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.
Employers are encouraged to work with their Inspiring HR Consultant before making policy changes to capture the full requirements of these laws.
On the federal stage, despite having a past expiration date, an updated version of the Form I-9 has not yet been released by the Department of Homeland Security. As in similar prior instances, DHS advises employers to continue to use the latest version of the form, which has an expiration date 8/31/2019, until a replacement form is available for public use.
State legislative sessions were busy this summer with a host of changes coming down the pipe for several of our client locations. Some of the more notable upcoming changes are as follows:
Effective in July 1, 2019, the state of California launched its CalSavers Retirement Savings program to all eligible employers. Employers with five or more employees who don’t already offer a 401k or other similar savings plan will be required to offer one OR provide their employees access to CalSavers.
Eligible employers are required to register at any time, but must be registered by the following deadlines:
Employer Size & Deadline to Register:
- 100+ Employees – June 30, 2020
- 50+ Employees – June 30, 2021
- 5 or more Employees – June 30, 2022
Effective 9/1/2019, Colorado employers must comply with HB19-1025, otherwise known as the “Colorado Chance to Compete Act.” The Act is an effort to prevent persons with criminal records from being automatically ruled out for job vacancies
What it prohibits:
- Asking about an applicant’s criminal history in an initial job application.
- Stating in a job posting or advertisement that a person with a criminal history may not apply.
The Act went into effect for employers with 11 or more employees on 9/1/2019.
The Act goes in effect for ALL employers, regardless of size, on 9/1/2021.
Effective October 1, 2019, the CT Time’s Up Act will require all CT employers of all sizes to provide sexual harassment training to supervisors by October 1, 2020 or within in six months of the start of the supervisory duties. Employers with at least three employees must provide sexual harassment training to all employees, not just supervisors.
Employers are required to post the poster “The Illegality of Sexual Harassment and Remedies available to victims of harassment” and provide all employees within 3 months from the employee’s date of hire.
City of Chicago: The Chicago Fair Workweek Ordinance requires hourly workers to be protected from unpredictable, last-minute scheduling changes which can impact financial well-being a stability for families.
By requiring predictive scheduling, employees covered by this ordinance will now receive:
- Predictability of pay: Employees are entitled to compensation for changes an employer makes to a work schedule after the deadline.
- The right to decline when schedules change: Employees may decline additional hours not previously scheduled.
- Choice of additional work hours when available: First offer of additional shifts of work will be reserved for qualified existing employees.
- The right to rest and request a flexible working arrangement: Employees are not required to work hours scheduled for less than 10 hours after the end of the previous day’s shift and are paid a higher differential for those shifts.
Affected employers must schedule employees 10 days in advance effective July 1, 2020, and rising to 14 days in 2022, and directs employers to ban scheduling practices which prevent workers from attending to their families, health, education and other obligations.
This city ordinance applies to employers in the following industries: Building services, healthcare, hotel, manufacturing, restaurant, retail, or warehouse services industry, and employ more than one hundred (100) employees globally of which fifty (50) of those employees meet the criteria to be covered by the ordinance. For employers in the restaurant industry, the threshold is two hundred fifty (250) employees and thirty (30) locations globally and franchises with four (4) or more locations in the City of Chicago.
The Minnesota Wage Theft Law became effective July 1, 2019 and now requires all Minnesota employers to provide a written wage notice to all employees upon hire regarding their employment status and terms of employment, including wages, hours and benefits. Employers are also required to provide employees, in writing, any change(s) to the information included in the notice before the effective date the change(s).
In addition to the Wage Notice requirements, employers are also required to provide all employees with a Wage Statement that includes wages paid, hours worked, deductions made and benefits accrued by an employee. The Wage Statement must be provided in writing or electronically. If the statement is provided electronically, employers are required to provide a written copy if the employee requests a written copy.
Effective January 1, 2020, all New Jersey employers are prohibited from asking a job applicant’s salary history in order to satisfy any minimum or maximum threshold to be considered for a job. The law also prohibits employers from screening applicants based on the applicant’s prior salary history, which includes prior wages, salary and benefits. An employer may obtain written authorization from the applicant to confirm salary history after an offer of employment that contains an explanation of the offered overall compensation package.
New York City announced a new law taking effect on May 10, 2020, which prohibits NYC employers from requiring prospective employees to submit a drug test which tests for the presence of marijuana. However, the law does not prohibit employers for testing for other unlawful drugs other than marijuana nor does it require employers to allow employees to come to work under the influence.
NYC has excluded some employers in specific industries, such as police officers, commercial drivers, construction, etc. due to safety and security concerns on the job or for any jobs that require drug testing for a condition of receiving a federal grant and/or contract.
The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Use and Patient Protection Act, better known as the medical marijuana “Unity Bill,” amends the state’s medical marijuana law to create a system for implementing dispensary licenses and to amend and clarify who must be accommodated in the employment context if they are medical marijuana users.
From an employer’s perspective, the most significant change to the law may be the addition of explicit permissions to take medical marijuana use into consideration when the applicant or employee holds, or will hold, a position with safety-sensitive job duties. In that case, the employer can decline to employ the individual, or take other action.
All employers regardless of size will be covered under parts or all of Oregon’s new Paid Family Leave law, which runs concurrently with FMLA and OFLA as appropriate. Employees who have earned $1000 in wages in the previous year are eligible for 12 weeks of job-protected leave (with wage replacement up to $1215 per week based on actual wages) to care for a seriously ill family member, his or her own serious health condition or time off needed as a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking. Employees who take this leave are eligible to return to the same position or, in the case of employers with fewer than 25 employees, a position with similar duties and pay. A payroll tax of up to 1% of employee wages (subject to caps) will fund this new law and cost is shared by employers and employees. Employers with fewer than 25 employees are exempted from the payroll tax requirement.
The Dallas City Council passed an ordinance requiring employers to provide paid sick leave beginning August 1, 2019. The ordinance applies to all private for-profit and nonprofit employers that have employees working inside the city of Dallas at least 80 hours a year. The ordinance does not apply to independent contractors or unpaid interns.
The ordinance took effect on August 1, 2019, for all covered employers with five or more employees. The effective date is delayed until August 1, 2021, for employers with fewer than five employees at any time in the preceding 12-month period.
Effective July 28, 2019, all employers regardless of size in the state of Washington are no longer allowed to ask for salary history of applicants or seek salary information from their current employers. Two exceptions to the rule of verifying salary history are:
- If a candidate voluntarily discloses his/her salary information
- An employer may NOT require that past salary meet certain criteria
- Once an offer with compensation has been made
Employers of 15 or more employees are required to disclose the minimum wage/salary for a position that an application has been initially offered and need to provide the wage scale by request to an internal employee who is offered a transfer or promotion.
If no wage/salary exists, the employer must provide the minimum wage/salary expectation prior to posting a position or making a transfer or promotion.