Category Archives: Alabama

2018 MINIMUM WAGE CHECK-UP

With various cities and counties having enacted local minimum wages and 18 states (Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Missouri, New Jersey, New York*, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, Washington) are increasing their own minimum wages on January 1st (December 31st for New York), employers should take time to verify that they are meeting the minimum wage requirements of their state/city/county.

The below chart sets forth the minimum wage effective January 1, 2018.

employer PAYS $1.50/hr towards medical benefits$11.91

Federal $7.25
State City/County  Amount?
Alabama  $7.25
Alaska*  $9.84
Arizona* — all cities/counties except …  $10.50
Flagstaff* $11.00
Arkansas  $8.50
California* — all cities/counties except …                                  small employer (25 or less) $10.50
large employer (26 or more) $11.00
Berkeley  $13.75
Cupertino* $13.50
El Cerrito*  $13.60
Emeryville                                           small employer (55 or less) $14.00
large employer (56 or more) $15.20
Los Altos* $13.50
Los Angeles                                         small employer (25 or less) $10.50
large employer (26 or more) $12.00
Malibu                                                  small employer (25 or less) $10.50
large employer (26 or more) $12.00
Milpitas* $12.00
Mountain View* $15.00
Oakland $12.86
Palo Alto* $13.50
Pasadena                                             small employer (25 or less) $10.50
large employer (26 or more) $12.00
Richmond*                                             employer does NOT pay $1.50/hr towards medical benefits $13.41
employer PAYS $1.50/hr towards medical benefits $11.91
Sacramento*                                      small employer (100 or less) $10.50
large employer (101 or more) $11.00
San Diego $11.50
San Francisco $14.00
San Jose* $13.50
San Leandro $13.00
San Mateo*                                                 For-profit organizations $13.50
Non-profit organizations $12.00
Santa Clara* $13.00
Santa Monica                                       small employer (25 or less) $10.50
large employer (26 or more) $12.00
Sunnyvale* $15.00
Los Angeles County                            small employer (25 or less)

unincorporated areas                            large employer (26 or more)

$10.50

$12.00

Colorado* $10.20
Connecticut $10.10
Delaware $8.25
Florida* $8.25
Georgia $7.25
Hawaii* $10.10
Idaho $7.25
Illinois — all cities/counties except … $8.25
Chicago $11.00
Cook County

(except for the Village of Barrington)

$10.00
Indiana $7.25
Iowa $7.25
Kansas $7.25
Kentucky $7.25
Louisiana $7.25
Maine* — all cities/counties except … $10.00
Portland $10.68
Maryland — all cities/counties except … $9.25
Montgomery County $11.50
Prince George’s County $11.50
Massachusetts $11.00
Michigan* $9.25
Minnesota* — all cities/counties except … “small employers” (employers with an annual sales volume of less than $500,000) $7.87
“large employers” (employers with an annual sales volume of $500,000+) $9.65
Minneapolis                                         large employer (101 or more) $10.00
Mississippi $7.25
Missouri $7.85
Montana* $8.30
Nebraska $9.00
Nevada $8.25
New Hampshire $7.25
New Jersey* $8.60
New Mexico — all cities/counties except … $7.50
Albuquerque*                                             employer provides benefits $7.95
employer does NOT provide benefits $8.95
Las Cruces* $9.45
Santa Fe $11.09
Bernalillo County*unincorporated areas                                             employer provides benefits $7.85
employer does NOT provide benefits $8.85
Santa Fe County unincorporated areas $11.09
New York**  “Upstate” employers (excluding fast food employees) $10.40
“Downstate” employers (excluding fast food employees) $11.00
“Small” NYC employers (excluding fast food employees $12.00
Fast food employees outside NYC $11.75
“Large” NYC employers (excluding fast food employees) $13.00
Fast food employees inside NYC $13.50
North Carolina $7.25
North Dakota $7.25
Ohio* $8.30
Oklahoma $7.25
Oregon — all cities/counties except … $10.25
Portland $11.25
Nonurban Counties 

(Baker, Coos, Crook, Curry, Douglas, Gilliam, Grant, Harney, Jefferson, Klmath, Lake, Malheur, Morrow, Sherman, Umatilla, Union, Wallowa Wheeler counties)

$10.00
Pennsylvania $7.25
Rhode Island* $10.10
South Carolina $7.25
South Dakota* $8.85
Tennessee $7.25
Texas $7.25
Utah $7.25
Vermont* $10.50
Virginia $7.25
Washington* — all cities/counties except … $11.50
City of SeaTac* (hospitality and transportation workers) $15.64
Seattle* $14.00
small employer who does not pay towards medical benefits

(500 or less)

small employer who does pay towards medical benefits

(500 or less)

$11.50
large employer who does not pay towards medical benefits

(501 or more)

$15.00
large employer who does pay towards medical benefits

(501 or more)

$15.45
Tacoma* $12.00
Washington DC $12.50
West Virginia $8.75
Wisconsin $7.25
Wyoming $7.25
 * = increase in minimum wage effective January 1, 2018

** = increase in minimum wage effective December 31, 2017

 

Caveat: Please be advised that this information is being provided as a courtesy and that ePlace Solutions, Inc. does not track local laws and ordinances and will not update this information with changes in local laws and ordinances.

 

 

NEW LAW – Birmingham City Council Passes Nondiscrimination Ordinance

On September 26, 2017, the Birmingham City Council passed a new nondiscrimination ordinance, which is the first of its kind in Alabama.

Under this new law, the City of Birmingham has prohibited discrimination on the basis of a person’s real or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, or familial status.

This new law applies to housing, public accommodations, public education, and employment. There are only two exceptions for compliance — one for religious corporations and one for employers with bona fide affirmative action plans or seniority systems.

In addition, the new law creates a Human Rights Commission that will advise the Mayor and Council on matters related to eliminating discriminatory practices within the City.

The ordinance still needs to be signed into law by the mayor, in order for it to become effective.  However, the mayor has indicated that he will sign it into law immediately.

Alabama’s Workers’ Compensation Act Is Unconstitutional

In a recent decision, an Alabama state judge has found that the Alabama Workers’ Compensation Act is unconstitutional.  Specifically, the judge found that the following two provisions of the act were unconstitutional:

  • the $220 cap on weekly Permanent Partial Disability and
  • the 15 percent cap on attorney fees.

The Case — Nora Clower vs. CVS Caremark

In this case, the plaintiff (Clower) had suffered a back injury while working and was receiving Permanent Partial Disability workers’ compensation benefits, which were limited under the Alabama Workers’ Compensation Act to payments of $220 per week.

This amount is not only less than Clower’s weekly wages ($335 per week) but it falls below the minimum wage and poverty line. These factors led Clower to file a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Alabama Workers’ Compensation Act.

The Ruling

The judge agreed that the law, as currently written, was unconstitutional.

Under the current Worker’s Compensation Act, injured workers are classified  into two groups based on entitlement to disability benefits:

  1. Injured workers who are entitled to indexed benefits (Temporary Total Disability Benefits (TTD) and permanent total disability benefits — which change with Alabama’s average weekly wage) and
  2. Injured workers who are not entitled to indexed benefits- those entitled to Permanent Partial Disability (PPD).

The judge found that $220 per week cap on workers’ compensation benefits unconstitutional because the cap was below the poverty level and equal to just over twenty-five percent of the state’s average weekly wage.

The judge further found that the statute’s fifteen percent cap on attorneys’ fees unconstitutional because the cap “fails to afford due process of the law.”

Impact of the Ruling

The judge acknowledged that there are far-reaching implications of his ruling, writing:

There will be impact on medical providers, who presumably draw great income from the provision of medical care billed to workers’ compensation insurers, employers, and self-insurance funds.  There will be impact to insurers, given that the sales of, and premiums collected for, workers’ compensation insurance in Alabama will halt in the absence of workers’ compensation laws…And workers will have to turn to other sources – or none at all – for the provision of medical care or subsistence compensation upon suffering the misfortune of workplace accidents.”

Inevitably, this will mean that Alabama’s taxpayers will shoulder a large measure of the burden.

These crises are the direct result of a problem

created and allowed to persist by the Legislature.

The judge also ordered a 120 day stay on the order.  This 120-day stay allows the legislature time to make corrections to the act that ensure proper payment of benefits to employees injured on the job.

 

Employer Dos and Don’ts for Elections

In a previous article (Does Your State Require Voting Leave?), we broke down which states require employers to provide employees with time off to vote. In addition to these voting leave laws, many states have other laws in place that regulate what employers can, and more importantly, what an employer cannot do with respect to an election.

Below is a summary of the applicable laws for each state:

Alabama Employers may not:

·         Use coercion (e.g. Threatening to discharge an employee; reducing an employee’s compensation or benefits; punitively changing an employee’s schedule or job description; reducing compensation) to influence an employee’s vote in an election and

·         Seek to examine an employee’s ballot.

Alaska Employer may not threaten to inflict damage, harm, or loss to induce an employee to vote or refrain from voting in an election.
Arizona Employers may not

·         Coerce employees to support (or not) a referendum or recall;

·         Include with employees’ paychecks any statements to influence the political opinions or actions of employees; or

·         Display any notice within 90 days before an election that attempts to influence employees to support (or not) a particular candidate by stating that if a candidate succeeds, there will be consequences in the workplace.

Arkansas Employers may not use threats or efforts to intimidate individuals with respect to whether and how they choose to vote.
California Employers may not

·         Prevent an employee from participating in politics;

·         Direct the political activities or affiliations of an employee; or

·         Threaten to discharge an employee for engaging or refusing to engage in certain political activity.

Colorado Employers may not

·         Threaten to discharge employees because of their political party affiliation;

·         Create or enforce a policy to prevent an employee from participating in politics; or

·         Discharge an employee for voting in an election or advocating for a particular candidate or political viewpoint while off duty.

Connecticut Employers may not discipline or discharge employees for exercising their First Amendment rights.
Delaware Employers may not coerce any employee with respect to his political activity.
Florida Employers may not

·         Discharge or threaten to discharge employees for how they voted in an election.

·         Use coercion to get an employee to register to vote or support a certain candidate.

Georgia Employers may not

·         Coerce employees to support (or not) a recall;

·         Use threats or efforts to intimidate individuals with respect to whether and how they choose to vote.

Hawaii Employers may not use coercion (e.g. Threatening to discharge an employee; reducing an employee’s compensation or benefits; punitively changing an employee’s schedule or job description; reducing compensation) to influence an employee’s vote in an election.
Idaho Employers may not use coercion (e.g. Threatening to discharge an employee; reducing an employee’s compensation or benefits; punitively changing an employee’s schedule or job description; reducing compensation) to influence an employee’s vote in an election.
Illinois Employers may not

·         Use coercion (e.g. Threatening to discharge an employee; reducing an employee’s compensation or benefits; punitively changing an employee’s schedule or job description; reducing compensation) to influence an employee’s vote in an election

·         Keep records relating to employees’ off-duty political activities, unless the employee gives authorization and/or provides those records to the employer

·         Punish an employee for his off-duty use of “lawful products” (which could include comments made on social media).

Indiana Employers may not

·         Coerce employees to support (or not) a referendum or recall;

·         Include with employees’ paychecks any statements to influence the political opinions or actions of employees; or

·         Attempt to influence employees to support (or not) a particular candidate by stating that if a candidate succeeds, there will be consequences in the workplace.

Iowa Employers may not use coercion to get an employee to register to vote, to support a certain candidate, or to sign a petition.
Kansas Employers may not coerce any employee with respect to his political activity.
Kentucky Employers may not

·         Use coercion (e.g. Threatening to discharge an employee; reducing an employee’s compensation or benefits; punitively changing an employee’s schedule or job description; reducing compensation) to influence an employee’s vote in an election

·         Distribute any materials stating that employees are expected to vote for a particular candidate; or

·         Attempt to induce employees to vote a certain way in a state election.

Louisiana Employers may not

·         Threaten to discharge employees or otherwise intimidate employees because of their political party affiliation;

·         Allow an employee’s political contributions to affect his employment (including compensation)

Employers with 20+ employees may not

·         Prevent employees from participating in politics;

·         Control employees’ political activities or affiliations; or

·         Threaten to discharge employees if they support certain political parties or activities

 

Maine No laws relating to politics in the workplace
Maryland Employers may not

·         Influence employees’ voting activity through intimidation or bribery;

·         Include with employees’ paychecks any statements to influence the political opinions or actions of employees; or

·         Display any notice within 90 days before an election that attempts to influence employees to support (or not) a particular candidate by stating that if a candidate succeeds, there will be consequences in the workplace

Massachusetts Employers may not coerce any employee with respect to his political activity.
Michigan Employers may not

·         Use coercion (e.g. Threatening to discharge an employee; reducing an employee’s compensation or benefits; punitively changing an employee’s schedule or job description; reducing compensation) to influence an employee’s vote in an election

·         Keep records relating to employees’ off-duty political activities, unless the employee gives authorization and/or provides those records to the employer or the records pertain to activities that took place at work

Minnesota Employers may not coerce any employee with respect to his political activity.
Mississippi Employers may not interfere with the political rights of employees.
Missouri Employers may not

·         Coerce any employee with respect to his or her political activity or

·         Prevent employees from engaging in political activities.

Montana Employers may not coerce any employee with respect to his political activity.
Nebraska Employers may not

·         Coerce any employee with respect to his political activity or

·         Close the business as a result of election results.

Nevada Employers may not

·         Prohibit employees from engaging in politics or serving in public office

·         Punish an employee for his off-duty use of “lawful products” (which could include comments made on social media).

New Hampshire Employers may not coerce any employee with respect to his political activity.
New Jersey Employers may not

·         Coerce any employee with respect to his political activity;

·         Include with employees’ paychecks any statements to influence the political opinions or actions of employees;

·         Display any notice within 90 days before an election that attempts to influence employees to support (or not) a particular candidate by stating that if a candidate succeeds, there will be consequences in the workplace; or

·         Require employees to attend employer-sponsored political meetings.

New Mexico Employers may not coerce any employee with respect to his political activity.
New York Employers may not punish an employee for his off-duty political activities.
North Carolina Employers may not

·         Coerce any employee with respect to his political activity;

·         Punish an employee for his off-duty use of “lawful products” (which could include comments made on social media).

North Dakota Employers may not punish an employee for his off-duty political activities.
Ohio Employers may not

·         Coerce any employee with respect to his political activity; or

·         Attempt to influence an employee’s political beliefs.

Oklahoma Employers may not coerce any employee with respect to his political activity.
Oregon Employers may not coerce any employee with respect to his political activity.
Pennsylvania Employers may not

·         Coerce any employee with respect to his political activity;

·         Include with employees’ paychecks any statements to influence the political opinions or actions of employees; or

·         Display any notice within 90 days before an election that attempts to influence employees to support (or not) a particular candidate by stating that if a candidate succeeds, there will be consequences in the workplace.

Rhode Island Employers may not

·         Coerce any employee with respect to his political activity;

·         Include with employees’ paychecks any statements to influence the political opinions or actions of employees; or

·         Display any notice within 90 days before an election that attempts to influence employees to support (or not) a particular candidate by stating that if a candidate succeeds, there will be consequences in the workplace.

South Carolina Employers may not coerce any employee with respect to his political activity.
South Dakota Employers may not

·         Coerce any employee with respect to his political activity;

·         Include with employees’ paychecks any statements to influence the political opinions or actions of employees; or

·         Display any notice within 90 days before an election that attempts to influence employees to support (or not) a particular candidate by stating that if a candidate succeeds, there will be consequences in the workplace.

Tennessee Employers may not

·         Coerce any employee with respect to his political activity;

·         Distribute materials intended to coerce employees to vote in a certain way

Texas Employers may not coerce any employee with respect to his political activity.
Utah Employers may not

·         Coerce any employee with respect to his political activity;

·         Include with employees’ paychecks any statements to influence the political opinions or actions of employees; or

·         Display any notice within 90 days before an election that attempts to influence employees to support (or not) a particular candidate by stating that if a candidate succeeds, there will be consequences in the workplace.

Vermont Employers may not coerce any employee with respect to his political activity.
Virginia Employers may not

·         Require employees to donate money to political action committees as a condition of employment; or

·         Coerce any employee with respect to his political activity.

Washington Employers may not

·         Interfere with an employee’s efforts to support or oppose a political effort

·         Use payroll contributions or salary increases for the purposes of funding political activities; or

·         Coerce any employee with respect to his political activity.

Washington DC Employers may not coerce any employee with respect to his political activity.
West Virginia Employers may not

·         Require employees to donate money to political action committees as a condition of employment; or

·         Influence employees to support (or not) a particular candidate by stating that if a candidate succeeds, there will be consequences in the workplace.

Wisconsin Employers may not

·         Coerce any employee with respect to his political activity; or

·         Influence employees to support (or not) a particular candidate by stating that if a candidate succeeds, there will be consequences in the workplace.

Wyoming Employers may not coerce any employee with respect to his political activity.

 

Does Your State Require Voting Leave?

With the 2016 Election under three weeks away (Tuesday, November 8, 2016), employers should anticipate that employees will request time off to vote. Depending on the state, an employer may be required to provide voting leave to an employee.

The below table shows which states provide voting leave and which states do not.

No Voting Leave Provided Unpaid Voting Leave Paid Voting Leave
·         Connecticut ·         Alabama ·         Alaska
·         Delaware ·         Arkansas ·         Arizona
·         Florida ·         Georgia ·         California
·         Idaho ·         Kentucky ·         Colorado
·         Indiana ·         Massachusetts ·         Hawaii
·         Louisiana ·         Mississippi ·         Illinois
·         Maine ·         New Mexico ·         Iowa
·         Michigan ·         North Dakota ·         Kansas
·         Montana ·         Ohio ·         Maryland
·         New Hampshire ·         Wisconsin ·         Minnesota
·         New Jersey   ·         Missouri
·         North Carolina   ·         Nebraska
·         Oregon   ·         Nevada
·         Pennsylvania   ·         New York
·         Rhode Island   ·         Oklahoma
·         South Carolina   ·         South Dakota
·         Vermont   ·         Tennessee
·         Virginia   ·         Texas
·         Washington   ·         Utah
·         Washington DC   ·         West Virginia
    ·         Wyoming

In states where voting leave is required, state law dictates the conditions under which voting leave must be provided, if at all. The laws also set forth the amount of time that an employee must receive for this type of leave. As demonstrated above, depending on the state, the leave may be paid or unpaid.

It is recommended that all employers check the voting leave laws in their states prior to election day and provide training to managerial employees on compliance with this law.

DOL Partnership regarding worker misclassification — 34 States and Counting

Thirty-five states have agreed to “team up” with the US Department of Labor to investigate worker misclassification. Is your state one of them?

In 2015, Department of Labor launched an initiative to combat the misclassification of employees as independent contractors. As a part of this initiative, the Department of Labor sought to partner with the state agencies and agree to share information and conduct joint investigations regarding independent contractor misclassification. To date, 35 states have entered into a memorandum of understanding regarding worker misclassification issues.

These states are:

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • New Hampshire
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Dakota
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

What does this mean for employers in these states?

Employers in the above-listed states should expect collaborative efforts between their state agencies and the Department of Labor during a investigation into potential employee misclassification as the state and the Department of Labor will share information. This could lead to simultaneous, multi-agency investigations into worker classification. It is recommended that companies have qualified legal counsel review any existing independent contractor arrangements. In addition, before entering into an independent contractor relationship, speak with an HR Professional or qualified legal counsel to verify that the worker truly is an independent contractor.

Alabama Non-Compete Law

Earlier this year, Alabama passed a new non-compete and non-solicitation statute, which sets forth the types of non-compete agreements that are permissible in Alabama. The allowable agreements include the following:

  1. Agreements preventing the seller of the good will of a business from opening a competing business or soliciting the buyer’s customers within a specified geographic area;
  2. Agreements preventing an employee from engaging in a similar business (i.e., a non-compete agreement), and
  3. Agreements preventing an employee from soliciting current customers (i.e., a non-solicitation agreement).  NOTE: this prohibition does not extend to prospective or past customers with whom an employer hopes to establish or re-establish a relationship.

The new law also defines those “protectable interests” that can support a business’s need for a non-compete agreement, these “protectable interests” include

  • Access to trade secrets and certain confidential information (including pricing and customer lists);
  • Relationships with specific prospective or current customers, clients, patients or vendors;
  • The good will associated with a business’s customers, clients, patients or vendors; and
  • Specialized training that involves significant expense as long as that training is set forth in the agreement as the reason for the restraint.

Finally, the new law sets reasonable time limits on non-compete agreements, which are:

  1. Two years is presumed to be reasonable for a non-compete agreement.
  2. Eighteen months is presumed to be reasonable for a non-solicitation agreement.
  3. One year or less is presumed to be reasonable for a non-compete or non-solicitation agreement arising out of the sale of the good will of a business.

Recommended Action

It is recommended if an employer wishes to enter into a restrictive covenant with its employees, that the employer first consult with competent legal counsel to ensure that the agreement meets the requirements set forth in the new law.

Minimum Wage Mid-Year Check-Up

With various cities and counties enacting local minimum wages and 4 states increasing their own minimum wages this summer, employers should take time to verify that they are meeting the minimum wage requirements of their state/city/county.

The below chart sets forth the minimum wage effective July 1, 2016.

 

Federal $7.25
State City County  Amount?
Alabama  $7.25
Alaska  $9.75
Arizona  $8.05
Arkansas  $8.00
California — all cities/counties except …  $10.00
Berkeley Alameda County  $11.00
El Cerrito* Contra Costa County  $11.60
Emeryville* Alameda County
small employer (55 or less) $13.00
large employer (56 or more) $14.82
Long Beach* LA County $10.50
large employer (26 or more)
Los Angeles* LA County $10.50
large employer (26 or more)
Mountain View Santa Clara County $11.00
Oakland Alameda County $12.55
Palo Alto Santa Clara County $11.00
Pasadena* LA County $10.50
large employer (26 or more)
Richmond Contra Costa County $11.52
San Diego San Diego County $10.50
San Francisco* SF County $13.00
San Jose Santa Clara County $10.30
Santa Clara Santa Clara County $11.00
Santa Monica* LA County $10.50
large employer (26 or more)
Sunnyvale* Santa Clara County $11.00
Los Angeles County* $10.50
large employer (26 or more)
Colorado $8.31
Connecticut $9.60
Delaware $8.25
Florida $8.05
Georgia $7.25
Hawaii   $8.50
Idaho $7.25
Illinois — all cities/counties except … $8.25
Chicago* $10.50
Indiana $7.25
Iowa — all cities/counties except … $7.25
Johnson County $9.15
Kansas $7.25
Kentucky — all cities/counties except … $7.25
Lexington Lexington-Fayette County $8.20
Louisville $8.25
Louisiana $7.25
Maine — all cities/counties except … $7.50
Portland $10.10
Maryland* — all cities/counties except … $8.75
Montgomery County $9.55
Prince George’s County $9.55
Massachusetts $10.00
Michigan $8.50
Minnesota “small employers” (employers with an annual sales volume of less than $500,000) $7.25
“large employers” (employers with an annual sales volume of $500,000+) $9.00
increases 8/1/2016 “small employers” (employers with an annual sales volume of less than $500,000) $7.75
“large employers” (employers with an annual sales volume of $500,000+) $9.50
Mississippi $7.25
Missouri $7.65
Montana $8.05
Nebraska $9.00
Nevada $8.25
New Hampshire $7.25
New Jersey $8.38
New Mexico — all cities/counties except … $7.50
Albuquerque $8.75
Las Cruces $8.40
Santa Fe $10.91
Bernalillo County $8.65
Santa Fe County $10.91
New York $9.00
North Carolina $7.25
North Dakota $7.25
Ohio $8.10
Oklahoma $7.25
Oregon* — all cities/counties except … $9.75
Portland* $9.75
Nonurban Counties* (Baker, Coos, Crook, Curry, Douglas, Gilliam, Grant, Harney, Jefferson, Klmath, Lake, Malheur, Morrow, Sherman, Umatilla, Union, Wallowa Wheeler counties) $9.50
Pennsylvania $7.25
Rhode Island $9.60
South Carolina $7.25
South Dakota $8.55
Tennessee $7.25
Texas $7.25
Utah $7.25
Vermont $9.60
Virginia $7.25
Washington — all cities/counties except … $9.67
City of SeaTac (hospitality and transportation workers) $15.00
Seattle $12.00
small employer (500 or less)
large employer (501 or more) $13.00
Tacoma $10.35
Washington DC* $11.50
West Virginia $8.75
Wisconsin $7.25
Wyoming $7.25
 * = increase in minimum wage effective July 1, 2016

 

Caveat: Please be advised that this information is being provided as a courtesy and that ePlace Solutions, Inc. does not track local laws and ordinances and will not update this information with changes in local laws and ordinances.

 

City-Specific Minimum Wage? Not In Alabama!

A growing trend in minimum wage law is that of individual cities passing minimum wage laws that establish a minimum wage for city workers that is higher than the applicable state minimum wage.

Recently, Birmingham, Alabama sought to join the ranks of cities who have established a city-specific minimum wage by establishing a minimum wage of $10.10 per hour. However, on February 25, 2016, Birmingham’s efforts were thwarted by Alabama Governor Robert Bentley with the passage of Alabama’s Uniform Minimum Wage and Right-to-Work Act.

This newly enacted law clarifies once and for all that only the Alabama state legislature has the power to set minimum wage in Alabama and voids Birmingham’s newly enacted city-specific minimum wage. Minimum wage in Alabama remains at $7.25.

Alabama: New Law Allows Employees At Keep Their Gun In Their Car At Work

Effective as of August 1, 2013, public and private employers may not restrict the transportation or storage of a lawfully possessed firearm or ammunition in an employee’s privately owned motor vehicle while it is parked or operated in a public or private parking area under the following circumstances:

(a) the employee has a valid concealed weapon permit; or

(b) the weapon (other than a pistol) is legal for hunting, and

(1) the employee possesses a valid Alabama hunting license,

(2) the weapon is unloaded at all times,

(3) it is hunting season in Alabama,

(4) the employee has not been convicted of a crime of violence,

(5) the employee has no documented prior workplace incidents involving the threat of physical injury or which resulted in physical injury,

(6) the vehicle is operated or parked where it is otherwise permitted to be, and

(7) if the vehicle is attended by the employee, the firearm or ammunition is kept from ordinary observation within the vehicle, or, if the vehicle is unattended, the firearm or ammunition is kept from ordinary observation and locked within a compartment or container.

If an employer believes its employee presents a risk of harm to himself or others, the employer may ask the employee whether he has a firearm in his vehicle. If the answer is yes, the employer may inquire to ensure the employee is in compliance with the above provisions. If the employee is not in compliance, the employer at its discretion may take adverse employment action against the employee. If the employee is in compliance, no adverse action may be taken based solely on the presence of the firearm.

An employer can make a complaint to law enforcement officers if it believes that an employee’s firearm is prohibited by state or federal law, that the vehicle contains stolen, prohibited or illegal property (other than a firearm), or that a threat is made by the employee to cause bodily harm to himself or others. If law enforcement officers, pursuant to a valid search warrant, discover a prohibited firearm, the employer may take adverse action against the employee.

If the employee is in full compliance with the law, or does not possess a firearm prohibited by state or federal law, and the employer takes adverse action against the employee, the employee may sue the employer for wrongful termination and recover lost wages and benefits, and compensation “for other lost remuneration caused by the termination, demotion, or other adverse action.” Attorney fees also may be available to the prevailing party.

Employers are immune from any claim, cause of action or lawsuit that may be brought as a result of any firearm brought onto the employer’s property. Moreover, the presence of a firearm on the employer’s property does not, by itself, constitute the employer’s failure to provide a safe workplace. Employers and property owners may, however, be found liable for their own wrongful affirmative acts that cause injury or damage to others.

Employers have no duty to patrol, inspect or secure parking lots, garages or other parking areas, or any private motor vehicle parked in such areas, and they have no duty to investigate, confirm or determine an employee’s compliance with the laws related to possession or transportation of a firearm.