Did You Catch These Employment Law Updates?
2016 has been a whirlwind year for employment law. The list below shows just a few of the hot-button issues that have recently been addressed by changes to state or local legislation.
Like all new laws, some of these require an immediate employee handbook update, while others don’t, IF you already have a compliant policy. (CEDR members get this taken care of as a built-in service!) And if you see your state in the list below, keep in mind that there are further details you need to find out about.
If you’re not a CEDR member yet but you’d like to talk to us about recent updates in your state, independent healthcare owners and managers can give us a call at 866-414-6056 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to help.
Here are some state law updates our attorneys and HR experts have been keeping an eye on.
Wage Notice and Equal Pay Laws:
- Seattle, WA Wage Theft Act (4/1/2015) – Requires all employers to inform employees about the basics of their employment in writing at the time of hire.
- New Hampshire Wage Notice (6/7/2016) – Applies to all employers and requires them to inform employees about the basics of their employment in writing at the time of hire.
- Maryland Pay Equality/Wage Equality law (10/1/2016) – Expands protections for workers with several new provisions that apply to Maryland employers of all sizes. This law includes changes to what employers can ask during the hiring process!
- Massachusetts Pay Equity Act (effective 7/1/2018) – Attempts to close the wage gap with several new protections for employees. This law includes changes to what employers can ask during the hiring process!
- New York (state) Direct Deposit Regulations (effective 3/7/2017) – Applies to all employers and provides very specific requirements if an employer is going to pay employees via direct deposit or debit card.
Medical Marijuana Laws:
- Pennsylvania (5/17/2016) and Ohio (9/8/2016) have recently joined the growing list of states allowing the use of marijuana for medical purposes. (Ohio, your law is very specific about acceptable forms and methods!)
Pregnancy Discrimination Laws:
- Utah pregnancy protections (5/10/2016) – applies to employers with 15 or more employees. More generous to employees than federal law. Example: employers cannot request a doctor’s note if a pregnant employee requests more frequent breaks.
- Colorado pregnancy protections (8/10/2016) – applies to employers with 1 or more employees. More generous to employees than federal law, as it says that a disability related to pregnancy is not needed for accommodation.
Paid Parental Leave Laws:
- San Francisco Paid Parental Leave – Will be phased in between January 2017 and January 2018, depending on number of employees.
Paid Sick Leave Laws:
New paid sick leave laws are being considered by cities and states throughout the country. Here are just a few examples:
- Cook County, Illinois (effective 7/1/2017)
- Minneapolis, Minnesota (effective 7/1/2017)
- St. Paul, Minnesota (effective 7/1/2017 for employers with 24 or more employees, 1/1/2018 for employers with 23 or fewer employees)
Other Leave Laws:
- Illinois Child Bereavement Act (7/29/2016) – Applies to employers with 50 or more employees. Offers 6 weeks of unpaid bereavement leave in the event of the death of a child.
- Illinois Employee Sick Leave Act (effective 1/1/2017) – NOTE: This is not a paid sick leave law. This applies to all employers, regardless of size and states that IF sick leave is given, THEN the employer must allow the employees to use it for the care of a family member.
- Massachusetts Anti-Discrimination (10/1/2016) – Applies to employers with 6 or more employees. States that employers cannot discriminate against transgender employees, and requires them to allow transgender employees to use the bathroom of the gender with which they identify.
Independent Contractor Laws:
- Arizona Declaration of Independent Business Status (8/6/2016) – Allows employers and independent contractors to execute a document that asks the contractor to confirm details relevant to independent contractor status.
That’s not it, but we’ll leave things there for today. Again, contact us if you’re a healthcare employer and you see your state on this list—there’s more you need to know!
Friendly Disclaimer: This information is general in nature, and is not intended to replace good counsel about a specific issue with either your attorney or your favorite HR expert.
If you’re a healthcare practice owner or manager with questions about recent law updates in your state, give CEDR’s HR Advisors a call at 866-414-6056, or email email@example.com.