It’s one thing to keep up with federal-level employment laws and related postings … it’s quite another when you drill down to the state, county and city level. While the federal requirements are limited to a handful of postings, mandatory postings in certain states can climb into the double digits. Depending on the states in which you operate and the areas of legislative activity, you’re looking at a much more complex compliance situation.
Let’s review the areas in the U.S. most impacted by new or expanded employment legislation
– and some strategies to keep current no matter how brisk the activity.
States with the Most Legislative Activity in the Past Year
Although not an exhaustive list, the following employment law developments could impact your compliance responsibilities in these five states:
Nearly 40 California counties and cities passed higher minimum wage rates than the state wage (effective Jan. 1, 2023), including: Alameda, Berkely, Cupertino, El Cerrito, Fremont, Los Angeles, Malibu, Oakland, Pasadena, Richmond, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Monica, and West Hollywood. Minimum wages differ for large employers and small employers in some of these cities, but the state minimum wage of $15.50/hour is the same for all employers.
The state of California also expanded the definition of “family member” under the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) and Healthy Workplaces Healthy Families Act (HWHFA) to include a “designated person.” In another change under the CFRA, employers with five or more employees must provide up to five days of unpaid bereavement leave. Further still, the state passed new legislation regarding wage transparency pay scales in job listings, Title III accommodations, anti-discrimination reproductive health protections under the Fair Employment and Housing Act, data privacy and criminal background checks.
As more states, counties and cities enact their own regulations and requirements, employers face an increasingly challenging compliance situation. Poster Guard® Poster Compliance Service can keep you current and covered.
The New York State minimum wage increased from $13.20/hour to $14.20/hour for Upstate new Yorkers (outside of New York City, Long Island and Westchester, where the rate is $15/hour). In other legislative activity, a salary transparency law went into effect for New York City, all New York employers must provide electronic copies of labor law postings, nursing employees gained expanded protections and the definition of “family member” for paid family leave now includes siblings.
Several new employment laws took effect on Jan. 1, 2023, for Illinois. Amendments to the state’s One Day Rest in Seven Act now require a day off every 7-day period vs. every calendar week, along with additional meal breaks, a notice requirement and increased penalties for violations. Coverage under the Child Bereavement Leave Act expanded to include absences for more reasons, such as pregnancy loss and failed adoption. Under the new Illinois CROWN Act, individuals are now protected against hair-based discrimination.
Regulations under Colorado’s Healthy Families and Workplaces Act (HFWA) change how employers calculate the rate of pay for employees using paid sick and safe leave and/or public health emergency leave. (Basically, paid leave must be paid at the “same hourly rate or salary” -- not including overtime, bonuses or holiday pay – and with the same benefits the employee normally earns during work hours.) Colorado also expanded protected time off under the FMLA to include 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave and an additional four weeks for pregnancy or childbirth complications. In addition, amendments to the state’s wage theft laws impose additional requirements for employers and increase penalties for violations.
Finally, new wage transparency legislation in Washington requires employers to disclose hourly or salary compensation in job listings – and the Washington 2023 Non-Compete Enforceability Thresholds increases the amount an employee must earn to meet the non-compete enforceability threshold accounting for inflation with the consumer price index.
Activity in Leading States Eventually Impacts Others
If you run a business in the above states, you need to be particularly mindful of new or pending laws that expand employee protections, define workplace practices and, ultimately, increase employer liability. Keep in mind, too, that even if you don’t operate in these states, there’s a good chance similar legislation could one day impact your area.
Emerging legislation in key states tends to shape the overall employment law landscape for employers nationwide. For example, it’s highly likely other states will follow New York’s lead regarding electronic posting requirements as more employers permit off-site and remote work. For the remainder of 2023, we should also expect continued activity surrounding paid leave and time-off requirements, pay transparency laws, and expanded anti-harassment and discrimination protections.
Achieve Multi-Level Posting Compliance, No Matter Your State
Something else to be aware of: Many of these trending laws will usher in new posting requirements. Feeling like you can’t possibly keep up? We can help!
With Poster Guard® Poster Compliance Service, you’re ensured 365 days of hassle-free labor law posting compliance. You’ll receive an up-to-date federal, state and local poster set, along with automatic poster replacements every time a mandatory change occurs. Best of all, you’re guaranteed 100% compliance protection against government fines.