Wondering what 2018 will bring to the world of employment law? See below for 5 hot topics with changes on January 1, 2018 in several individual states and cities across the U.S.:
- Changes to state and local minimum wage rates: By our count, 18 states and at least 20 individual cities have new minimum wage rates effective January 1, 2018. It’s not only important that employers are both aware of and in compliance with the new rates, but also that they have posted required notices to accompany the change. Make sure you know if your business is affected.
- More states are adding Paid Sick Leave Laws: The state of Washington is the latest to enact a state-wide paid sick leave requirement for most employers effective January 1, 2018. This is on the heels of Arizona’s Paid Sick Leave requirement effective July 1, 2017, and in addition to previously existing policies in California, Oregon, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Washington D.C., and Vermont. Rhode Island will join this group in July of 2018. Keep in mind, there are also over 28 city / local paid sick leave laws in place across the nation. As with minimum wage, having the policy in effect and following guidelines with notices to employees are important compliance matters to consider.
- More states are enacting prohibitions on asking for salary histories “pre-offer”: This issue grew from the analysis that pay inequity problems follow a person’s career if they were unfortunate enough to start with a lower wage. By banning the question pre-offer, employers are forced to have pre-determined pay ranges in mind that focus on the candidate’s prior experience. Surprise! California is not the first to address this, but rather on January 1, 2018, it joins six other states that enacted these bans state-wide in 2017. Massachusetts will join the group on July 1, 2018.
- Ban-the-Box movement continues to grow: On January 1, 2018, California joins nine other states in prohibiting the “conviction history question” on job applications for private employers, which is an expansion to the state’s previous expectations for public agencies. CT, HI, IL, MA, MN, NJ, OR, RI and VT all beat Cali to the punch. If you’re in any of these ten states, be sure to double check your applications for compliance and update accordingly.
- More emphasis on state data breach security: Alabama and South Dakota seem to be the only hold-outs on enacting legislation requiring private or governmental entities to notify individuals of security breaches of information involving personally identifiable information. With the rise of information hacking and the publicity surrounding breaches at large institutions, smaller employers need to assess their data protection practices and systems. Hiring a data security consultant is a trend we recommend you consider for safeguarding information housed on your computer systems.