Category Archives: Colorado

US Supreme Court’s Cakeshop Decision Does Not Equal Right To Discriminate

On June 4, 2018, the US Supreme Court ruled, in a 7-2 decision, that a business owner’s Free Exercise Clause rights were not given proper consideration by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission when the baker, Jack Phillips, was ordered to design and sell a wedding cake to a same-sex couple.

However, the Court’s ruling in Masterpiece Cakeshop, Inc v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission is more of a condemnation of the Colorado commission’s perceived hostility towards the business owner’s beliefs than a signal to other businesses looking to defend against claims of bias.

The Road to the Supreme Court

After the Colorado Civil Rights Commission’s initial ruling in favor of the same-sex couple, Phillips appealed the decision against him and found his case making its way to the highest court in the land. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the bakery, finding that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission did not handle the “delicate” questions presented in this case “with the religious neutrality that the Constitution requires.” Continue reading US Supreme Court’s Cakeshop Decision Does Not Equal Right To Discriminate

New Laws Effective July 1, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aside from the minimum wage increases, there are a number of new laws coming into effect on or after July 1, 2018.

State New Law
California SB 3 – Amends California’s paid sick leave law and extends California paid sick leave benefits to qualifying in-home supportive services (IHSS) workers.

Effective July 1, 2018

AB 1978 (California Property Service Workers Protection Act) – Requires all janitorial employers register with the DLSE on an annual basis.  Further requires all janitorial employers will also be required to maintain records with basic employee data (e.g. names and addresses, daily hours worked, wage information, and other conditions of employment) for three years and to educate their employees about the unlawfulness of sexual harassment and how to combat it.

Effective July 1, 2018

FEHA Regulations 2 CA ADC § 11027.1 & 2 CA ADC § 11028 – Expands California’s national origin protection regulations to include provisions regarding:

• a broad definition of national origin;
• language-restriction policies and English-only policies;
• accents;
• height and weight requirements
• immigration status

Effective July 1, 2018

Cal-OSHA Regulations – Amended to include a standard on “Hotel Housekeeping Musculoskeletal Injury Prevention” and requires affected employers to establish, implement, and maintain an effective musculoskeletal injury prevention program (MIPP) that addresses hazards specific to housekeeping.

Effective July 1, 2018

Colorado HB 1229 — Expands state workers’ compensation law to clarify the definitions of “psychologically traumatic event” and “serious bodily injury.” This allows allow first responders to apply for mental impairment claim under Colorado workers’ compensation law after a “psychologically traumatic event.”

Effective July 1, 2018

Georgia HB 673 (Hands-Free Georgia Act) — Requires drivers (including employees driving for work purposes) to use hands-free technology when using cell phones and other electronic devices while driving.

Effective July 1, 2018

Idaho HB 527 — Provides that for purposes of the state’s labor and employment laws, a franchisor is not an employer or co-employer of either a franchisee or an employee of the franchisee, unless the franchise agreement of the courts state otherwise.

Effective July 1, 2018

SB 1287 — Amends the state noncompete law so that a company seeking injunctive relief against a “key” employee or independent contractor must establish a likelihood of irreparable harm before an injunction can be issued.

Effective July 1, 2018

HB 466 — Exempts minors working for immediate family members from Idaho’s minimum wage laws.

Effective July 1, 2018

Indiana HB 1286 — Provides that marketplace contractors are considered independent contractors under all Indiana state and local laws if certain conditions are met.

Effective July 1, 2018

SB 290 — Imposes new time frames for completing certain tasks and changes the way penalties are assessed for failing to maintain worker’s compensation insurance coverage on an employer’s workers.  It also extends the renewal period for Second Injury Fund wage replacement benefits from 150 weeks to three years.

Effective July 1, 2018

Iowa HF 2383 — Lowers the minimum alcohol concentration that can be considered a violation of an employer’s written policy providing for alcohol testing from 0.04 to 0.02

Effective July 1, 2018

HF 2240 — Allows employers to provide employees with wage statements by electronic means.  Employers may still provide wage statements via mail or make them available at the employees’ normal place of employment during normal business hours.

Effective July 1, 2018

Maryland SB 134 (Small Business Relief Tax Credit Bill) — Authorizes a tax credit against the State income tax for certain small businesses that provide to qualified employees paid earned sick and safe leave.

Applicable to tax years beginning after December 31, 2017

Massachusetts S.2119 (Massachusetts Act to Establish Pay Equity) — Amends the Massachusetts Equal Pay Act to clarify what constitutes unlawful wage discrimination and further strengthens the existing law by adding protections to ensure greater fairness and equity in the workplace.

Effective July 1, 2018

Mississippi SB 2459 – Extends military leave rights to members of the armed forces of any state (previously protected military leave rights were only provided to members of the US or Mississippi Armed Forces).

Effective July 1, 2018

New Hampshire HB 1319 (An Act Prohibiting Discrimination Based on Gender Identity) — Amends the New Hampshire Law Against Discrimination and prohibits employer discrimination because of an individual’s “gender identity.”
Effective July 8, 2018
New Jersey SB 104 (Diane B. Allen Equal Pay Act) — Amends the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination to expand its equal pay protections to all “protected classes.  Specifically, it prohibits, among other things, payment to any employee who is a member of a “protected class” at a rate of compensation, including benefits, which is less than the rate paid to employees who are not members of the protected class for substantially similar work.

Effective July 1, 2018

Oklahoma State Question 788 — Legalizes marijuana use for medical purposes in Oklahoma. Forbids employers from penalizing persons for holding a medical marijuana license unless failing to do so causes a loss of benefits under federal law. Allows employers to penalize license-holders who possess or use marijuana while at work.

Effective July 26, 2018

Oregon SB 828 (Predictable Scheduling Law) — Requires large employers (500+ employees worldwide) in food service, hospitality, and retail industries provide new employee with estimated work schedule and to provide current employee with seven days’ notice of employee work schedule.

Effective July 1, 2018

HB 2017 – Requires employers to withhold and remit 0.1% (one-tenth of one percent) of an employee’s wages to fund public transit projects throughout the state.  Applies to (1) all wages paid to any employee who is an Oregon resident, regardless of where he or she works and (2) all wages paid to any employee who is an Oregon resident, regardless of where he or she works.

Effective July 1, 2018

Rhode Island H.5413 (Healthy and Safe Families and Workplaces Act) – Requires Rhode Island employers to provide sick leave benefits to eligible employees.  For employers with 17 or fewer employees, the sick leave benefits are unpaid; while for employers with 18+ employees the sick leave benefits are paid.

Effective July 1, 2018

South Dakota SB 62 — Requires an employer to disclose a data breach within 60 days of discovering it to any South Dakota resident whose personal or protected information was or is reasonably believed to have been acquired by an unauthorized person.

Effective July 1, 2018

Tennessee SB 1967 — Provides that marketplace contractors are considered independent contractors under all Tennessee state and local laws if certain conditions are met.

Effective July 1, 2018

Vermont H.294 – Amends the Vermont Fair Employment Practices Act and prohibits employers from making salary history inquiries during the hiring process.

Effective July 1, 2018

H.333 — Requires all single-user bathrooms in public buildings or places of public accommodation to be marked as gender-neutral.

Effective July 1, 2018

H.511 — Legalizes the use (and possession) of marijuana for recreational purposes.  However, the legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes does not create any employment-related protections.

Effective July 1, 2018

H.707 — Makes numerous changes to Vermont’s laws related to sexual harassment, including:

·         Requires that a working relationship with a person hired to perform work or services be free from sexual harassment;

·         Prohibits employment contracts from containing provisions that prevent an employee from disclosing sexual harassment or waive an employee’s rights or remedies with respect to a claim of sexual harassment;

·         Prohibits agreements to settle a sexual harassment claim from including provisions that prevent an employee from working for the employer or an affiliate of the employer in the future;

·         Requires an agreement to settle a claim of sexual harassment to state that it does not prevent the employee from reporting sexual harassment to an appropriate governmental agency, complying with a discovery request or testifying at a hearing or trial related to a claim of sexual harassment, or exercising his or her right under State or federal labor law to engage in concerted activity for mutual aid and protection; and

·         Permits the Attorney General or Human Rights Commission to inspect a place of business or employment for purposes of determining whether the employer is complying with the law related to sexual harassment

Effective July 1, 2018

Virginia HB 146  — Extends the rights regarding (i) leaves of absence from nongovernmental employment, (ii) reemployment, and (iii) employment nondiscrimination that are currently provided to members of the Virginia National Guard and the Virginia Defense Force and residents of Virginia who are members of the National Guard of another state to any person who is a member of the National Guard of another state who is employed or seeking employment in Virginia.

Effective July 1, 2018

HB 1527 — Requires state and private employers to allow officers or employees who are volunteer members of the Civil Air Patrol to provide “Civil Air Patrol Leave” on all days during which such officer or employee is (i) engaged in training for emergency missions with the Civil Air Patrol, not to exceed 10 workdays per federal fiscal year, or (ii) responding to an emergency mission as a Civil Air Patrol volunteer, not to exceed 30 workdays per federal fiscal year.

Effective July 1, 2018

SB 672 – Amends Virginia’s mini-COBRA law to exclude covered employees terminated for gross misconduct.

Effective July 1, 2018

HB 1293 — Increases the penalty for failing to file quarterly unemployment wage or tax reports from $75 to $100.

Effective July 1, 2018

Wyoming HB 0010 — Limits workers’ compensation coverage of nonresident (out-of-state) employers.

Effective July 1, 2018

 

 

Is The Minimum Pay Required For Commissioned Employees To Qualify For An Overtime Exemption Increasing In Your State In 2018?

While the minimum pay required for commissioned employees to qualify for an overtime exemption is not changing in 2018, there are several states where the minimum pay requirements for a “commissioned employee overtime exemption” are increasing.

These increases (i.e. in California, Colorado, Minnesota, Oregon, Washington, and Washington DC) are occurring because the pay an inside or commissioned salesperson must receive to qualify for the inside or “commissioned” sales exemption (as established under state law) are scheduled to increase in 2018 (December 31st for New York employers).

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), in order for a commissioned salesperson to qualify for the FLSA’s 7(i) overtime exception (Commissioned Salesperson Exemption), the following three conditions must be met:

  1. The employee must be employed by a retail or service establishment, and
  2. The employee’s regular rate of pay must exceed one and one-half times the applicable minimum wage for every hour worked in a workweek in which overtime hours are worked, and
  3. More than half the employee’s total earnings in a representative period must consist of commissions.

Unless all three conditions are met, the Commissioned Salesperson Exemption is not applicable, and overtime premium pay must be paid for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek at time and one-half the regular rate of pay.

The below table sets forth the changes to the minimum salary requirements for exempt employees in these states.  In those instances where the state minimum salary requirements are lower than the above-listed FLSA requirements, the higher salary threshold applies for employers who are subject to FLSA in order for employees to qualify for an exemption under the FLSA. Continue reading Is The Minimum Pay Required For Commissioned Employees To Qualify For An Overtime Exemption Increasing In Your State In 2018?

Check to See if the Minimum Required Salary For Exempt Employees is Increasing In Your State

While the minimum salary requirements for “white collar” employees (executive, administrative, or professional employees) is not changing in 2018 (at least not until/unless the Department of Labor announces a new Overtime Rule), there are several states where the minimum salary requirements for exempt employees is increasing in 2018 (December 31st for New York employers).

These increases (i.e. in Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, New York, and Oregon) are occurring because the minimum exempt salary rates for these employees (as established under state law) are scheduled to increase in 2018 (December 31st for New York employers).

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the minimum salary requirements for white collar employees is as follows:

Payment Schedule Minimum Salary
Weekly $455
Bi-Weekly $910
Semi-Monthly $985.83
Monthly $1,971.66
Annual $23,660

Continue reading Check to See if the Minimum Required Salary For Exempt Employees is Increasing In Your State

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.

 

 

2016 Election Aftermath – Minimum wage to increase in Arizona, Colorado, Maine, and Washington

Following the 2016 election, voters in Arizona, Colorado, Maine, and Washington approved ballot measures to increase minimum wage in these states starting January 1, 2017.

Minimum wage will increase in these four states in accordance with the following schedule:

Arizona

  • January 1, 2017 — $10.00
  • January 1, 2018 — $10.50
  • January 1, 2019 — $11.00
  • January 1, 2020 — $12.00
  • January 1, 2021 – minimum wage will adjust for inflation

Colorado

  • January 1, 2017 — $9.30
  • January 1, 2018 — $10.20
  • January 1, 2019 — $11.10
  • January 1, 2020 — $12.00
  • January 1, 2021 – minimum wage will adjust for inflation

Maine

  • January 1, 2017 — $9.00
  • January 1, 2018 — $10.00
  • January 1, 2019 — $11.00
  • January 1, 2020 — $12.00
  • January 1, 2021 – minimum wage will adjust for inflation

Washington

  • January 1, 2017 — $11.00
  • January 1, 2018 — $11.50
  • January 1, 2019 — $12.00
  • January 1, 2020 — $13.50
  • January 1, 2021 – minimum wage will adjust for inflation

It is recommended that employers in these states prepare for these minimum wage increases.

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.

State Minimum Wage Increases for 2017

2017 is just around the corner and, as you are busy ringing in the New Year, the minimum wage in several states will be increasing.  Is minimum wage increasing in your state?

The below table lists the states who have announced a minimum wage increase for 2017:

Minimum Wage as of November 18, 2016 Scheduled Increase for January 1, 2017
(Dec. 31, 2016 in New York)
Arizona $8.05 1/1/17 increases to $10.00
$5.05 for tipped employees increases to $7.00 for tipped employees
Arkansas $8.00 1/1/2017 – increases to $8.50
$2.63 for tipped employees minimum wage for tipped employees remains $2.63
California* $10.00 1/1/2017 – increases to
~ $10.50 (for employers with 26 or more employees)
~ Remains at $10.00 for employers with 25 or fewer employees
Colorado $8.31 1/1/17 increases to $9.30
$5.29 for tipped employees increases to $6.28 for tipped employees
Connecticut $9.60 1/1/2017 – increases to $10.10
$6.07 for restaurant and hotel employees who regularly receive tips increases to $6.38 for restaurant and hotel employees who regularly receive tips
$7.82 for bartenders who regularly receive tips increases to $8.32 for bartenders who regularly receive tips
Florida $8.05 1/1/17 increases to $8.10
$5.03 for tipped employees increases to $5.08 for tipped employees
Hawaii $8.50 1/1/2017 – increases to $9.25
$7.75 for tipped employees increases to $8.50 for tipped employees
Maine* $7.50 1/1/2017 – increases to $9.00
$3.75 for tipped employees increases to $5.00 for tipped employees
Massachusetts $10.00 1/1/2017 – increases to $11.00
$3.35 for tipped employees increases to $3.75 for tipped employees
Michigan $8.50 for employers with 2 or more employees 1/1/2017 – increases to $8.90
$3.23 for tipped employees increases to $3.38 for tipped employees
Montana $8.05 for employers with gross annual sales over $100,000.00 1/1/2017 – increases to $8.15 for employers with gross annual sales over $100,000.00
$4.00 for employers with gross annual sales of $100,000.00 or less minimum wage for employers with gross annual sales of $100,000.00 or less remains $4.00
New Jersey $8.38 1/1/2017 – increases to $8.44
$2.13 for tipped employees increases to $2.13 for tipped employees
New York $9.00 for all employees but fast food employees 12/31/2016 – increases to
$7.50 for all tipped employees ~ $9.70 for “Upstate” employers (excluding fast food employees)
$9.75 for fast food employees only Minimum wage for tipped employees remains $7.50
~ $10.00 for “Downstate” employers (excluding fast food employees)
Minimum wage for tipped employees remains $7.50
~ $10.50 for “small” NYC employers (excluding fast food employees)
Minimum wage for tipped employees remains $7.50
~ $10.75 for fast food employees outside NYC
~ $11.00 for “large” NYC employers (excluding fast food employees)
Minimum wage for tipped employees remains $7.50
~ $12.00 for fast food employees inside NYC
Ohio $8.10 for employers with more than $297,000 in gross annual revenue 1/1/2017 – increases to $8.15 for employers with more than $299,000 in gross annual revenue
$4.05 for tipped employees increases to $4.08 for tipped employees
$7.25 for employers with less than $297,000 in gross annual revenue Remains at $7.25 for employers with less than $299,000 in gross annual revenue
Rhode Island $9.60 1/1/2017 – minimum wage remains $9.60
$3.39 for tipped employees increases to $3.89 for tipped employees
South Dakota $8.55 1/1/2017 – increases to $8.65
$4.275 for tipped employees increases to $4.325 for tipped employees
Vermont $9.60 for employers with 2 or more employees 1/1/2017 – increases to $10.00
$4.80 for tipped employees minimum wage for tipped employees remains $4.80
Washington* $9.47 1/1/2017 – increases to $11.00

* Please be advised that there are cities and/or counties in this state that have passed a local minimum wage rate that is higher than the state minimum wage. Please contact an HR Professional to determine if the cities/counties in which you operate have passed a local minimum wage.

In addition to the above-listed states, the following states may adjust their minimum wage for 2017 to reflect changes in the Consumer Price Index:

  • Alaska — will increase to $9.80 on January 1, 2017
  • Missouri
  • Nevada
  • Washington DC

As these states announce whether their minimum wages will increase in 2017, we will let you know.

What can employers do?

If minimum wage is increasing in your state, employers need to take steps to ensure that all employees are paid at least minimum wage (at the new rate) before the increase is effective.

 

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.