Labor Law Updates for December 2019
Inspiring HR is excited to introduce a new feature as a service to our subscribers: Monthly State Law Updates! 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. Changes may have been addressed in previous updates, which can be accessed online on our website www.inspiringhr.com.
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 upcoming State Changes in this issue are as follows:
Lactation Accommodation Update – effective January 2020
While employers must continue to accommodate employees who need to express breast milk, new regulations specifically require employers to allow lactation breaks each time they are needed, provide a space with specific requirements and develop a Lactation Accommodation policy.
Ban on Arbitration Agreements – effective January 2020
AB 51 places a ban on most arbitration agreements as a condition of employment, though this new law may not impact agreements that were entered into prior to January 2020. If you currently require employees to sign arbitration agreements, please consult legal counsel to ensure you are in compliance with this new law.
Change to Organ Donation Leave – effective January 2020
New regulations under AB 1223 expand leave protections for organ donation. Currently, the law requires employers with 15+ employees to provide up to 30 paid days for purposes of organ donation within 12 months. Under AB 1223, employers will be required to provide up to an additional 30 unpaid days for the same purpose within the same 12-month period.
As a reminder, CA has expanded its Anti-Harassment training requirements. In addition to the existing requirement for companies with 50+ employees to train supervisors, the expansion requires employers of 5 or more employees to provide their supervisors with two hours of compliant training and provide one hour of compliant training for all non-supervisory employees. This training must take place by the end of 2020.
Independent Contractor Test – effective January 2020
The “ABC Test” to determine if a worker met the classification of Independent Contractor has now been set as the standard for all Labor and Unemployment codes via AB 5. As a reminder, the ABC test requires that an independent contractor meet three factors as to the nature of the work and how it is performed. Please see Independent Contractor Versus Employee for more information.
Change to Definition of Domestic Partners
Domestic partnerships are no longer restricted by the sex or gender of the individuals. Any two adults over the age of 18 may now enter into a domestic partnership, which may increase benefits-eligible individuals under health plans and those employee relationships that may be covered by various leaves of absence laws, including Paid Sick Leave and leave under the California Family Rights Act. The wording of the law can be found in SB-30 Domestic partnership.
The Illinois state legislature passed the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act in 2008. The law, known as BIPA, covers and regulates private employer use of biometric identifiers and biometric information of Illinois employees. Because use of biometric data in on the increase, and a number of employers fail to comply, awareness and compliance is on the rise for IL companies subject to the law.
While Illinois private employers have little room to avoid compliance, governmental employers and contractors have some exemptions.
Examples of BIPA-covered employer interactions with employees’ biometric identifiers include (but are not limited to) using any of the following for security scanning, time entry, and paying wages or salaries:
- retina or iris scans
- scan of hand or face geometry
Illinois employers must take several steps before obtaining or transferring biometric identifiers or biometric information on their employees. IL employers are encouraged to familiarize themselves with notice and confidentiality requirements to avoid non-compliance and private litigation.
Effective 01/01/2020, Nevada private employers who have been in business for 2 or more years and have 50+ employees must provide up to 40 hours annually of Paid Leave (PL) to most employees.
What positions are covered:
- Regular full-time and regular part-time employees must be provided PL unless a pre-existing paid leave policy matches or is more generous than the provisions of the new law, SB-312.
- Temporary, seasonal and on-call employees are exempt from coverage by the law.
What else is required:
- Employers must provide no less than approximately 1 hour for every 52 hours worked for each hour worked, up to 40 hours of PL per benefit year
- While carry-over of no less than 40 hours from one benefit year to the next is required, employers may limit use to 40 hours per year.
- Other provisions on use and notification are outlined for employers.
San Antonio Sick and Safe Leave
Effective December 1, 2019 employees in San Antonio, TX will be given earned paid time off for use if an employee needs to be absent from work due to illness or injury, medical treatment or preventative care, domestic or sexual assault, and care of a family member.
All employers, regardless of size, are required to provide up to 56 hours of Sick and Safe Leave (SSL) time. Employees will be eligible to accrue one hour of SSL time for every 30 hours worked, up to 56 hours per year. In general, it is compensated at normal rates of pay and affects employers that do not already provide comparable or more generous time off.
Beginning Jan. 1, 2020, Virginia employers must provide paystubs to employees on each regular pay date. Currently, Virginia employers must provide only a pay statement listing the employee’s gross wages and deductions upon the employee’s request.
The paystub can be in writing or online, and must include:
- The name and address of the employer.
- The number of hours worked during the pay period.
- The rate of pay.
- The gross wages earned by the employee during the pay period.
- The amount and purpose of any deductions.
We recommend Virginia employers review and update their payroll practices to ensure compliance, and review and revise employee handbook policies which address wage statements or timekeeping.