Supreme Court’s 2019 Cases and the Potential Impact on Employers

The Supreme Court’s 2019 term begins in October and includes several cases that could have meaningful consequences for employers. Among the issues that will be addressed by the Court are the statute of limitations under ERISA, Title VII protections regarding sexual orientation, and causation standards on certain employment claims. Click here for more information from Baker Donelson.

 

Chicago Enacts Predictive Scheduling Law

Chicago’s new “Fair Workweek Ordinance” goes into effect on July 1, 2020. This Ordinance requires certain employers in the city to provide advance notice of their covered employees’ work schedules. To be subject to the Ordinance, an employer must have at least 100 total employees and be engaged in a “covered industry”, which includes hotels, restaurants, and retail. Chicago joins a number of other jurisdictions, such as New York City and San Francisco, in implementing predictive scheduling laws. Click here to read more from Littler Mendelson.

 

Oregon Passes Paid Family and Medical Leave Law

The Oregon state legislature has passed HB 2005, which will require employers to provide their eligible workers with up to 12 weeks of paid leave beginning in January 2023. The Family and Medical Leave Insurance (FAMLI) Program will be funded through a payroll tax on both employers and employees that is set to begin in January 2022. The rules governing the administration of the FAMLI Program are still to come, and expected to be released by September 2021. Click here for additional information, courtesy of Jackson Lewis.

 

Mandatory State Poster & Notice Updates

Georgia has revised the Workers’ Compensation Bill of Rights. Click here to access the new form.

Indiana has updated the IOSHA poster.

Maryland has updated the Minimum Wage poster.

Nevada has poster updates to the Rules to be Observed by Employers, Paid Leave, and Lie Detectors. Click here to access these posters.

 

Tennessee to Use 20-Factor Test to Determine Contractor Status

Tennessee has adopted a 20-factor test to determine whether a worker should be classified as an employee or independent contractor. This law goes into effect on January 1, 2020 and replaces the “ABC” test that is currently applied to the contractor vs. employee analysis. Click here to read more from Jackson Lewis.  

 

Illinois to Legalize Recreational Marijuana Use

Illinois has allowed the use of marijuana for medical purposes since 2014, and now the state’s General Assembly has passed HB 1438 that is set to legalize recreational use of the drug on January 1, 2020. Employers should review their existing drug testing policies to ensure they comply with the new protections of the law, and should also consider training managers on identifying signs of impairment at work. Click here to read more from Littler Mendelson.

 

Connecticut to Increase Minimum Wage

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont recently signed legislation that will gradually increase the state’s minimum wage to $15.00 per hour by June 2023. The first increase is scheduled for October 1, 2019 when the current minimum hourly rate of $10.10 will increase to $11.00. Click here to read Governor Lamont’s press release.

 

Other Minimum Wage Changes in 2019

As mentioned in previous employer alerts, state and local level changes to the minimum wage are scheduled to occur throughout 2019. Jurisdictions such as New Jersey, Oregon, and the District of Columbia are among those with rate changes set to occur on July 1. Click here for a chart of state-level minimum wage increases, courtesy of Fisher Phillips.

 

Employers Must Report Pay Data to EEOC in September

The EEOC plans to require employers to report two years of pay data by September 30, 2019. The pay and hours worked data, also known as Component 2 data, from the 2017 and 2018 payrolls must be broken down by sex, race, and ethnicity. The EEOC expects to open the reporting window for Component 2 data by mid-July, but will notify employers of the exact date at a later time. This development has no effect on the current EEO-1 reporting requirements of traditional Component 1 data, and applicable employers should proceed with filing the current version of the EEO-1 report by the May 31 deadline. Click here for more information, courtesy of The National Law Review.

 

New Jersey Bans Non-Disclosure Agreements, Among States Mandating Retirement Savings 

Governor Phil Murphy recently signed S. 121, which imposes significant limitations upon an employer’s ability to enter into NDAs when settling discrimination, retaliation, and harassment claims. The Act, which includes several wide-sweeping and ambiguous provisions, is part of a larger nationwide movement targeting NDAs and release provisions in employment-related contracts. Click here for more information on S. 121, courtesy of Littler Mendelson. In other New Jersey news, the Garden State has also passed Assembly Bill 4134 into law, which creates the New Jersey Retirement Savings Program. Employers with at least 25 employees will be required to set up an automatic payroll deduction for employees to participate in a state-managed retirement savings program unless employers already offer their own retirement savings plan. Other states, such as Illinois and Connecticut, are also expected to implement similar retirement savings mandates this year.

 

EEOC Requests To Collect Pay Data in September

The EEOC is targeting a date of September 30 to collect pay data from employers. Specifically, the revised EEO-1 report being proposed would include W-2 earnings and hours worked in addition to an employee’s job category, sex, race, and ethnicity. The current EEO-1 reporting site opened on March 18 without the capability to collect this additional data, and at this time applicable employers should proceed with filing the current version of the EEO-1 report by May 31. Click here for more information, courtesy of The National Law Review.

 

Federal Court Stops December 1 Implementation of New Overtime Rules

A federal court in the Eastern District of Texas granted a nationwide injunction blocking the enforcement of the FLSA overtime rule. Employers are no longer required to meet the December 1 deadline. The lawsuit, filed by 21 states and a variety of employer groups, argued that the Department of Labor (DOL) exceeded its authority when it nearly doubled the salary level required for overtime exemption from $23,660 ($455/week) to $47,476 ($913/week).

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USCIS Releases New I-9 Form

USCIS has released a new version of the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. Until January 22, 2017, Employers have the choice of using the new 11/14/2016 version of the form, OR using the 03/08/2013 version. However, by January 22, 2017, employers must use the new Form I-9 for all new hires, and also for reverifying any existing employees who require reverification of their work authorization. For reverifying an existing employee, the employer must complete Section 3 of the new version and attach it to the employee’s existing I-9. The issuance of the new I-9 version does NOT compel an employer to complete brand new I-9s for its entire existing workforce in a blanket fashion.

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Adams Keegan Webinar | New Overtime Rules Explained & Action Plans

On May 18, the President and Secretary of Labor announced the publication of the Final Rule updating overtime regulations. This may have an impact on your compensation policies and practices. The attached Employer Compliance Alert addresses what you need to know and do to ensure compliance.

As with many complex topics, Adams Keegan provides additional information to help clarify your understanding of the Final Rule.  Our goal is to ensure that you're aware of all the steps needed to ensure compliance well in advance of the Department of Labor's December 31, 2016 deadline. Click below for a link to a recording of a recent webinar, as well as the pdf of the presentation.

Webinar: New Overtime Rules Explained
Webinar Recording
Webinar Presentation

 

New Overtime Rules Released | Effective December 1, 2016

On May 18, 2016, President Obama and Labor Secretary Perez announced the publication of the Department of Labor's Final Rule updating the overtime regulations which will automatically extend overtime pay protections to an expected 4 million workers within the first year of implementation. This is the final stage of the President's initiative beginning July 2015 directing the U.S. Department of Labor to update regulations to better define and delimit the traditional "white collar" exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

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EEOC Proposes Addition of Pay Data to EEO-1 Reports

On February 1, 2016, the EEOC published a proposed revisions to the EEO-1, Employer Information Report, in the Federal Register. A public hearing was held on March 16, 2016, to gather information and hear public comment on the proposal. Written comments to the EEOC's proposal were due Friday, April 1, 2016.

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FMLA Definition of Spouse Revised

On Friday, March 27, 2015, the Department of Labor’s (DOL) revisions to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) regulations’ definition of “spouse” become effective.

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Twenty-one states increase minimum wage, tip credit in 2015

In 2015, twenty-one states will see increases to the state minimum wage and/or tip credit. It is especially important for employers with multi-state operations to know the developments in the law.

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Illinois employers banned from asking job applicants about criminal conviction history

In 2014, Illinois joined a host of other states that enacted what has been commonly called a “ban the box” law as the laws prohibit questions about criminal convictions on job applications.

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Illinois employers must post pregnancy accommodation notices

The new Illinois state law, P.A. 98-1050, amends the Illinois Human Rights Act to increase protections for pregnant employees and new mothers in the workplace.

 

Beginning January 1, 2015, Illinois employers must post information about pregnancy rights in the workplace in a conspicuous location on the employer’s premises and include the protections in their employee handbooks.

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DC employers face new notice requirements

On September 19, 2014, District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray signed into law the Wage Theft Prevention Amendment Act of 2014 (“the Act”), increasing both employer notice requirements and employer liability.  It is anticipated that the Act will take effect January 14, 2015, though with a new Congress beginning in January, the mayor’s office announced the law may not take effect until late February or even late March.

 

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Addressing Ebola in the workplace

Due to the spread of Ebola in West Africa and the United States, many employers are seeking recommendations on how to respond to workplace concerns and reduce liability. The practical guidance offered in this article would also apply to the pandemics (H1N1, Bird Flu) of the last several years and highlight potential issues to consider when faced with serious illness in the workplace.

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Access denied: Tennessee limits employers’ access to personal online content

Tennessee recently joined over a dozen states that prohibit employers from requesting and requiring access to the personal internet accounts of job applicants and employees. (Other states that have enacted employment-related online privacy laws include Arkansas, California, Colorado, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin.)

The Employee Online Privacy Act of 2014, signed by Governor Bill Haslam on April 29, 2014, that will take effect January 1, 2015, is applicable to all employers, regardless of size. Read more from Littler

 

New Law Expands Parental Leave Rights for Small Business Owners’ Employees

Effective October 2014, the Maryland Parental Leave Act (PLA) provides eligible employees six (6) weeks of unpaid, job-protected parental leave for the birth of a child or the placement of a child with the employee for adoption or foster care. 

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New Mexico Law Requires Employers to Post Human Trafficking Notice

New Mexico Governor Susan Martinez approved a law requiring New Mexico employers to display a poster containing the National Human Trafficking Resource Hotline. New Mexico Employers subject to the Minimum Wage Act, including health facilities and state or local government agencies that manage transportation facilities (including highway rest areas), must have the poster displayed no later than July 1, 2014

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New EEOC Guidance Addresses Pregnancy Discrimination

On July 14, 2014, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released new enforcement guidance on pregnancy discrimination, expanding the protections for pregnant employees provided under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA).

The PDA, signed into law by President Carter in 1978, amended Title VII to make it unlawful as a form of sex discrimination for employers to discriminate on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. The PDA provided that pregnant women have a right to be treated the same as other employees who are “similar in their ability or inability to work.” It does not provide an absolute right to accommodation, but if temporarily disabled workers receive accommodations, then pregnant workers are also entitled to them. This enforcement guidance is the first comprehensive update to the PDA since 1983. Read more on the EEOC website.

 

DOL amends FMLA regulations

The Department of Labor (“DOL”) has developed a new poster reflecting the recently issued amended FMLA regulations.  According to the DOL website, covered employers may start using the new poster immediately, or may still use the old FMLA poster through March 7, 2013.

Please review the full FMLA compliance alert, which includes a link to the new post.