NEW LAW: Missouri Voters Approve Increase of Minimum Wage

Attention Missouri employers:  On November 6, 2018, Missouri voters approved Proposition B: The $12 Minimum Wage Initiative.

As a result of this victory, Missouri’s minimum wage will gradually increase by 85 cents per year until it reaches $12.00 per hour in 2023.  Since Missouri law allows employers to claim a tip credit of 50% of the minimum wage, the minimum wage for tipped employees will also change.

The exact scheduled increases are as follows:

  • January 1, 2019 — increases to $8.60 per hour ($4.30 per hour for tipped employees)
  • January 1, 2020 — increases to $9.45 per hour ($4.725 per hour for tipped employees)
  • January 1, 2021 — increases to $10.30 per hour  ($5.15 per hour for tipped employees)
  • January 1, 2022 — increases to $11.15 per hour  ($5.575 per hour for tipped employees)
  • January 1, 2023 — increases to $12.00 per hour. ($6.00 per hour for tipped employees)
  • January 1, 2024 and beyond — the minimum wage will increase each year based on changes in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers.

All Missouri employers should prepare for this increase.

NEW LAW: Arkansas Voters Approve Increase of Minimum Wage

Attention Arkansas employers:  On November 6, 2018, Arkansas voters approved Arkansas Issue 5, Minimum Wage Increase Initiative.

As a result of this victory, Araknsas’ minimum wage will gradually increase until it reaches $11.00 per hour in 2021.  The tipped employee minimum wage ($2.63 per hour) will not change.

The exact scheduled increases are as follows:

  • January 1, 2019 — increases to $9.25 per hour
  • January 1, 2020 — increases to $10.00 per hour
  • January 1, 2021 — increases to $11.00 per hour.

All Arkansas employers should prepare for this increase.

NEW LAW — Minimum Wage Increases for Certain New Mexico Localities

Attention employers in Albuquerque and Unincorporated Bernalillo County, New Mexico:… minimum wage in these localities is increasing on January 1, 2019.

For employers in Albuquerque, minimum wage is increasing on January 1, 2019 as follows:

  • For employers that provide a certain amount of healthcare and/or childcare benefits, minimum wage is  increasing from $7.95 to $8.20 per hour (and is increasing from  $5.35 to $5.50 per hour for tipped employees) and
  • For employees not provided qualifying benefits, minimum wage is  increasing from $8.95 to $9.20 per hour (and is increasing from  $5.35 to $5.50 per hour for tipped employees).

Continue reading NEW LAW — Minimum Wage Increases for Certain New Mexico Localities

NEW LAW — Minimum Wage Increases for Certain Washington Cities

Attention employers in SeaTac, Seattle, and Tacoma, Washington … minimum wage in these cities is increasing on January 1, 2019.

For employers in SeaTac, minimum wage is increasing for certain employers in the hospitality and transportation industries from $15.64 to $16.09 per hour on January 1, 2019.

For employers in Seattle, minimum wage is increasing on January 1, 2019 as follows: Continue reading NEW LAW — Minimum Wage Increases for Certain Washington Cities

NEW LAW — Minimum Wage Increases for Certain California Cities

Attention employers in Mountain View and Sunnyvale, California … minimum wage in these cities is increasing on January 1, 2019.

For employers in both Mountain View and Sunnyvale,  minimum wage is increasing from $15.00 to $15.65 per hour on January 1, 2019.

Employers in these cities should prepare for the increase and download the update minimum wage poster available here:

NEW LAW – Washington DC Elimination of Tip Credit Repealed

Back in June 2018, Washington DC voters passed Initiative 77, which was intended to gradually eliminate the “tipped employee minimum wage” (or tip credit) by 2026.  That Initiative has officially been repealed.

Earlier this month, the D.C. Council passed a measure to overturn and repeal Initiative 77.  This means that employers in Washington DC will be able to continue paying their tipped employees a lower minimum wage than regular hourly workers.

Currently the tipped minimum wage in Washington DC is $3.89 per hour.  This minimum wage is slated to increase as follows: Continue reading NEW LAW – Washington DC Elimination of Tip Credit Repealed

NEW LAW: Alaska’s Minimum Wage to Increase January 1, 2019

Alaska employers, mark your calendars.  On January 1, 2019, Alaska’s minimum wage will increase from $9.84 per hour to $9.89 per hour.

Under the Alaska minimum wage law, the Alaska minimum wage must be adjusted on an annual to account for inflation.  This adjustment is made using the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the proceeding January-December calendar year.

NEW LAW: New Requirements For Leave For Veterans In Massachusetts

On November 7, 2018, Massachusetts’  “BRAVE Act” (An Act Relative to Veterans Benefits, Rights, Appreciation, Validation and Enforcement) goes into effect.  This law changes an employer’s obligation  to grant leave to veterans on Veterans Day and Memorial Day.

Under the old law, which went into effect in 2016, employers were required to grant veterans time off on Veterans Day and Memorial Day to participate in an exercise, parade, or service in their community.  For employers with 50 or more employees, this time off was to be paid.

Under the new law, employers are required to provide Veterans with time off for  Veterans Day and Memorial Day as follows: Continue reading NEW LAW: New Requirements For Leave For Veterans In Massachusetts

NEW GUIDANCE: New York Publishes Sexual Harassment Materials In Several Languages

As all New York employers are aware, earlier this year, New York enacted an expansive set of laws relating to sexual harassment, which went into effect earlier this month.

Earlier this month, the New York State Department of Labor released English versions of a Model Sexual Harassment Policy, Model Complaint Form, Training Requirements, and FAQs, which are available here.

On October 17, 2018, the New York State Department of Labor released translated versions of these documents in the following languages: Chinese, Haitian-Creole, Korean, Italian, Polish, Russian, and Spanish, which are available here.

One of the requirements under these new laws is the requirement that employers provide sexual harassment training materials and policies to their employees in the employee’s primary language.   If the New York State Department of Labor has not translated a document into the language spoken by an employee, an employer is considered in compliance by providing the employee English language documents.

EEOC Reports Uptick In Sexual Harassment Claims for 2018

On October 4, 2018, the EEOC announced preliminary sexual harassment data for FY 2018 (which ended September 30, 2018).  The end result — sexual harassment claims are on the rise.

According to the preliminary report,

  • The number of EEOC charges filed alleging sexual increased over 12% in 2018
  • The  EEOC filed 66 harassment lawsuits (41 of which included allegations of sexual harassment), this is a 50% increase from 2017.
  • The EEOC recovered nearly $70 million for victims of sexual harassment through litigation and administrative enforcement (an increase from $47.5 million recovered in 2017).

Continue reading EEOC Reports Uptick In Sexual Harassment Claims for 2018