On January 25, 2019, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed The Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA) into law. This new law amends the New York State Human Rights Law (NYSHRL) by adding gender identity and gender expression to the list of protected classes. With this addition, discrimination in the workplace based on an individual’s gender identity or gender expression is now prohibited.
“The term “gender identity or expression” means a person’s actual or perceived gender-related identity, appearance, behavior, expression, or other gender-related characteristic regardless of the sex assigned to that person at birth, including, but not limited to, the status of being transgender”.
What does this mean for employers?
- Employers will have to develop and implement new anti-discrimination policies and anti-harassment policies.
- Make sure anti-discrimination/anti-harassment training programs address gender identity or expression discrimination.
- Training managers on detecting such discrimination will be needed.
- Education/train employees on the forms of harassment and discrimination.
- Provide reasonable accommodation if needed.
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney recently signed the Fair Workweek Employment Standards Ordinance into law. The new law, which goes into effect on January 1, 2020, will impact employee scheduling if the employer:
- Is in the retail, hospitality, or food service industries;
- Has 250 or more employees (including full and part-time); and
- Has 30 or more locations worldwide in.
Employers must provide newly hired employees a “Good-faith” estimate of their work schedule which includes:
- The average number of work hours the employee can expect to work each week over a typical 90-day period.
- The expectation to work any on-call shifts,
- Days and times the employee can typically expect to work and when they can expect to be off work.
- A written work schedule through the end of the currently posted work period (provided before the first day of work).
Continue reading NEW LAW: Predictive Scheduling Coming to Philadelphia
On January 1, 2019, Connecticut’s new pay equity law went into effect. Under this new law, Connecticut employers are prohibited from inquiring into a prospective employee’s salary/wage history. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Including inquiries about salary history on an employment application;
- Directly asking a candidate for employment about his/her salary history during the interview process;
- Directly asking a candidate’s former employer about the candidate’s salary history; and
- Using a third party to inquire into an applicant’s salary history.
Employers are still able to inquire about components of an applicant’s former compensation structure (e.g. retirement benefits, stock option plans), but the employer cannot ask about the value of the individual components. Continue reading NEW LAW: Connecticut Employers, Remember That The New Pay Equity Law Prohibits Salary History Inquiries
In January 2016, SB 358, the amended version of the California Equal Pay Act, took effect. The California Equal Pay Act requires all California employers pay the same wage to employees who perform “substantially similar work” the same wage regardless of gender, ethnicity or race. Under this law, employers are also required to provide an applicant with a pay scale for a position following a “reasonable request.” Finally, it prohibits employers from requesting an applicant’s prior salary history and from relying on an applicant’s salary history alone to justify a disparity in compensation “based on sex, race or ethnicity.”
Following the effective date of the amended California Equal Pay Act, the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls launched a Pay Equity Task Force tasked with the responsibility of monitoring the implementation of the new law. Recently, this task force issued written guidance for employees, employers and unions on how they may comply with the California Equal Pay Act. Continue reading NEW GUIDANCE: California Pay Equity Task Force Issues Guidelines for Complying with the California Equal Pay Act
On November 19, 2018, the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries released its final administrative rules interpreting the Oregon Equal Pay Law. These rules are intended to help employers comply with the Oregon’s Equal Pay Law, which goes into effect on January 1, 2019.
As we previously reported (in NEW LAW – Oregon’s New Equal Pay Act), the Oregon’s Equal Pay Law prohibits pay discrimination on the basis of protected class (i.e. race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status, veteran status, disability, or age) and it also prohibits employers from using an applicant’s salary history as a screening tool for open positions and/or as a determining factor in an employee’s wages. Under this law, employers can only inquire about an applicant’s salary history after making a job offer that includes a compensation amount. Continue reading NEW GUIDANCE: Final Rules Regarding Oregon’s Equal Pay Law Issued
On November 6, 2018, voters in Michigan passed Proposal 18-1 (the “Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act,” which legalized the recreational use* of marijuana for individuals 21 and over. With the passage of this new law, which goes into effect 10 days after election results are officially certified, there are now 10 states** (and Washington DC) that have legalized recreational marijuana.
While the new law certainly brings new concerns into the Michigan workplace, as employers will undoubtedly be concerned about how to respond to an employee’s use of marijuana outside of work, the new law contains several provisions that are helpful to employers. Continue reading NEW LAW: Michigan Legalizes Recreational Marijuana
In a recently decided federal case ( EEOC v. BSNF Railway Company), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that employers are required to pay for an employer-required post-offer medical examination.
In this case, the company made an offer of employment to an individual and conditioned the offer of employment on the candidate successfully completing a medical examination. This candidate had a history of back issues and was required to obtain an MRI as a part of the examination (which the candidate was going to have to pay for out-of-pocket). The candidate told the company that he could not afford to pay for the MRI and the company rescinded the job offer.
The Court confirmed that ADA permits follow-up medical testing where such testing is “medically related to previously-obtained medical information.” However, the ADA does not specify who should pay for the additional testing. The Court determined that requiring the candidate to assume the costs of the additional testing could go against the anti-discrimination provisions and the policy purposes of the ADA, by forcing them “to face costly barriers to employment.” As a result, the Court found that employers must bear the costs of any such testing.
Attention Missouri employers: On November 6, 2018, Missouri voters approved Proposition B: The $12 Minimum Wage Initiative.
As a result of this victory, Missouri’s minimum wage will gradually increase by 85 cents per year until it reaches $12.00 per hour in 2023. Since Missouri law allows employers to claim a tip credit of 50% of the minimum wage, the minimum wage for tipped employees will also change.
The exact scheduled increases are as follows:
- January 1, 2019 — increases to $8.60 per hour ($4.30 per hour for tipped employees)
- January 1, 2020 — increases to $9.45 per hour ($4.725 per hour for tipped employees)
- January 1, 2021 — increases to $10.30 per hour ($5.15 per hour for tipped employees)
- January 1, 2022 — increases to $11.15 per hour ($5.575 per hour for tipped employees)
- January 1, 2023 — increases to $12.00 per hour. ($6.00 per hour for tipped employees)
- January 1, 2024 and beyond — the minimum wage will increase each year based on changes in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers.
All Missouri employers should prepare for this increase.
Attention Arkansas employers: On November 6, 2018, Arkansas voters approved Arkansas Issue 5, Minimum Wage Increase Initiative.
As a result of this victory, Araknsas’ minimum wage will gradually increase until it reaches $11.00 per hour in 2021. The tipped employee minimum wage ($2.63 per hour) will not change.
The exact scheduled increases are as follows:
- January 1, 2019 — increases to $9.25 per hour
- January 1, 2020 — increases to $10.00 per hour
- January 1, 2021 — increases to $11.00 per hour.
All Arkansas employers should prepare for this increase.
Attention employers in Albuquerque and Unincorporated Bernalillo County, New Mexico:… minimum wage in these localities is increasing on January 1, 2019.
For employers in Albuquerque, minimum wage is increasing on January 1, 2019 as follows:
- For employers that provide a certain amount of healthcare and/or childcare benefits, minimum wage is increasing from $7.95 to $8.20 per hour (and is increasing from $5.35 to $5.50 per hour for tipped employees) and
- For employees not provided qualifying benefits, minimum wage is increasing from $8.95 to $9.20 per hour (and is increasing from $5.35 to $5.50 per hour for tipped employees).
Continue reading NEW LAW — Minimum Wage Increases for Certain New Mexico Localities