On February 19, 2019, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed A3975 into law.
In addition to modifying the New Jersey Family Leave Act and the New Jersey Paid Family Leave Insurance Program (see “NEW LAW: Important Changes To New Jersey Family Leave Act And The New Jersey Paid Family Leave Insurance Program”), this bill also modifies and greatly expands the employee leave protections under the New Jersey SAFE Act.
What Is The NJ SAFE Act?
Under the NJ SAFE Act, New Jersey employers with 25+ employees are required to grant eligible employees a 20-day leave of absence if the employee or the employee’s family member has been the victim of domestic violence or a sexually violent offense.
Under the amended version, there are several changes that took immediate effect:
- Employees taking NJ SAFE Leave Act are eligible for NJFLI Benefits.
- The definition of the following term has been expanded (the new language is indicated in italics):
- “Family member” means the employee’s parent-in-law, sibling, grandparent, grandchild, child, parent, spouse, domestic partner, or civil union partner individual, or any other individual related by blood to the employee, and any other individual that the employee shows to have a close association with the employee which is the equivalent of a family relationship.
- Employers may no longer require employees use their accrued paid time off for domestic violence leave.
It is recommended that employers prepare for these changes to the New Jersey SAFE Act and make any necessary policy revisions.
New York’s Suffolk County recently passed a county ordinance prohibiting employers from inquiring into an applicant’s salary history as a part of the hiring process.
Under this new law, which goes into effect on June 30, 2019, employers are prohibited from
- Inquiring about a job applicant’s wage or salary history, including but not limited to, compensation and benefits.
- “to inquire” means to ask an applicant or former employer orally, or in writing, or otherwise or to conduct a search of publicly available records or reports.
- Relying on the salary history of an applicant for employment in determining the wage or salary amount for such applicant at any stage in the employment process, including at offer or contract.
By passing this new law, Suffolk County becomes the fourth locality in New York State to enact a salary history ban law (joining New York City, Westchester County, and Albany County). To date, New York State has NOT enacted a statewide salary history ban law.
It is recommended that employers in Suffolk County verify that all employment application materials are updated to remove any requests for salary history – including job applications and job interview scripts. In addition, all employees who are involved in the hiring process are trained about the new requirement and informed that they are not allowed to inquire into applicant’s salary history.
Attention employers in Westchester County, New York – Under the Westchester County Earned Sick Leave Law, starting April 10, 2019 you will be required to provide sick leave benefits to employees who work more than 80 hours in a year.
How much sick leave must be provided?
Starting April 10, 2019, eligible employees of Westchester County employers will start accruing sick leave. Employers with less than 5 employees may provide unpaid sick leave, while employers with 5 or more employees must provide paid sick leave benefits.
Unused sick leave can be carried over from year-to-year, but employers are not required to allow an employee to use more than 40 hours of sick leave in one year. Continue reading NEW LAW: Coming Soon to Westchester County – Sick Leave
Does your organization require employees to call-in before a scheduled shift to determine if an employee actually needs to report to work that day? If the answer is yes, then this new California Court of Appeals case imposes new reporting time pay requirements on your organization.
In a recent case (Ward v. Tilly’s Inc.), the California Court of Appeals has held that employers who require employees to call-in prior to a scheduled shift to determine whether the employee is needed that day, is required to pay the employee reporting time pay (at a minimum for 2 hours of work) even if the employee is told that he does not need to work that day.
This case arises from a scheduling policy of a retailer (Tilly’s). Under the policy, employees were required to call in approximately two hours before the start of a scheduled shift to determine whether they needed to come to work for that shift. If the employee was told to come into work, the employee was paid for his scheduled shift. However, if the employee was told not to come into work, the employee received no pay for the day. Continue reading NEW CASE: Major Changes to California’s Reporting Time Pay Requirements
On February 4, 2019, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed A15 into law –making New Jersey the latest state to jump on the $15 per hour minimum wage bandwagon.
Under this new law, New Jersey’s minimum wage will increase as follows:
- July 1, 2019 — increases to $10.00 per hour
- January 1, 2020 — increases to $11.00 per hour
- January 1, 2021 — increases to $12.00 per hour
- January 1, 2022 — increases to $13.00 per hour
- January 1, 2023 — increases to $14.00 per hour
- January 1, 2024 — increases to $15.00 per hour
The minimum wage rate for tipped employees will also increase as follows:
- July 1, 2019 — increases to $2.63 per hour
- January 1, 2020 — increases to $3.13 per hour
- January 1, 2021 — increases to $4.13 per hour
- January 1, 2022 — increases to $5.13 per hour
- January 1, 2023 — increases to $5.13 per hour
- January 1, 2024 — increases to $5.13 per hour
It is recommended that all New Jersey employers prepare for these increases.
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
This past fall, California enacted Senate Bill 1343, a law that greatly expands the sexual harassment training requirements (AB 1825 training requirements) in California.
As we previously reported (in”NEW LAW: New Sexual Harassment Training Requirements For California Employers“), this law requires California employers with five or more employees provide sexual harassment training to both non-supervisory and supervisory employees (including all temporary and/or seasonal employees) as follows:
- Existing Non-supervisory Employees: At least 1 hour of sexual harassment training by January 1, 2020. Thereafter, sexual harassment training must be provided once every two years.
- Non-supervisory Employees hired after January 1, 2020: At least 1 hour of sexual harassment training within 6 months of the employee’s hire date. Thereafter, sexual harassment training must be provided once every two years.
- Temporary or Seasonal Employees: At least 1 hour of sexual harassment training within 30 calendar days after the hire date or within 100 hours worked if the employee will work for less than six months.
- NOTE: If the employee is employed by a temporary services employer, the training must be provided by the temporary services employer, not the client.
- Existing Supervisory Employees: At least two hours of sexual harassment training must be provided by January 1, 2020. Thereafter, sexual harassment training must be provided once every two years.
- Supervisory Employees hired after January 1, 2020: At least 2 hours of sexual harassment training within 6 months of the employee’s hire date. Thereafter, sexual harassment training must be provided once every two years.
Continue reading CALIFORNIA EMPLOYERS — Be Sure To Reset The Clock On Employee Sexual Harassment Training
Paid sick leave is coming to Michigan (at least for employers who employ more than 50 employees) — thanks to the Michigan Paid Medical Leave Act. (For an overview of the Paid Medical Leave Act, please see “NEW LAW: Michigan Amends Earned Sick Time Act“)
In anticipation of this new law, LARA (Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs) recently published FAQs relating to the Paid Medical Leave Act and also released the new required poster, which covered employers must post in the workplace.
One of the most important questions answered in the FAQs is addressing when the new Paid Medical Leave Act takes effect. According to LARA, the new law will take effect on March 29, 2019. Continue reading NEW GUIDANCE: FAQs Regarding Michigan’s Paid Medical Leave Act Published
Good news for certain California trucking companies — California’s meal period and rest break requirements no longer apply to truck drivers who are regulated by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s hours-of-service requirements.
How did this happen?
To understand how this happened, we need to first give a brief history of this issue.
California’s meal period and rest period laws are quite onerous – especially for trucking companies. These laws require all California employers provide employees with a duty-free 30-minute meal period to begin before the employee completes five hours of work; employers must also provide paid 10-minute duty-free rest breaks for every four-hour work period or “major fraction thereof.” Among the problems that trucking companies have with complying with these requirements is actually proving compliance with the requirements. How does one prove that a driver actually took the rest and/or meal period? Continue reading NEW DEVELOPMENT: Certain Truck Drivers Exempted From California’s Rest and Meal Period Requirements