Inspiring HR welcomes you to this feature: 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 newly active and future State Changes in this issue are as follows:
CO Healthy Families and Workplaces Act – Effective Dates Vary
Colorado has enacted the Healthy Families and Workplaces Act (“Act”), which requires all Colorado employers to provide three types of paid sick leave: (1) COVID-19 emergency paid sick leave; (2) paid sick and safe time; and (3) public health emergency paid sick leave.
1 – COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick Leave – Effective July 15, 2020 to December 31, 2020
CO – EPSL replaces the CO – Health Emergency Leave with Pay (HELP) Rules for paid Covid-19 leave, by extending the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) to employers with 500 or more employers.
Companies in Colorado previously exempt from FFCRA due to their larger size will now be required to comply with the FFCRA paid sick leave provisions.
Additionally, employers with 499 or fewer employees that federal law allows to exclude certain employees from the EPSLA will need to comply, though they might simply elect to undo the election and comply with federal law so they can receive federal tax relief for providing leave.
Unanswered: How now-covered employers can offset their leave obligation due to leave they provided employees under CO- HELP Rules. The CDLE hopefully will clarify this open question.
2 – Paid Sick & Safe Time (PSST) – Effective January 1, 2021
The paid sick and safe time mandate will first apply to employers with 16 or more employees beginning on January 1, 2021, and then apply to all employers on January 1, 2022. More information to come in future updates.
3 – Public Health Emergency Leave – Effective January 1, 2021
Requires employers to make available to employees a one-time allotment of two weeks of additional paid sick leave during a public health emergency. More information to come in future updates.
Lodging Services Human Trafficking Recognition Training – Effective June 1, 2020
Effective June 1, 2020, the Illinois Lodging Services Human Trafficking Recognition Training Act requires that a lodging establishment provide its employees with training on the recognition of human trafficking and protocols for reporting observed human trafficking to the appropriate authorities. The law defines lodging establishment as a hotel, motel, or a casino hotel.
Covered employees. The law covers employees who are employed by a lodging establishment and who have recurring interactions with the public, including an employee who works in a reception area, performs housekeeping duties, helps customers move their possessions or transports by vehicle customers of the lodging establishment.
Timing and frequency of training. Covered employees must complete the training within six months after beginning employment and then every two years after that. The training must be at least 20 minutes in duration and contain the following:
- A definition of human trafficking and commercial exploitation of children;
- Guidance on how to identify individuals who are most at risk for human trafficking;
- The difference between human trafficking for purposes of labor and purposes of sex as the trafficking relates to lodging establishments; and
- Guidance on the role of lodging establishment employees in reporting and responding to instances of human trafficking.
Employers can develop and use their own compliant program or that of a third party. The Department of Human Services is developing a curriculum for an approved human trafficking training recognition program for use by employers scheduled for release shortly after July 1, 2020.
Illinois lodging establishments interested in additional compliance information on this act or assistance with other HR challenges are encouraged to contact Inspiring HR.
Maryland Enacts Mandatory State WARN Act Requirements – Effective October 1, 2020
Effective October 1, 2020 compliance with the WARN Act in Maryland is no longer voluntary and the thresholds and other provisions are much broader than the Federal WARN Act requirements.
The requirements apply to employers with 50 or more employees operating industrial, commercial, or business enterprises in the state of Maryland. In determining headcount, employees who average 20 or more hours per week or have worked for the employer at least 6 months out of the last 12 months should be counted.
Employers must give notice of “reductions in operations,” which are defined as (1) the relocation of a part of an employer’s operation from one workplace to another existing or proposed site; or (2) the shutting down of a workplace or a portion of the operations of a workplace that reduces the number of employees by at least 25% or 15 employees, whichever is greater, over any three-month period. Workplaces include factories, plants, offices, or other facilities at which employers conduct operations – but do not include construction sites or other temporary workplaces.
WA State OT exemption requirements – Effective July 2020
Effective July 2020, the state’s duties test for exempt employees (those who are not eligible for overtime due to salary level and duties), will more closely align with federal requirements, and the exempt salary level minimum will be rising over time. While the July salary increase will not affect current exempt individuals, the increase occurring in January 2021 will be higher than federal minimums.
Overtime changes Q&A: https://lni.wa.gov/workers-rights/wages/overtime/changes-to-overtime-rules-q-a
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.