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 The candidate told the company that he could not afford to pay for the MRI and the company rescinded the job offer.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
Attention employers in SeaTac, Seattle, and Tacoma, Washington … minimum wage in these cities is increasing on January 1, 2019.
For employers in SeaTac, minimum wage is increasing for certain employers in the hospitality and transportation industries from $15.64 to $16.09 per hour on January 1, 2019.
For employers in Seattle, minimum wage is increasing on January 1, 2019 as follows: Continue reading NEW LAW — Minimum Wage Increases for Certain Washington Cities
Attention employers in Mountain View and Sunnyvale, California … minimum wage in these cities is increasing on January 1, 2019.
For employers in both Mountain View and Sunnyvale, minimum wage is increasing from $15.00 to $15.65 per hour on January 1, 2019.
Employers in these cities should prepare for the increase and download the update minimum wage poster available here:
Back in June 2018, Washington DC voters passed Initiative 77, which was intended to gradually eliminate the “tipped employee minimum wage” (or tip credit) by 2026. That Initiative has officially been repealed.
Earlier this month, the D.C. Council passed a measure to overturn and repeal Initiative 77. This means that employers in Washington DC will be able to continue paying their tipped employees a lower minimum wage than regular hourly workers.
Currently the tipped minimum wage in Washington DC is $3.89 per hour. This minimum wage is slated to increase as follows: Continue reading NEW LAW – Washington DC Elimination of Tip Credit Repealed
As all New York employers are aware, earlier this year, New York enacted an expansive set of laws relating to sexual harassment, which went into effect earlier this month.
Earlier this month, the New York State Department of Labor released English versions of a Model Sexual Harassment Policy, Model Complaint Form, Training Requirements, and FAQs, which are available here.
On October 17, 2018, the New York State Department of Labor released translated versions of these documents in the following languages: Chinese, Haitian-Creole, Korean, Italian, Polish, Russian, and Spanish, which are available here.
One of the requirements under these new laws is the requirement that employers provide sexual harassment training materials and policies to their employees in the employee’s primary language. If the New York State Department of Labor has not translated a document into the language spoken by an employee, an employer is considered in compliance by providing the employee English language documents.
Vermont employers, mark your calendars: The Vermont Department of Labor recently announced that on January 1, 2019, Vermont’s minimum wage will increase from $10.50 to $10.78 per hour. The minimum wage rate for tipped employees of large employers will also increase from $5.25 to $5.39 per hour.
Under Vermont law, Vermont’s minimum wage rate increases annually every January 1 by either 5% or the percentage increase of the Consumer Price Index, CPI-U, U.S.: city average,
not seasonally adjusted, whichever is smaller.
It is recommended that all Vermont employers prepare for these increases and download the revised minimum wage poster for 2019.