest seeking assistance from your HR professional or legal counsel to review current paid time off benefit plans and leave of absence policies for compliance with this new law.
Chicago Adopts Sexual Harassment Prevention Obligations for Employers – Effective July 1, 2022
Under the new obligations, employers must provide training to employees and supervisors on sexual harassment prevention and how bystanders should respond to sexual harassment.
This new policy and training obligations for employers licensed by or with work locations in the city requires every employer to have a written policy in each employee’s primary language, to be distributed to each employee within the first calendar week of employment. The policy must include the following elements:
- A statement that sexual harassment is illegal in Chicago
- The definition of sexual harassment
- A requirement that employees participate in annual training; one hour of prevention training for all employees, two hours prevention training for anyone who manages or supervisors’ employees; and one hour of bystander training.
- Examples of sexual harassment
- Details on how an employee can report an allegation
- Information about legal services that are available to employees who may be victims.
- A statement that retaliation for reporting sexual harassment is illegal in Chicago
In addition, employers must display posters designed by the commission on sexual-harassment prohibitions in at least one location where employees commonly congregate. They must post at least one poster in English and one in Spanish.
Additional documentation requirements on policies and provided trainings apply to show compliance with the ordinance. Failure to maintain the required records for a period of at least five years creates a presumption that the employer violated the ordinance.
A person who violates the sections of the ordinance prohibiting sexual harassment, defining the mandatory elements of the policy, and mandating annual training is subject to a fine ranging between $500 and $1,000 per day.
Employers need to create anti-harassment policy according to the city ordinance, post the required notice and conduct the required training. Visit the IL Department of Human Rights website for sanctioned sexual harassment prevention training materials.
IL Regulations on Restrictive Covenants (Freedom to Work Act) were Amended – January 1, 2022
- This amendment eliminates the term “low wage employees” to existing regulations and prohibits employers from entering into non-competition agreements with employees earning $75,000 or less per year.
- Similarly, the amendment prohibits employers from entering into non-solicitation agreements with employees earning $45,000 or less per year.
The salary threshold amounts will increase every five years by $5,000 until January 1, 2037, when the amount will equal $90,000. For non-solicit agreements, the salary threshold amounts will increase every five years by $2,500 until January 1, 2037, when the amount will equal $52,500.
Employers are now required to include in their non-compete and non-solicit agreements a notice that the employee may consult with an attorney and must be given a 14-day waivable period. Employers will need to incorporate this timeline into any onboarding documents
The amended law empowers the state attorney general to bring claims with civil penalties up to $5,000 for initial violations and $10,000 for repeat violations. Employees may also recover attorneys’ fees if they prevail in a claim challenging a restrictive covenant.
We suggest employers with employees in Illinois seek legal advice to review existing non-compete and non-solicit agreement templates to ensure compliance with this amended law.
New Jersey Requires Employers to Provide Tracking Notices – In Effect Since April 18, 2022
All NJ employers who use a device to track employee operated vehicles are required to provide a written notice to employees subject to tracking, prior to using the tracking device.
A tracking device is defined as “an electronic or mechanical device which is designed or intended to be used for the sole purpose of tracking the movement of a vehicle, person or device.” The law does not apply to devices used for the purpose of documenting employee expense reimbursement, such as mileage counters or odometer readers.
If your Company uses any tracking devices or applications to track a vehicle, person or device, then you must:
- Draft a notice that accurately describes the tracking practices for vehicles that employees use, with an acknowledgement section for employees. Obtain a signed Acknowledgment from current employees and new hires subject to tracking going forward.
- Update any applicable Company policies and procedures to comply with the law.
New Mexico Enacts Healthy Workplaces Act – Effective July 1, 2022
The Act requires all New Mexico employers to provide paid sick time (leave) effective July 1, 2022.
Under the Act, all private employers and employees are covered with the exception of those subject to the federal Railway Labor Act (RLA), the federal Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act (RUIA), or Title II (air carriers) working in New Mexico.
The Act provides the accrual of an hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked, up to a maximum of 64 hours per year. Once accrued and put to use, employers cannot require employees to find replacement workers to cover their absence and use of this paid sick time cannot be counted toward an absence or punitive attendance policy that may lead to or result in discipline, discharge, demotion, suspension, or any other adverse action.
Under the Act, Paid Sick Time can be used for preventative care, diagnosis, care, or treatment for mental or physical illness, injury or health condition of employee or family member; an employee’s need to meet at the employee’s child’s school or place of care related to the child’s health or disability; and medical attention, services, counseling, or relocation if an employee or family member is the victim of domestic abuse, sexual violence or stalking.
Posting of employee’s rights under the Act is required and employers must track and provide balances on employee pay stubs.
Additional provisions apply.
This article does not constitute legal advice and there are subtle variations in employment law as it pertains to this topic, depending on where your business operates. It is strongly suggested that you seek consultation or legal counsel before making decisions about policies.