Category Archives: North Carolina

NEW LAW: North Carolina Amendment of Its Certificate of Relief Law Impacts Employers

Under existing North Carolina law, individuals who have been convicted of certain crimes to petition our courts for a “certificate of relief,” which, if granted, provide the petitioning individual with relief from some “collateral consequences” of a conviction.  In other words, the individual is not “pardoned’, and the conviction is not expunged from the individual’s record, but the individual may be able to obtain certain types of occupational licenses that they might otherwise be disqualified from obtaining due to the conviction.

North Carolina recently passed House Bill 774, which modifies the existing laws governing certificates of relief.  While the law’s main impact is on individuals, the changes to the law also affect North Carolina employers. Continue reading NEW LAW: North Carolina Amendment of Its Certificate of Relief Law Impacts Employers

New Laws Effective in 2018

Aside from the minimum wage increases, there are a number of new laws going into effect in the new year.

While many of these have been addressed in detail in previous articles, the following is a summary of the new laws/regulations that may be going into effect in your state …

State New Law
California AB 46 – Amends the California Equal Pay Act to define “employer” to include public and private employers.

Effective January 1, 2018

AB 168 – Adds §432.3 to the California Labor Code, which prohibits employers from inquiring into and relying on an applicant’s salary history during the hiring process.

Effective January 1, 2018

AB 260 & SB 225 – Makes two changes the Human Trafficking required notice: (1) additional businesses (including hotels, motels, and bed and breakfast inns) are required to post the notice and (2) the notice must include a text number to access support and services.

Effective January 1, 2018

AB 450 – Employers are prohibited from providing ICE agents with access to their worksite and/or records without a warrant.

Effective January 1, 2018

AB 1008 – Amends the California Fair Employment and Housing Act to include a “ban-the-box” provision, which prohibits employers from inquiring about an applicant’s criminal history before the employer has made a conditional offer of employment.

Effective January 1, 2018

AB 1701 – Adds §218.7 to the California Labor Code, which requires direct contractors to assume liability for unpaid wages, benefits, and/or contributions owed by its subcontractors.

Effective January 1, 2018

AB 1710 – Expands protections to members of the military and veterans by prohibiting employers from discriminating against these individuals in the terms and conditions of employment.

Effective January 1, 2018

SB 63 (New Parent Leave Act) – Requires employers who employs 20+ employees within 75 miles of a worksite provide eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid parental leave to bond with a new child within one year of the child’s birth, adoption, or foster care placement.  Employers are not required to provide this leave to employees who are eligible for CFRA and FMLA.

Effective January 1, 2018

SB 258 (Cleaning Product Right to Know Act of 2017) – Requires employers who are required to make a safety data sheet readily accessible to its employees also provide employees with information regarding exposure to potentially harmful chemicals in designated cleaning products.

Effective January 1, 2018

SB306 – Authorizes the DLSE to commence an investigation of an employer, with or without a complaint being filed, when retaliation or discrimination is suspected during the course of a wage claim or other specified investigation being conducted by the Labor Commissioner.

Effective January 1, 2018

SB396 – Amends the California Fair Employment and Housing Act to require employers with 5+ employees post a notice in the workplace regarding transgender rights.  Also requires employers with 50+ employees to include harassment based on gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation in their anti-harassment training programs.

Effective January 1, 2018

Connecticut HB 7037 – Requires employers to provide information regarding child support garnishments to their workers’ compensation carrier when making an initial report of occupational illness or injury to the carrier.

Effective January 1, 2018

Delaware HS 1 — Prohibits employers from inquiring into and relying on an applicant’s salary history during the hiring process.

Effective December 14, 2017

Hawaii SB 1007 – Changes the reporting frequency of withheld income tax from monthly reporting to quarterly reporting for all employers.

Effective January 1, 2018

Illinois SB 318 – Prohibits employers from (1) using (or requiring an applicant/employee provide) genetic information in employment decisions (2) discriminating against an employee because of genetic information or testing, or (3) retaliating against an employee who refuses to disclose genetic information.

Effective January 1, 2018

SB 1895 – Prohibits employers from disciplining or terminating an employee who also serves as a volunteer emergency medical services personnel or as a volunteer firefighter by his or her employer for responding to an emergency call or emergency text message during work hours that requests the employee’s volunteer emergency medical services or volunteer firefighter services.

Effective January 1, 2018

Maine LD 1477 – Requires the Department of Labor and the Maine Human Rights Commission develop and make available a training guide setting forth the sexual harassment training requirements for employers’ use and increases the penalties imposed on employers for violating the notice and sexual harassment training requirements.

Effective November 1, 2017

LD 88 – Delayed the effective date of certain portions of the Maine Marijuana Legalization Act until 2/1/2018.

Effective February 1, 2018

Massachusetts HB 3680 (Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act) – Prohibits workplace and hiring discrimination related to pregnancy and nursing, and requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations for expectant and new mothers in the workplace.

Effective April 1, 2018

SB 2119 – Amends the Massachusetts Equal Pay Act by (1) requiring employers to provide “equal pay” for “comparable” work, (2) prohibiting inquiries into an applicant’s salary history.

Effective July 1, 2018

Nevada AB 76 – Amends the existing law to remove the requirement that the Central Repository provide certain criminal history information to employers and repeals certain immunities previously provided to employers.

Effective January 1, 2018

SB 361 – Requires Nevada employers to provide employees who are victims of domestic violence with up to 160 hours of domestic violence leave in a 12-month period.

Effective January 1, 2018

New York SB 2543 – Extends the anti-smoking provisions of Public Health Law § 1399-n (which prohibits smoking in certain public areas) to include “vaping” and the use of e-cigarettes.

Effective November 22, 2018

AB A9006C & SB 6406 – Requires employers to provide eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of Paid Family Leave in a 12-month period for qualifying reasons.

Effective January 1, 2018

North Carolina SB 407 (Employee Fair Classification Act) – Creates the Employee Classification Section within the Industrial Commission, which will be responsible for investigating suspected employee misclassification.  Also requires employers post notice relating to employee misclassification.

Effective October 1, 2017

Ohio Admin. Code 4141-11-01 – Requires employers provide all quarterly contribution and wage reports electronically.

Effective January 1, 2018

Oregon HB 3008 — Prohibits employer from requiring employee to create, file or sign documents containing information that employer knows is false related to hours worked or compensation received by employee.

Effective January 1, 2018

SB 299 – Amends the Oregon paid sick leave law to allow employers to limit number of hours of sick time that employees may accrue per year.

Effective January 1, 2018

SB 769 – Enhances protections for the privacy of social security numbers by prohibiting persons (including employers) from disposing of (or transferring to another person for disposal) materials that display an individual’s Social Security number unless (1) before disposing of the material, the person makes Social Security number unreadable or unrecoverable or (2) the person ensures that person that ultimately disposes of media or material makes Social Security number unreadable or unrecoverable.

Effective January 1, 2018

SB828 — Requires large employers in specified industries (employers with 500+ employees in retail, hospitality, and food services) to provide new employee with estimated work schedule and to provide current employee with seven days’ notice of employee work schedule.

Effective July 1, 2018

Rhode Island HB 5182 & SB 175 — Prohibits the use of a non-hands-free personal wireless communication device while operating a motor vehicle, except for public safety personnel or in an emergency situation

Effective June 1, 2018

HB 5413 & SB 290 (Paid Sick Leave Law) — Requires employers with eighteen (18) or more employees to provide three (3) paid sick days in 2018, four (4) paid sick days in 2019 and five (5) paid sick days thereafter.

Effective July 1, 2018

SB 676 — Creates a statutory vehicle for the creation and functioning of workers’ cooperatives which are corporations that are owned and democratically governed by their members.

Effective January 1, 2018

Utah SB 249 — Requires employers to file a quarterly withholding return in an electronic format

Effective January 1, 2018

Vermont HB 136 — Requires employers provide a reasonable accommodation for an employee’s pregnancy-related condition, unless the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the employer.

Effective January 1, 2018

HB 462 — Prohibits employers from requiring, requesting, or coercing an employee to provide a social media account username or password, or to present or divulge social media content to the employer. Also prohibits employers from requiring or coercing an employee to add the employer to his or her list of contacts for a social media account.

Effective January 1, 2018

Virginia HB 1646 & SB 1333 – Reduces the maximum portion of an employee’s disposable earnings subject to garnishment.

Effective July 1, 2018

Washington Initiative No. 1433 (Paid Sick Leave Law) – Requires employers to provide paid sick leave to eligible employees.

Effective January 1, 2018

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: North Carolina Employee Fair Classification Act

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper recently signed the North Carolina Employee Fair Classification Act into law.  This new law, which goes into effect on December 31, 2017, creates the Employee Classification Section of the North Carolina Industrial Commission and also creates new notice requirements for North Carolina employers.

The Employee Classification Section will have the authority to receive and investigate reports by employees who claim they were/are misclassified as independent contractors.  The Section is also authorized to share information they receive with other government agencies (i.e. Department of Labor, the Division of Employment Security, the Department of Revenue and the Industrial Commission.  The creation of this new agency will likely make it easier for North Carolina to target employers who are engaging in employee misclassification.

In addition to the new Section, employers will also be required to post a notice in the workplace stating:

Workers must be treated as employees unless they are independent contractors and that those who believe they have been misclassified have the right to report the alleged misclassification to the Employee Classification Section.

The notice also must provide the physical and e-mail addresses and telephone number where alleged misclassifications may be reported.

Recommendations for employers

There are several things that North Carolina employers should do prior to December 31, 2017.  First, employers who work with independent contractors should audit those relationships and verify that they are true independent contractors.  In addition, employers should prepare the required notice.

 

 

Employer Dos and Don’ts for Elections

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

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

Alabama Employers may not:

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

·         Seek to examine an employee’s ballot.

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

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

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

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

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

·         Prevent an employee from participating in politics;

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

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

Colorado Employers may not

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

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

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

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

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

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

Georgia Employers may not

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

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

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

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

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

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

Indiana Employers may not

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Louisiana Employers may not

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

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

Employers with 20+ employees may not

·         Prevent employees from participating in politics;

·         Control employees’ political activities or affiliations; or

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

 

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

·         Influence employees’ voting activity through intimidation or bribery;

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

·         Prevent employees from engaging in political activities.

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

·         Coerce any employee with respect to his political activity or

·         Close the business as a result of election results.

Nevada Employers may not

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

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

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

·         Coerce any employee with respect to his political activity;

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

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

·         Require employees to attend employer-sponsored political meetings.

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

·         Coerce any employee with respect to his political activity;

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

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

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

·         Attempt to influence an employee’s political beliefs.

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

·         Coerce any employee with respect to his political activity;

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

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

Rhode Island Employers may not

·         Coerce any employee with respect to his political activity;

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

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

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

·         Coerce any employee with respect to his political activity;

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

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

Tennessee Employers may not

·         Coerce any employee with respect to his political activity;

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

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

·         Coerce any employee with respect to his political activity;

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

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

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

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

·         Coerce any employee with respect to his political activity.

Washington Employers may not

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

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

·         Coerce any employee with respect to his political activity.

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

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

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

Wisconsin Employers may not

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

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

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

 

Does Your State Require Voting Leave?

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

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

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

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

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

DOL Partnership regarding worker misclassification — 34 States and Counting

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

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

These states are:

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

What does this mean for employers in these states?

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

North Carolina Revisits the Scope of Wrongful Termination Claims

Earlier this year, we reported that North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory signed the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act, a law which, among other things, made it clear that North Carolina’s Equal Employment Practices Act (NCEEPA) did not provide a cause of action for wrongful termination.

Recently, the North Carolina legislature had a change of heart. On July 18, 2016, Governor McCrory signed a bill that restores the right of employees to bring wrongful discharge claims for employment discrimination under the NCEEPA.

This new law removes the language from the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act that eliminated employees’ right to sue in state court for violation of the NCEEPA. Instead, the new law reestablishes a procedure for employees to file state court claims of wrongful discharge under the NCEEPA within one year of alleged public policy violation. The law does not allow employees to file state court claims of employment discrimination on any other basis including harassment, hostile work environment, disparate treatment, failure to hire, or constructive discharge.

Minimum Wage Mid-Year Check-Up

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

Does North Carolina’s New Public Facilities Law Impact Private Employers?

In late March, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory signed the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act (the “Public Facilities Law“).

The new law makes the following significant changes to the laws in North Carolina:

  1. All public employers (i.e. public schools and government agencies like libraries, parks, courthouses, airports, public universities, and state hospitals) are required to designate multiple-occupancy bathrooms and changing facilities (i.e., restrooms, locker rooms, or other facilities where more than one person may be undressing) for use by people based on their “biological sex”  (defined as the gender listed on a person’s birth certificate);
  2. Any local ordinance that regulates or imposes any requirement upon an employer relating to employee compensation of employees (e.g. the wage levels of employees, hours of labor, payment of earned wages, benefits, leave, or well-being of minors in the workforce) are nullified; and
  3. Amends provisions in the North Carolina Equal Employment Practices Act (“NCEEPA”)
    1. Declares that “the regulation of discriminatory practices in employment” is an issue of statewide concern; therefore any local ordinances concerning the regulation of discriminatory practices in employment that conflict with state law are nullified;
    2. Sets forth that it is the public policy of North Carolina to protect the right and opportunity of all persons to seek, obtain and hold employment without discrimination on account of race, religion, color, national origin, age, biological sex or handicap by employers which regularly employ 15 or more employees.
    3. Prohibits employees from bringing claims based upon the public policy expressed in the NCEEPA.” (See our previous blog “Scope of Wrongful Termination Claims in North Carolina (Somewhat) Limited”)

Impact on North Carolina employers

The restroom and changing facility regulations (relating to designation based on biological sex) do not apply to or affect private employers. Private employers are free to implement their own policies that permit employees, customers, and third parties access to restrooms and locker or dressing rooms that correspond to their gender identity or expression.

In addition, if a private company voluntarily designates a restroom for use based on “biological sex” pursuant to the Public Facilities Law, such a policy will not give rise to a claim of discrimination under North Carolina state law. It may, however, give rise to a claim under Title VII, as the EEOC has been actively pursuing claims relating to employment bias based on sexual orientation and gender identity (including transgender). (See our previous blog “Sexual Orientation Bias is Barred By Title VII, Says EEOC”). Employers should proceed with caution if they seek to designate a restroom for use based on “biological sex”.