Category Archives: Maryland

NEW LAW — Maryland’s New Sexual Harassment Reporting Requirement

On May 15, 2018, Maryland Governor signed House Bill 1596 (The Disclosing Sexual Harassment in the Workplace Act of 2018) into law.  This new law, which goes into effect on October 1, 2018, imposes some interesting requirements on employers relating to  workplace sexual harassment.

First, the new law prohibits arbitrating sexual harassment claims.

Second, the new law prohibits employers from asking any employee to waive his/her right to raise a future sexual harassment complaint.  Under the new law, such a waiver is void and unenforceable.  To the extent that any employment-related documents contain such a waiver, this waiver should be removed from those documents before October 1, 2018.

Continue reading NEW LAW — Maryland’s New Sexual Harassment Reporting Requirement

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

 

 

Maryland Passes New Sexual Harassment Disclosure Requirements

Maryland has joined the list of states to respond to the #MeToo movement with harsher laws relating to sexual harassment in the workplace.  Effective October 1, 2018, Maryland’s Disclosing Sexual Harassment in the Workplace Act will place new restrictions on the terms employer’s may include in employment agreements.  For certain employers, the new law will also mean additional workplace reporting requirements.

Employment Agreements

Maryland’s new law will prohibit employers from including in an employment agreement any provision which waives any procedural or substantive right to file a claim related to a future instance of sexual harassment.  The law also prohibits such waivers relating to future instances of retaliation arising out of an employee’s reporting of sexual harassment.  Additionally, employers may not take any adverse action against employees who refuse to enter into an agreement containing such waivers.

Reporting Requirements

In addition to the above restrictions on employment agreements, the new law will require employers with 50 or more employees to submit a survey to the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights disclosing the following: Continue reading Maryland Passes New Sexual Harassment Disclosure Requirements

NEW LAW: Maryland’s New Sick Leave Statute

Just when you thought that Maryland’s sick leave statute (the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act) was dead on arrival (thanks to Maryland Governor Larry Hogan’s veto), the Maryland legislature recently voted to override the governor’s veto, which means that Maryland is officially the 9th state to require employers provide earned sick and safe leave to their employees.  Absent any delays, this law is currently scheduled to go into effect on February 11, 2018 (30 days following the veto override).

Who is covered by the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act?

All Maryland employers are covered by the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act.  However, the size of the employer determines whether the sick leave provided is paid sick leave or unpaid sick leave.

All Maryland employers who employ 15 or more employees will be required to provide employees with paid sick and safe leave.

All Maryland employers who employ 14 or fewer employees will be required to provide employees with unpaid sick and safe leave.

How is an employer’s employee headcount determined?

According to the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act, the employee headcount is determined by calculating the average monthly number of employees employed by the employer during the immediately preceding year.  When making this calculation, employers must include all employee types (e.g. all full–time, part–time, temporary, or seasonal employees) and cannot take into consideration whether an employee would actually be eligible for earned sick and safe leave benefits.

Are any employees excluded from earned sick and safe leave?

Yes, the following types of employees are excluded from receiving “earned sick and safe leave”:

  • Employees who work under a contract for hire that is determined not to be covered employment under Maryland law,
  • Employees who are certain licensed real estate salespersons or brokers,
  • Employees who are under the age of 18 years old before the beginning of the year,
  • Employees who are employed in the agricultural sector on an agricultural operation.
  • Employees who are employed by a temporary services agency to provide temporary staffing services to another person as long as the agency does not maintain day to day control over and supervision of the individual’s work assignments while he/she is providing the temporary services; or
  • Employees who are directly employed by an employment agency to provide part-time or temporary services to another person

How much earned sick and safe leave must be provided?

Starting February 11, 2018, eligible employees of Maryland employers will start accruing earned sick and safe leave. Earned sick and safe leave benefits will accrue at a rate of 1 hour for every 30 hours worked by the employee. For new employees, accrual begins on the first day of employment.

Employers must provide employees with at least 40 hours of earned sick and safe leave per year.

Instead of tracking annual accrual, employers are allowed to “frontload” an employee’s earned sick and safe leave allotment on an annual basis (i.e. provide an employee with the full earned sick and safe leave allotment at the start of the year).

Subject to the accrual cap, up to 40 hours of accrued but unused earned sick and safe leave must be carried over to the following year.

Is there a limit to the amount of earned sick and safe leave an employee can accrue?

Yes, the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act sets a “point in time” accrual cap on earned sick and safe leave of 64 hours.  This means that employers are only required to allow employees’ bank of accrued, unused earned sick and safe leave to reach 64 hours at any one time.

If an employer uses the accrual method for providing earned sick and safe leave, how does the employer comply with both the 40-hour annual accrual cap and the 64-hour “point in time” accrual cap?

This issue only arises where an employee’s unused earned sick and safe leave is carried over to the following year and is best explained through the following example:

An employee accrues 40 hours of earned sick and safe leave in 2018 and does not use any accrued earned sick and safe leave during that year.  The employee carries over all 40 hours into 2019.  In 2019, the employee accrues earned sick and safe leave until he reaches 64 hours in his bank.  Accrual stops even though the employee has only accrued 24 hours of earned sick and safe leave in 2019 because the employee has reached the 64-hour “point in time” accrual cap.  In July of 2019, the employee becomes ill and uses 24 hours of earned sick and safe leave.  Once the employee uses some of his banked 64 hours of earned sick and safe leave, he begins accruing the remaining 16 hours of earned sick and safe leave for 2019 based on his hours worked.

Is there a limit to the amount of earned sick and safe leave an employee can use in a given year?

Yes, employers must allow employees to use at least 64 hours of earned sick and safe leave in a year.

How is a “year” defined for purposes of earned sick and safe leave?

A “year” is defined as a regular and consecutive 12–month period as determined by the employer.

Are there any exceptions to the earned sick and safe leave accrual rules (in other words, are there times where an employer is not required to allow an employee to accrue earned sick and safe leave)?

Yes, there are three exceptions to the earned sick and safe leave accrual rules.

Employers are not required to allow a non-exempt employee to accrue sick and safe leave during:

  1. A two-week pay period in which the employee worked less than 24 hours total,
  2. A one-week pay period if the employee worked less than a combined total of 24 hours in the current and immediately preceding pay period, or
  3. A pay period in which the employee is paid twice a month, regardless of the number of weeks in a pay period, and the employee worked fewer than 26 hours in the pay period.

For exempt employees, the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act assumes that exempt employees work 40 hours each workweek, unless the employee’s normal workweek is less than 40 hours, in which case the number of hours in the normal workweek should be used.

When are employees eligible to use earned sick and safe leave?

The Maryland Healthy Working Families Act imposes a 106-calendar day waiting period before a newly hired employee can use paid sick leave benefits. This means that for employees who have been employed by the employer for more than 106 days as of February 11, 2018, those employees will be eligible to use their paid sick leave benefits as those benefits are accrued.

What can earned sick and safe leave be used for?

Employees can use earned sick and safe leave for the following purposes:

  • To care for or treat the employee’s own mental or physical illness, injury or condition, or to obtain preventive medical care;
  • To care for a covered family member with a mental or physical illness, injury or condition, or to obtain preventive medical care for the family member;
  • For maternity or paternity leave; or
  • For certain absences from work that are necessary due to domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking committed against the employee or the employee’s covered family member.

Who is considered a “covered family member” under the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act?

A “covered family member” is defined as the employee’s:

  • Child (including a biological, adopted, foster, or step child of the employee, a child for whom the employee has legal or physical custody or guardianship, and a child for whom the employee stands in loco parentis, regardless of the child’s age),
  • Parent (including a biological, adoptive, foster or step parent of the employee or the employee’s spouse, the legal guardian of the employee, and an individual who acted as a parent or stood in loco parentis to the employee or the employee’s spouse when they were a minor),
  • Spouse,
  • Grandparent (including biological, adoptive, foster and step relationships),
  • Grandchild (including biological, adoptive, foster and step relationships), and
  • Siblings (including biological, adoptive, foster and step relationships).

What are the employee’s notice requirements before using earned sick and safe leave?

When the use of earned sick and safe leave is foreseeable, employees may be required to provide the employer “reasonable advanced notice” (no more than 7 days) of the need to use earned sick and safe leave.

When the use of earned sick and safe leave is not foreseeable, employees may be required to provide notice of the need to use earned sick and safe leave “as soon as practicable” and employers can require employees to generally comply with the employer’s notice or procedural requirements for requesting or reporting other leave, if those requirements do not interfere with the employee’s ability to use earned sick and safe leave.

An employer may deny an employee’s request to take earned sick and safe leave if:

  • An employee fails to provide proper notice for the need to use earned sick and safe leave; and
  • The employee’s absence will cause a disruption to the employer.

Can employers require that employees provide documentation verifying their need for earned sick and safe leave?

Yes, employers may require that an employee provide documentation verifying their need for earned sick and safe leave under the two following circumstances:

  • The leave was used for more than two consecutive shifts or
  • The employee used the leave between the 107th and 120th calendar days of his employment and the employee agreed to provide documentation under terms agreed upon by the employer and employee when the employee was hired.

In addition, if the employee fails to provide the required documentation, the employer can deny that employee’s subsequent request to take earned sick and safe leave for the same reason.

Are employers required to pay out unused earned sick and safe leave at termination of employment?

No, employers are not required to pay out unused, accrued earned sick and safe leave at termination of employment.  However, if an employee is rehired within 135 days of separation by the same employer, previously accrued paid sick and safe leave time that had not been used must be reinstated.

What are the employer’s notice requirements relating to paid sick leave?

An employer must give employees written notice of their right to paid sick leave. The notice must include several topics, including a statement about how sick and safe leave is accrued and the reasons for which the leave can be used under the Act.

The Maryland Commissioner of Labor and Industry is required to create a poster and model notice to help employers comply with this notice requirement.

In addition, employers are required to provide employees with a written statement of their available sick and safe leave balance each time wages are paid.

Does this new law preempt any local earned sick and safe leave ordinances that Maryland localities have passed?

It depends on when the local ordinance was passed.

Under the new paid sick leave law, Maryland localities are prohibited from passing local paid sick leave ordinances after January 1, 2017.

This means that any locality that passed a paid sick leave ordinance prior to this date (i.e. the Montgomery County, MD Earned Sick and Safe Leave Act, which went into effect on October 1, 2016) is shielded from preemption, while any locality that passed a paid sick leave ordinance after to this date (i.e. the Prince George’s County Earned Sick and Safe Leave ordinance, which was enacted on December 12, 2017 and scheduled to go into effect in May of 2018) is preempted.

What should Maryland employers do to prepare for the new law?

As stated above, Maryland’s new Paid Sick Leave Law is currently scheduled to go into effect on February 11, 2018. In order to prepare for this new law, employers should prepare paid sick leave policies and plan to include those policies in their 2018 Employee Handbook. In addition, employers with existing sick leave or PTO policies should check their policies to verify that they are compliant with this new law. We will keep you posted about this law as it draws closer to the effective date.

NEW LAW: Minimum Wage in Montgomery County, Maryland to Increase Starting July 1, 2018

Attention Montgomery County (MD) employers … the Montgomery County Council recently approved a minimum wage schedule that will increase the minimum wage in Montgomery County to $15.00 per hour as soon as July 1, 2021 for certain employers.

Under this new schedule (set forth below), starting July 1, 2018, Montgomery County will have a tiered minimum wage dependent on an employer’s size.  The new minimum wage schedule is as follows:

Date Employers With 51 or More Employees Employers With 11 to 50 Employees Employers With 10 or Fewer Employees
July 1, 2018 $12.25 $12.00 $12.00
July 1, 2019 $13.00 $12.50 $12.50
July 1, 2020 $14.00 $13.25 $13.00
July 1, 2021 $15.00 $14.00 $13.50
July 1, 2022 $14.50 $14.00
July 1, 2023 $15.00 $14.50
July 1, 2024 $15.00

It is recommended that all employers in Montgomery County prepare themselves for this increase.

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 — October 1st Equals Local Minimum Wage Increases for Berkeley, CA and Prince George County, Maryland

Attention all Berkeley, California and Prince George County, Maryland employers.  The minimum wage in your localities increased effective October 1, 2017.

What’s the Increase?

Berkeley, California

The local minimum wage for Berkeley increased from $12.53 to $13.75 per hour.

Prince George County, Maryland

The local minimum wage for Prince George County increased from $10.75 to $11.50 per hour.  In addition, the local minimum wage for tipped employees remains at $3.63 per hour.

REMINDER – Pay Attention To Local Minimum Wage Laws

It’s a wage and hour obligation that’s familiar to all employers – the requirement to pay employees at least minimum wage for every hour worked.  It seems like a pretty simple obligation to meet, right?  Not necessarily.  With different state minimum wages and numerous localities passing local minimum wages, mistakes are easy to make and can be quite costly – as two rental car companies recently learned.

What happened?

Washington State Employees of two nationwide rental car companies (Hertz and Thrifty) filed a class action lawsuit against their employer claiming that the employers failed to pay the employees’ at least minimum wage in accordance with the minimum wage ordinance in SeaTac, Washington, which increased the minimum wage for Hospitality and Transportation employees in SeaTac to $15.00 per hour in 2015 (and adjusts the minimum wage for inflation in subsequent years).

This lawsuit was recently settled for $2 million dollars.

Why Do I Care?

As of July 2017, over 30 localities* have adopted local minimum wages above their state minimum wage. If you have operations in any of these localities, then you are required to pay all employees at least the local minimum wage.  It is recommended that you check the minimum wage in your locality and verify that you are in compliance with any local ordinance relating to minimum wage.

———————–

* Localities with local minimum wage:

  • Arizona: Flagstaff.
  • California: Berkeley, Cupertino, El Cerrito, Emeryville, Los Altos, Los Angeles County, Los Angeles, Malibu, Milpitas, Mountain View, Oakland, Palo Alto, Pasadena, Richmond, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, San Leandro, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Monica, and Sunnyvale.
  • Illinois: Chicago and Cook County.
  • Maine: Portland.
  • Maryland: Montgomery County and Prince George’s County.
  • New Mexico: Albuquerque, Bernalillo County, Las Cruces, Santa Fe City, and Santa Fe County.
  • New York : New York City, Nassau County, Suffolk County, and Westchester County
  • Oregon: Portland Urban Growth Boundary.
  • Washington: SeaTac, Seattle, and Tacoma.

2017 Minimum Wage Increases — Cities and Counties

In an earlier article (“State Minimum Wage Increases for 2017“), we provided a breakdown of the increases to State minimum wage that are going into effect on January 1, 2017 (December 31, 2016 for New York).

In addition to these minimum wage increases, several cities (and some counties) have their own “local minimum wages” which are also increasing in the new year.

Minimum Wage as of November 21, 2016 Scheduled Increase for January 1, 2017
Arizona Cities
Flagstaff $8.05 No increase 1/1/17        To increase 7/1/17 — $12.00
California Cities/Counties
County of Los Angeles $10.00 No increase 1/1/17         To increase 7/1/17 — $10.50
small employer (25 or less)
large employer (26 or more) $10.50 No increase 1/1/17         To increase 7/1/17 — $12.00
County/City of San Francisco $13.00 No increase 1/1/17 To increase 7/1/17 — $14.00
Berkeley Alameda County $12.53 No increase 1/1/17 To increase 10/1/17 — $13.75
Cupertino Santa Clara County $10.00 $12.00
El Cerrito Contra Costa County $11.60 $12.25
Emeryville Alameda County $13.00 No increase 1/1/17        To increase 7/1/17 — $14.00
small employer (55 or less)
large employer (56 or more) $14.82 No increase 1/1/17      May increase 7/1/17 based on CPI
Long Beach LA County $10.00 No increase 1/1/17        To increase 7/1/17 — $10.50
small employer (25 or less)
large employer (26 or more) $10.50 No increase 1/1/17 To increase 7/1/17 — $12.00
Los Altos Santa Clara County $10.00 $12.00
Los Angeles LA County $10.00 No increase 1/1/17        To increase 7/1/17 — $10.50
small employer (25 or less)
large employer (26 or more) $10.50 No increase 1/1/17        To increase 7/1/17 — $12.00
Mailbu Los Angeles County $10.00 No increase 1/1/17        To increase 7/1/17 — $10.50
small employer (25 or less)
large employer (26 or more) $10.50 No increase 1/1/17        To increase 7/1/17 — $12.00
Mountain View Santa Clara County $11.00 $13.00
Oakland Alameda County $12.55 No increase 1/1/17
Palo Alto Santa Clara County $11.00 No increase 1/1/17
Pasadena LA County $10.00 No increase 1/1/17        To increase 7/1/17 — $10.50
small employer (25 or less)
large employer (26 or more) $10.50 No increase 1/1/17        To increase 7/1/17 — $12.00
Richmond Contra Costa County $11.52 $12.30
San Diego San Diego County $10.50 $11.50
San Jose Santa Clara County $10.30 No increase 1/1/17
small employer (25 or less)
large employer (101 or more) $10.30 $10.50
San Leandro Alameda County $10.00 No increase 1/1/17        To increase 7/1/17 — $12.00
San Mateo San Mateo County $10.00 $12.00
For profit companies
small Non profit companies (25 or less) $10.00 No increase 1/1/17
large Non profit companies (26 or more $10.00 $10.50
Santa Clara Santa Clara County $11.00 No increase 1/1/17
Santa Monica LA County $10.00 No increase 1/1/17        To increase 7/1/17 — $10.50
small employer (25 or less)
large employer (26 or more) $10.50 No increase 1/1/17        To increase 7/1/17 — $12.00
Sacramento Sacramento County $10.00 No increase 1/1/17         To increase 1/1/18 — $10.50
small employer (25 or less)
large employer (26 or more) $10.00 $10.50
Sunnyvale Santa Clara County $11.00 $13.00
Illinois Cities/Counties
Cook County $8.25 No increase 1/1/17        To increase 7/1/17 — $10.00
Chicago $10.50 No increase 1/1/17        To increase 7/1/17 — $11.00
Iowa Counties
Johnson County $9.15 $10.10
Linn County $7.25 $8.25
Polk County $7.25 No increase 1/1/17        To increase 4/1/17 — $8.75
Wapello County $7.25 $8.20
Maine Cities
Bangor $7.50 $9.00
Portland $10.10 $10.68
Maryland Counties
Montgomery County $10.75 No increase 1/1/17        To increase 10/1/17 — $11.50
Prince George’s County $10.75 No increase 1/1/17        To increase 10/1/17 — $11.50
New Mexico Cities/Counties
Bernalillo County $8.65 No increase 1/1/17
Santa Fe County $10.91 No increase 1/1/17
Albuquerque $8.75 No increase 1/1/17
Las Cruces $8.40 $9.20
Santa Fe $10.91 No increase 1/1/17
New York Cities/Counties
“Upstate” employers (excluding fast food employers) $9.00 for all employees but fast food employees $9.70
“Upstate” Fast Food employers $9.75 for fast food employees only $10.75
“Downstate” employers (excluding fast food employers) $9.00 for all employees but fast food employees $10.00
“Downstate” Fast Food employers $9.75 for fast food employees only $10.75
New York City “small” employers (excluding fast food employers) $9.00 for all employees but fast food employees $10.50
New York City “large” employers (excluding fast food employers) $9.00 for all employees but fast food employees $11.00
New York City Fast Food employers $9.75 for fast food employees only $12.00
~ “Upstate” = employers in all counties “upstate” from the greater NYC area              ~ “Downstate” = employers in Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester Counties                    ~ “Small” NYC employers = employers with 10 or fewer employees                            ~ “Large” NYC employers = employers with 11 or more employees
Oregon Cities/Counties
Nonurban Counties
(Baker, Coos, Crook, Curry, Douglas, Gilliam, Grant, Harney, Jefferson, Klamath, Lake, Malheur, Morrow, Sherman, Umatilla, Union, Wallowa Wheeler counties)
$9.50 No increase 1/1/17        To increase 7/1/17 — $10.00
Portland $9.75 No increase 1/1/17        To increase 7/1/17 — $11.25
Washington Cities
City of SeaTac (hospitality and transportation workers) $15.00 No increase 1/1/17
Seattle
small employer (500 or less) $12.00 $13.00
large employer (501 or more) $13.00 $15.00
Tacoma $10.35 $11.15

Recommendation for Employers

It is recommended that employers in the above-listed cities/counties prepare for these minimum wage increases.  In addition, if your city/county is not listed on this chart, we recommend that you check with your local Chamber of Commerce to determine the minimum wage in your city.

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.

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.