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 look at the areas in the U.S. most impacted by new or expanded employment legislation, what those employment laws typically cover and some strategies for ensuring you’re current no matter how brisk the activity.
States with the Most Legislative Activity This Year
Keeping abreast of changing employment laws is a bigger undertaking if you’re in the following states:
Numerous California counties and cities passed emergency paid sick leave laws in 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Sonoma County recently joined Long Beach, City of Los Angeles, County of Los Angeles, Oakland, Sacramento, San Francisco, San Jose, San Mateo County and Santa Rosa.
The state of California also passed a paid sick leave law to provide sick days through the rest of 2020 for any employee who has been exposed to COVID-19 or tests positive for it. This is in addition to California’s current paid sick leave law, the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act, which requires all employers to extend three days of mandatory paid sick leave.
And that’s just the laws that were already passed. Still pending is legislation regarding: bereavement leave, expanded leave under the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) (as well as sick pay), time off for crime victims, restrictions on independent contractor relationships, an employer mandate to report pay equity data, written notices of any federal or state declared disaster to non-exempt workers, expansion of local enforcement of labor laws Cal/OSHA rules for household employers, garment worker rights, rest breaks for security guards, limitations on management of warehouse and distribution center employees, and double the time for employees for file Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) complaints.
That’s a long list – and the reason why California always takes the lead with employment law developments!
In the spring of 2020, New York passed a paid sick leave law requiring all New York employers to provide paid sick leave to their employees. Municipalities in the state already have these mandatory sick leave requirements, including New York City and Westchester County. Beyond paid sick leave laws, New York also introduced legislation regarding: anti-bullying and prevention of an abusive work environment, “Schedules that Work Act” for fast food and retail employees, employee access to personnel files and expanded whistleblower protections.
As more states, counties and cities enact their own regulations and requirements, employers face an increasingly challenging compliance situation. Poster Guard® Compliance Protection can keep you current and covered.
Like New York, the state of Colorado passed a major sick leave law in 2020. The Healthy Families and Workplaces Act (HFWA) requires all Colorado employers to provide three types of paid sick leave: COVID-19 emergency paid sick leave, paid sick and safe time and public health emergency paid sick leave.
And as we approach 2021, employers should expect additional legislation regarding unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation.
In addition to being the first state to pass a COVID-19 emergency standard this year, Virginia enacted numerous laws regarding minimum wage, employee misclassification, wage theft, prohibition of non-compete agreements with low-wage workers, hair discrimination and sexual orientation discrimination.
Last but not least, any employer that operates in the state of Maryland should take note of new employment laws related to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as legislation regarding: mandatory notification of any reduction in operations, salary history restrictions, hairstyle discrimination and a ban on facial recognition technology.
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 particular state.
Emerging legislation in key states acts as trends in the overall employment law landscape, with eventual, broader application for more employers nationwide. For example, Oregon is close to passing COVID safety regulations similar to Virginia. And we’re seeing more and more areas throughout the U.S. adopt paid sick leave laws that benefit eligible employees.
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 the dedicated service of Poster Guard® Compliance Protection, 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.