Tuesday, December 15, 2020
As we (fortunately) attain the top of 2020, we needed to offer a year-end replace on current and upcoming state regulation developments. Even if state and native governments had their arms full with the COVID-19 pandemic (and handed many legal guidelines regarding that subject, which we is not going to cowl right here), they managed to crank out a formidable variety of non-COVID-related employment legal guidelines.
As at all times, now is an effective time for employers to take a deep breath, go searching, assess their insurance policies for compliance, and make any essential updates to their handbooks, pay practices, and administration for the brand new 12 months.
Given the massive variety of updates, we now have organized by state, somewhat than by subject, however will observe that obligatory paid depart legal guidelines and being pregnant/lactation lodging legal guidelines had been among the many hottest varieties of legal guidelines handed this 12 months. Heading into 2021, we anticipate extra of the identical, in addition to continued enlargement of equal pay legal guidelines, anti-harassment and discrimination legal guidelines, and continued will increase to minimal wage necessities.
One exception to the state-by-state updates under—minimal wage hikes! With the federal minimal wage standing pat at $7.25 per hour, state and native governments are main the cost to greater minimal wage charges. Our up to date minimal wage chart is on the market right here. Employers also needs to preserve tabs on states the place the white collar exemption wage threshold for additional time compensation exceeds the federal wage degree of $35,568; for 2020, this contains Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, New York, Pennsylvania (efficient October 2021), and Washington.
Small employers, prepare! Efficient January 1, 2021, the SB-1383 amendments to the California Household Rights Act (CFRA) go into impact. Most importantly, the amendments lengthen the CFRA to cowl employers of 5 or extra staff. Additionally underneath the amendments increase the definition of member of the family to incorporate grandparents, grandchildren, grownup youngsters, siblings and different members of the family with critical medical situations. Which means that it’s now extra possible that an worker may take as much as 24 weeks of depart in a 12-month interval if they’re eligible underneath the FMLA and CFRA (e.g., 12 weeks of depart to look after a grandparent underneath the CFRA then 12 weeks of depart for their very own critical well being situation underneath the FMLA). There are a number of different modifications, so virtually all California employers must revise their insurance policies to account for these amendments.
Efficient January 1, 2021, California’s Paid Household Depart will increase to incorporate qualifying exigency depart.
California has additionally revised its Kin Care Legislation (which primarily permits an worker to make use of any employer-provided paid sick depart for functions of caring for sick members of the family) to make clear that it’s as much as the worker whether or not or to not use their accrued sick depart to look after a sick member of the family. The change turns into efficient on January 1, 2021.
As well as, California has amended the Honest Probability Act rules governing felony background checks and the hiring course of; these modifications turned efficient on October 1, 2020. The amended rules state that an “applicant” now contains people who start work earlier than, however are nonetheless topic to the employer’s evaluation of their felony historical past. Moreover, the scope of the Honest Probability Act was expanded, requiring labor contractors and union hiring halls to adjust to established rules in selecting staff for pool or availability lists.
California additionally expanded its regulation offering protections to victims of home violence, sexual assault and stalking to offer protections to staff who’re a sufferer of a criminal offense that brought about bodily damage or brought about psychological damage and a menace of bodily damage or an instantaneous member of the family of a person who died because the direct results of a criminal offense. The modifications go into impact on January 1, 2021.
Lastly, California employers of 100 or extra staff have till March 31, 2021 to adjust to the state’s pay information reporting requirement and submit their pay information to the Division of Honest Employment and Housing. Extra info is on the market right here.
Colorado was one of many first states to offer for COVID-related paid depart for workers. Shortly thereafter, Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed the Wholesome Households and Workplaces Act into regulation. The Act presently gives for COVID-related paid depart, nevertheless, efficient January 1, 2021, it is going to require employers with 16 or extra staff to offer common paid sick depart to staff (all different employers have till January 1, 2022 to conform). Beneath the Act, staff can accrue and use as much as 48 hours of sick depart per 12 months. Sick depart can be utilized for quite a lot of specified causes regarding the worker’s or their members of the family’ sickness, damage or want for medical care, college or enterprise closures, or for specified causes associated to home violence, sexual assault or harassment. As much as 48 hours of unused sick depart could be carried over to the following 12 months, however unused sick depart doesn’t must paid out upon termination of employment. Whereas the Act largely mirrors sick depart legal guidelines in different jurisdictions, it additionally has a public well being emergency depart part, pursuant to which staff can take as much as 80 further hours of paid depart. Employers should notify staff of their rights underneath the Act; the offered poster is on the market right here.
Additionally efficient January 1, 2021 is the Equal Pay for Equal Work Act, which, together with Equal Pay Transparency Guidelines, expands upon present prohibitions on sex-based pay discrimination. Beneath the brand new regulation, all job postings should embody disclosure of compensation and an outline of advantages supplied with the place. Inside promotion alternatives should additionally embody this info and have to be introduced to present staff.
As well as, Colorado has joined different jurisdictions in banning pure hair discrimination, efficient September 14, 2020; employers can not discriminate towards staff based mostly upon hair texture or sort or hairstyles related to race corresponding to braids, locs, cornrows, Afros, and headwraps.
The deadline for employers to adjust to Connecticut’s sexual harassment coaching necessities has been prolonged to February 9, 2021. Beneath the state’s Time’s Up Act, employers with three or extra staff should present sexual harassment coaching to all staff and all employers should present such coaching to supervisory staff. Extra info could be discovered right here.
Starting on January 1, 2021, employers should start withholding worker contributions to the Connecticut Paid Depart Authority in reference to the Connecticut Paid Household and Medical Depart program; staff are scheduled to be eligible to obtain advantages underneath this system starting on January 1, 2022.
Georgia enacted a brand new regulation requiring all employers to offer paid breastfeeding breaks to staff. The regulation additionally requires that employers present a non-public location, apart from a restroom, the place staff can categorical breast milk on the worksite. The regulation went into impact on August 11, 2020.
Hawaii expanded its Household Depart regulation by offering a broad definition of “sibling” and permitting staff to take depart to look after grandchildren. The modifications went into impact on July 1, 2020.
Hawaii additionally narrowed the scope of its “ban the field” regulation, shortening the lookback interval to additional restrict the prior time period employers can inquire into and contemplate conviction information. This timeframe was lowered from 10 years to seven years for felony convictions and 5 years for misdemeanor convictions, excluding durations of incarceration. These modifications went into impact on September 15, 2020.
Half Two of our year-end State Legislation Spherical-Up might be posted quickly, with updates for Illinois via Washington, D.C.
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