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State Employment

Laws 2020-21

Below you will find a compilation of employment

laws every HR professional should know.

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State Employment Laws

COVID-19 Immunity February 12, 2021
Alabama

S.B. 30 provides that any business, healthcare provider, church, educational entity, government entity or cultural institution is immune from claims for injury caused by COVID-19, vaccinations for COVID-19 or providing personal protective equipment.

New Hire Reporting July 10, 2020
Alabama

Updated its new hire reporting requirement for employers to report all new hires, include recalled employees, to the AL Department of Labor. Failure to report new hires and recalled employees may result in a statutory penalty. [new-hire webpage]

Unemployment Benefits July 10, 2020
Alabama

Requires all employers to provide a notice to employees regarding unemployment benefits at the time of separation. [Emergency Rule 480-4-2-.19 Employer Responsibilities, Posters]

Independent Contractor Status July 1, 2021
Alabama

HB 408 requires employers and the Alabama Department of Labor and the Alabama Department of Revenue to follow the IRS’ common law test, aka the “20-factor test” to determine whether a worker is an employee for purposes of benefits and tax liabilities.

Marijuana Legalization November 13, 2020
Arizona

Adults 21 years or older are permitted to possess and use marijuana and grow up to six plants in their residences. Does not restrict the rights of companies to maintain a drug-free workplace or establish workplace policies restricting the use of marijuana by employees or prospective employees. Employers are also not required to allow or accommodate the use, consumption, or possession of marijuana on the job. [Proposition 207 Smart and Safe Act]

Accommodation   Passed — April 8, 2020  Effective — March 28, 2020
California

Expanded lactation accommodation requirements [AB 1976]

Arbitration   Passed — March 14, 2020  Effective — September 28, 2020
California

If an employer fails to pay the required fees and costs associated with arbitration, the employer is in material breach of the arbitration agreement and waives their right to arbitrate. [SB 707]

Expands the Labor Commissioner’s representation to arbitrations for claimants who cannot afford counsel, (2) requires employers to serve petitions to compel arbitration on the Labor Commissioner, and (3) allows the Labor Commissioner to represent claimants in proceedings to determine whether arbitration agreements are enforceable. [SB 1384]

Board Representation September 28, 2020
California

Requires the boards of CA public corporations to include at least one “director from an underrepresented community” by the end of 2021, with heighten minimum requirements in future years. [AB 979]

Child Abuse Reporting September 29, 2020
California

Amends Penal Code relating to mandated reporters of child abuse. Adds a human resource employee and an adult whose duties require direct contact with and supervision of minors of a business with five or more employees that employs minors to the list of individuals who are mandated reporters. [AB 1963]

Compensation/Pay Data Reporting September 30, 2020
California

Employers with 100 or more employees will be required to submit a “pay data report” by no later than 3/31/2021 (and annually thereafter) to the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). The report includes a breakdown of employee compensation in one of 11 pay bands used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in its Occupational Employee Survey. The report mirrors the EEO-1 Component 2 that is no longer required by the federal government.[SB 973, user guide]

Pay Data Reporting Portal will open on 2/15/2021. 

COVID-19 Reporting January 1, 2021
California

AB 685 requires employers to notify employees within one business day by providing a written notice of potential COVID-19 exposures in the workplace.

COVID-19 Vaccinations August 5, 2021
California

All state employees and healthcare workers must provide proof of vaccination or be subject to regular COVID-19 testing. [Public Order]

Criminal History   Passed — March 14, 2020  Effective — March 28, 2020
California

Restricts employers on inquiring about an applicant’s prior arrest and detention records and are limited to asking only about a relevant “particular conviction” for “conviction for specific criminal conduct or a category of criminal offenses prescribed by any federal law.” Requires employers to: (1) make individualized assessments as to whether the conviction history has a direct adverse relationship to the duties of the jobs; and (2) provide notice under a specific procedure to employees if they intend to deny employment based on the conviction history. Effective 10/1/2020 expands the definition of an “applicant” to include individuals who begin work upon receiving a conditional offer of employment but before the employer has conducted or completed a criminal background check. [SB 1412, CA Fair Chance Act; Fair Employment & Housing Council Employment Regulations Regarding Criminal History, the CA Family Rights Acts, and the New Parent Leave Act, FAQs]

Discrimination Claims   Passed — January 1, 2019  Effective — March 28, 2020
California

Settlement agreements cannot prevent disclosure of factual information related to sexual harassment or discrimination claims [SB 820]; expanded the scope of “privileged communications” to protect employees making sexual harassment allegations and to protect former employees when raising credible allegations. [AB 2770]

Discrimination Claim Filing September 30, 2020
California

Gives employees a two-year extension (up to three years) to file Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) claims. Employees will continue to have one year to file a lawsuit once receiving the notice of right-to-sue. [AB 9]

AB 1947 signed on 9/30/2020 extending the period to file a discrimination or retaliation complaint from 6 months to one year with the CA Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE). Effective 1/1/2021 courts can award attorneys' fees to whistleblowers who prevail against employers.

Discrimination Against Service Members January 1, 2019
California

Prohibits employers from discharging or stopping benefits of an employee for being a member of the military reserve or because of an ordered military duty or training. [SB 1500]

Domestic Service September 29, 2020
California

Prohibits employers from taking certain employment actions against an employee for refusing to work in some circumstances where there is a real or apparent safety hazard to the employee or other employees. Extends protection to include domestic work employees or employees that perform household services for an individual. Impact both individuals and businesses that employ domestic service workers. [Assembly Bill 2568]

Family Rights   Passed — September 17, 2020  Effective — January 1, 2021
California

Repeals California Family Rights Act (CFRA) and eliminates California New Parent Leave Act replacing the statutes with a new CFRA. Changes the threshold from 50 employees to five or more employees. Increases the risk that employers will have to provide 24 weeks of unpaid time off in 2021 compared to the current 12 weeks. [SB 1383]

Flexible Spending Accounts January 1, 2020
California

Employers with employees residing in CA must provide notification in two different forms to employees about deadlines for withdrawing funds from flexible spending accounts (FSA). [AB 1554]

Genetic Privacy   Passed — November 24, 2021  Effective — January 1, 2021
California

Requires “a direct-to-consumer genetic testing” company, or any other company that collects, uses, maintains or discloses genetic data collected or derived from a ‘direct-to-consumer genetic testing’ product or service or directly provided by a consumer to: (1) provide consumer with clear and complete information about the company’s policies on collection, use, maintenance and disclosure of genetic data, and (2) obtain consumers’ express consent for collection, use and disclosure of the genetic data. [Genetic Information Privacy Act SB 980] If signed, effective 01/01/2021.

Harassment Prevention September 28, 2020
California

Changes obligations of harassment prevention training for minors working in the entertainment industry and their guardians. Compliments AB 3175 which amended labor code regarding sexual harassment prevention training requirements for age-eligible minors prior to the issuance of entertainment work permits. [AB 3369]

Health Privacy   Passed — November 24, 2021  Effective — January 1, 2021
California

Requires a business that “sells or disclosed deidentified patient information to notify consumers in its privacy policy of the fact that the business sells and discloses de-identified information and to identify whether the information is de-identified pursuant to the HIPAA expert determination method or safe harbor method. [AB 713] If signed, effective 01/01/2021.

Independent Contractor Status September 4, 2020
California

AB 2257 modifies AB 5 to limit the sizable impacts of AB 5 on the number of professions and industries by specifically excluding many from the analysis under the ABC test. AB 2257 does not make accommodations for certain transportation and technology companies that serve as an interchange to connect drivers to passengers. New professionals were also added as exemptions from the ABC test. Changes to AB 5 include exemptions for certain music industry workers, freelance writers and photographers.

Proposition 22 allows app-based rideshare and delivery companies to hire drivers as independent contractors; however, it provides for: (1) minimum compensation levels, (2) health insurance subsidies for qualifying drivers, (3) medical costs for on-the-job injuries, and (4) prohibits drivers from working more than 12 hours in a 24-hour period for a single company. Companies must also develop sexual harassment policies, conduct criminal background checks, and require safety training for drivers.

Rest Periods   Passed — September 30, 2020  Effective — January 1, 2021
California

Authorizes employees to require certain unionize private security officers "to remain on the premise during rest periods and to remain on call, and carry and monitor a communication device, during rest periods." [AB 1512]

Wage Enforcement January 1, 2021
California

Provides that a successor entity to a debtor employer with a wage/hour liability is liable for any wages, damages, or penalties owed to the debtor’s former workforce when certain conditions are met. [AB 3075]

Victims of Crime or Abuse September 29, 2020
California

Imposes further limitations on employers from discharging, discriminating or retaliating against an employee who is a victim of crime or abuse. Revised the categories of time off work to include taking time off to seek medical attention for injuries caused by crime or abuse, to obtain services from prescribed entities as a result of crime or abuse, to obtain psychological counseling or mental health services related to crime or abuse or to participate in safety planning. [AB 2992]

Wages September 29, 2020
California

Expands the professional exemption to expressly include part-time or adjunct faculty at private, nonprofit colleges and universities. Identifies a two-part test to evaluate if an employee meets the professional exemption. [AB 736]

Hourly Wage January 5, 2021
California - Los Angeles

County Board of Supervisors passed a proposal that food and drugstore employees in Los Angeles County be provided a $5 “Hero Pay” increase on top of whatever pay their private employer is already providing. The proposed increase would last for 120 days from the date any ordinance is ultimately enacted.

Hazard Pay March 22, 2021
California - San Francisco

COVID-Related Hazard Pay Ordinance applies to “general grocery, specialty grocery, or pharmacy” businesses with 500 or more employees worldwide, and at least 20 employees in San Francisco. Stores will be required to pay an additional $5 per hour (up to $35 per hour) during the public health emergency.

Pay Ratio Tax January 1, 2022
California - San Francisco

Proposition L creates a new tax on both public and private entities doing business in San Francisco if the entity’s highest paid managerial employees earn 100 or more times the median compensation paid to the entities’ full and part-time employees based in the City.

Retirement Plans   Passed — September 4, 2020  Effective — September 4, 2020
California

Cannabis companies with more than 100 employees must provide a retirement plan by 9/30/2020. Cannabis companies with more than 50 employees have a deadline of 6/30/2021; companies with five or more employees until 6/30/2022. Penalties up to $750 per eligible employee. [Cal. Code Regs. Title 10 § 10001]

Successor Liability   Passed — September 30, 2020  Effective — January 1, 2022
California

Allows employees to collect wage and hour judgements not only from their employers, but also from certain successor businesses that take over operations when the employers have failed to pay the judgement debts. [AB 3075]

Training Costs January 1, 2021
California

Expands existing law and requires acute care hospitals to reimburse employees and job applicants for "direct patient care positions" for certain training costs. [AB 2855]

Vaccination Policies November 24, 2021
California

CA DFEH released guidance indicating that employer may implement a mandatory vaccination policy if they: (1) do not discriminate against or harass employees or job applicants on the basis of a protected characteristic, (2) provide reasonable accommodations related to disability or sincerely-held religious beliefs or practices; and (3) do not retaliate against anyone for engaging in protected activity, such as requesting a reasonable accommodation.

Workers Compensation   Passed — September 17, 2020  Effective — September 17, 2020
California

If employees test positive for COVID-19 under specific circumstances, there is a rebuttable presumption that their exposure occurred at the workplace which creates a compensable injury for purposes of qualifying for workers’ compensation benefits. Creates reporting requirements for employers through 1/1/2023. [SB 1159]

Lactation Accommodation January 1, 2019
California

Requires employers to provide a location other than a bathroom to express milk. [AB 1976][AB 142]

Family Leave   Passed — June 27, 2019  Effective — January 1, 2019
California

Increases the length of paid family leave to eight weeks. [SB 83]

Hair Styles July 3, 2019
California

Expands the FEHA definition of “race” to include traits historically associated with race, including hair texture and hairstyles. Employers are prohibited from instituting workplace dress codes and/or grooming policies that prevent employees from wearing their hair in a natural manner. [SB 188]

Harassment January 1, 2019
California

Expands liability to cover all forms of harassment, rather than only sexual harassment. Prohibits, as a condition of employment, the employee to sign a nondisparagement agreement that purports to deny the employee’s right to disclose information about unlawful acts in the workplace. [SB 1300]

Harassment Training January 1, 2019
California

Extends harassment training requirements to smaller employers and nonsupervisory employees. Requires training by 1/1/20. [SB 1343] Blog

Human Trafficking January 1, 2019
California

Requires hotels and motels to provide at least 20 minutes of human trafficking awareness training. Training must be conducted by 1/1/20 for certain employees and every two years thereafter. [SB 970] Certain businesses must post a compliant notice regarding human trafficking. [AB 2034]

Independent Contractor Status   Passed — September 11, 2019  Effective — July 1, 2020
California

Codifies the “ABC” test for determining contractor status. The conditions have been identified to determine if a worker meets the independent contractor status. [AB 5]

Mandatory Arbitration January 1, 2020
California

Employers can no longer require, as a condition of employment or continued employment, that an applicant or employee, waive any right, forum or procedure for alleged violation of the CA FEHA. Employees can voluntarily choose to enter into an arbitration agreement. [AB 51] Federal judge temporarily blocked implementation of AB 51 on 1/2/2020.

Military Leave January 1, 2019
California

Amends the Family Temporary Disability Insurance Program to include time off for a servicemember to participate in a qualifying exigency related to a covered active duty. [SB 1123]

Non-Disclosure Agreements January 1, 2019
California

Prohibits confidentiality provisions in settlement agreements that would prevent disclosure of information related to claims of sexual assault, harassment, and discrimination. [SB 820]

Privacy Rights   Passed — November 3, 2020  Effective — January 1, 2023
California

Proposition 24 – CA Privacy Rights and Enforcement Act of 2020 (CPRA) imposes expanded privacy obligations on employers related to the CA Consumer Protection Act (CCPA). Employers cannot discriminate and/or retaliate against employees, applicants or independent contractors exercising their rights to: (1) receive a notice at collection concerning their personal information, and (2) file a private right to action following a data breach involving their personal information caused by the failure of the employer to maintain reasonable safeguards.

Red Flag Law   Passed — October 19, 2019  Effective — September 1, 2020
California

Broadens the classes of individuals who may apply for a gun violence restraining order (GVRO) to include employers, and (under certain circumstances) coworkers and teachers. Coworkers must have had regular interactions with the person for at least one year and obtained approval from their employer. [AB 61]

Salary History January 1, 2020
California

Clarifies employers’ use and consideration of salary history [AB 2282]

Settlement Agreements   Passed — September 5, 2020  Effective — January 1, 2020
California

Prohibits and invalidates provisions within settlement agreement which prohibit, prevent, or otherwise restrict a settling employee from working for the employer or any parent company, subsidiary, division, affiliate, or contractor of the employer. [AB 749]

Gun Violence Restraining Order   Passed — November 24, 2021  Effective — September 1, 2020
California

An employer, co-worker, or school employee may file a court petition requesting a gun violence straining order against an employee who poses a significant danger of causing personal injury to others by having in their custody or control, owning, purchasing, possessing or receiving a firearm. [Gun Violence Restraining Orders]

Criminal History September 1, 2021
Colorado

Affects all private employers with 11 or more employees. No criminal history questions on initial job applications [HB 1025]

Equal Pay   Passed — May 22, 2019  Effective — January 1, 2021
Colorado

Aims to close the pay gap and ensure that employees with similar job duties are paid the same wage rate regardless of sex, or sex plus another protected status. Under the proposed Equal Pay Transparency rules, employers would have to include compensation range and available benefits in job postings, even for positions that will not be filled in the state. If a job posting remains posted on or after 2/1/2021, it will be subjected to the requirements of the EPEQ. Employers must notify all current employees in CO, whether qualified or not, of any promotional opportunity sufficiently in advance of a decision to allow them to apply. Will apply to any employers with or more employees in Colorado, regardless of where the employer is headquartered. [Equal Pay for Equal Work Act, Proposed Equal Pay Transparency Rules, Statement of Basis, Purpose, Specific Statutory Authority Findings]

Salary History   Passed — May 22, 2019  Effective — January 1, 2021
Colorado

Applies to all employers who must disclose in each posting for each job opening the hourly or salary compensation, or a range of the hourly pay or salary. Must also include a general description of all the benefits and other compensation to be offered. [Equal Pay for Equal Work Act]

Wage   Passed — January 22, 2020  Effective — March 16, 2020
Colorado

Expands coverage to all private employers, unless exempt per rules 2.2-2.4. Increases protections for hourly employees, including rest period requirements and expansion of “time worked” criteria. Imposes a salary basis requirement for salaried workers to qualify as exempt. New posting, acknowledgement and translation requirements. [Colorado Overtime and Minimum Pay Standards Order 36]

Whistleblowing November 24, 2021
Colorado

Prohibits an employer from discriminating, retaliating, or taking adverse action against any worker who, during a public health emergency, raises “reasonable concerns, whether a formal complaint or informally to any person, about workplace violations of government health of safety rules, or about a significant workplace threat to health or safety.” [Public Health Emergency Whistleblower Law]

Overtime & Minimum Pay   Passed — January 1, 2021  Effective — January 1, 2021
Colorado

CO Overtime and Minimum Pay Standards (COMPS) Order #37 expands on administrative and professional employee exemptions, incorporates the CO Healthy Families and Workplaces Act and mandates pay adjustments to certain employees. Only certain taxi cab drivers remain fully exempt. To qualify for either the administrative or professional exemption, employees must be paid at least $77.85 per week ($40,500.20 per year).

Gender Identity and Gender Expression Protections May 20, 2021
Colorado

HB21-1108, Gender Identity Expression Anti-Discrimination Act updates Colorado’s nondiscrimination provisions to individuals seeking protection on the basis of “sexual orientation” by adding the terms “gender expression” and “gender identity” to 48 areas of state law.

Unemployment Insurance September 11, 2020
Colorado

Expands the qualifying reasons for which workers may receive UI benefits, including where individuals separate from employment because: (1) the employer required the workers to work in an environment that does not comply with certain government guidelines for disease mitigation and workplace safety, (2) certain governmental orders have closed or modified the business, (3) the workers must care for a child enrolled in a school closed by a public health emergency or for a family or household member who is quarantined due to a public health emergency, and (4) the workers have separated from employment because they are immunocompromised and more susceptible to illness or disease during a public health emergency. (Colorado’s UI webpage]

Updates to Anti-discrimination January 1, 2019
Colorado - Denver

Prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity, gender expression, ethnicity, citizenship, and immigration status; requires an employer to provide reasonable accommodations to an existing or prospective employee for pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions.  [Anti-Discrimination Ordinance]

Mandatory Vaccinations August 2, 2021
Colorado - Denver

All city employees and private-sector workers in “high-risk” settings, must be fully vaccinated by 9/30/2021 or not be permitted to work onsite or in the field. [Order]

Hair Discrimination   Passed — November 24, 2021  Effective — September 14, 2020
Colorado

Provides that race discrimination includes hair texture, hair type, and protective hairstyles such as braids, locs, twists, tight coils or curls, cornrows, bantu knots, Afros and headwraps that are commonly associated with race. [Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act]

Age Discrimination   Passed — June 24, 2021  Effective — October 1, 2021
Connecticut

Public Act 21-69, An Act Deterring Age Discrimination in Employment Applications, prohibits employers, or employer’s agents, from requesting or requiring a prospective employee to provide his or her age, date of birth, or dates of attendance at, or date of graduation from, an educational institution on their initial employment application.

Mandatory Vaccinations August 6, 2021
Connecticut

E.O. 138 requires employees, volunteers and contractors of long-term care facilities be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by 9/7/2021.

Wage or Salary Histories January 1, 2019
Connecticut

Employers are prohibited from inquiring about prospective employees’ wage or salary histories, unless the applicant voluntarily discloses the information [HB 5386]

Salary Range Disclosure   Passed — June 7, 2021  Effective — October 1, 2021
Connecticut

HB 6380 requires employers to disclose to applicants and employees the “wage range” for vacant positions and expands the state’s prohibition on gender-based pay discrimination to require equal pay for “comparable” work.

Sexual Harassment   Passed — November 24, 2021  Effective — October 1, 2020
Connecticut

All employers must provide two hours of sexual harassment prevention training to supervisors. Employers with three or more employees must provide the required training to all employees. Training must be conducted by 10/1/2020 and supplemental training must be provided at least every 10 years. Newly hired employees and supervisors must be trained within their first six months of employment. Extends the training deadline to 1/1/2021.

Employers with three or more employees must provide employees "a copy of the information concerning the illegality of sexual harassment" or provide a link to the Commissions website. [Time’s Up Act, CT Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities interactive online training]

Tip Credit September 24, 2020
Connecticut

Significant revisions clarify existing regulatory language, including (1) weekly tip credit attestation does not require an actual written signature by hand, (2) the duties “incidental to service” for which a tip credit may be taken have been clarified, (3) employers must pay full minimum wage for opening or closing sidework duties when the restaurant is closed to patrons, and (4) segregation of service from non-service work is required only if the employee spends more than 2 hours per day or 20% of their shift performing non-service work. [Revised Tip Credit Regulations]

Pay Equity October 1, 2021
Connecticut

Public Act No. 21-30 “An Act Concerning the Disclosure of Salary Range for a Vacant Position” imposes new requires for employers to disclose the wage range for vacant positions to both job applicants and existing employees. Extends the prohibition on sex-based compensation discrimination to comparable from equal work. Prohibits employers from asking prospective employees about past compensation and allow employees to discuss wages.

Lactation October 1, 2021
Connecticut

HB 5158, An Act Concerning Breastfeeding in the Workplace” guarantees an employee’s right to breastfeed or express breast milk at the workplace during the employee’s meal or break period. Covers all CT employers regardless of size and requires employers to make reasonable efforts to provide a room or other location where employees can express breast milk in private.

Hairstyle Discrimination March 1, 2021
Connecticut

The CROWN Act amends the CT Fair Employment Practices Act to clarify that hairstyle discrimination is included in existing prohibition of race-based discrimination. Prohibits discrimination against employees and applicants on the basis of “ethnic traits historically associated with race, including, but not limited to, hair texture and protective hairstyles.”

Paid Family & Medical Leave January 1, 2021
Connecticut

Paid Family and Medical Leave Law was enacted in 2019 but takes effect on 1/1/2021. Establishes a Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program that will be funded by employee contributions and employers have to begin collecting those contributions by 1/1/2021. [Public Act 19-25 and Public Act 19-117, State webpage]

COVID-19 Immunity November 24, 2021
Delaware

Under Title 20, Section 3121 of the Delaware Code, qualified medical personnel engaged in emergency or disaster relief operations and activities in connection with such emergency shall not be liable for death or any injury to persons as a result of such relief operations. Excludes willful or wanton disregard of the rights of others.

Sexual Harassment January 1, 2019
Delaware

Requires employers with 50+ employees to provide sexual harassment training to new employees within one year of hire, to existing employees within one years of the effective date of the act, and thereafter every two years. [HB 360]

WARN January 1, 2019
Delaware

Requires employers with 50+ employees to provide 60 days’ notice to employees impacted by mass layoffs, plant closings, or relocations causing employment loss. [HB 409]

Domestic & Sexual Violence February 18, 2019
District of Columbia

Prohibits discrimination against employees on the basis that they or their family members are victims of domestic violence, sexual offenses, or stalking. Employers must make reasonable accommodations to ensure the employee’s (or family member’s) security and safety. [District of Columbia’s Human Rights Act]

Voting Leave June 23, 2020
District of Columbia

Requires employers to provide at least two hours of paid leave for employees to vote in person.  [Leave to Vote Amendment Act]

Paid Family Leave   Passed — July 1, 2020  Effective — July 1, 2020
District of Columbia

An employee may receive up to eight workweeks of benefits in a 52 workweek period for: (1) family leave to care for a family member with a serious health condition, (2) medical leave for the employee's own serious health condition, and (3) parental leave for the birth, placement for adoption or foster care of a child. [DC Paid Leave]

Benefits April 27, 2020
District of Columbia

Requires certain employers to reduce the number of employees who commute into the city by private vehicle through the following measures: (1) providing mass transportation for employees directly, (2) giving employees a transit pass, (3) reimbursing employees for the purchase, maintenance and storage of a bicycle, or (4) employers can pay a $100 fee per employee per month or develop a transportation demand management plan. Covered employers include those who offer a “parking benefit” in D.C. to an employee.   [D.C. Act 23-305 - Transportation Benefits  Equity Amendment Act of 2020]

Non-compete Agreements December 17, 2020
District of Columbia

Bans non-compete agreements and “moonlighting” policies. Once enacted by the Mayor, all non-compete provisions contained in an agreement entered into on or after the applicability date shall be void. Employers cannot have a workplace policy that prohibits employees from being “employed by another person,” performing “work or providing services for pay for another person” or operating “the employee’s own business. [Ban on Non-Compete Agreements Amendment Act of 2020]

Mandatory Vaccinations August 10, 2021
District of Columbia

Mayor’s Order 2021-099 requires all DC employees and interns to certify that they have been vaccinated by September 19, 2021. Employees of DC contractors only have to be vaccinated if they “provide goods or perform services in person in DC facilities or worksites, or have in-person contact with other persons in order to complete their work under the contract or grant.”

Posters September 11, 2020
District of Columbia

The law requires the mayor, within 120 days from the effective date of the law, to create a poster that briefly summarizes the rights that DC employees possess under 11 different statutes. The poster must be displayed in every break room and at every time clock. Employers who post the summary poster will not also have to comply with individual posting requirements. [DC posters]

Tipped Employees September 11, 2020
District of Columbia

Although passed in 2018, DC conditioned the law on adequate funding which was unavailable and therefore the law was not enforceable. The funding restriction was repealed on 8/31/2020 with the passage of Act 23-407. DC government must provide a sexual harassment prevention training course for employees of businesses with tipped employees. The training must be conducted within 90 days of hire unless the employee participated in training during the prior two years. Employers must submit a certificate to the DC Office of Human Rights that each employee has completed the training within 30 days after completion of the training. Requires every employer of a tipped employee to: (1) file with the Office of Human Rights a policy outlining how employees can report instances of sexual harassment to management and the DC government, (2) distribute the employer’s sexual harassment policy and post it in a conspicuous place, (3) document instances of sexual harassment complaints, and (4) annually report to the DC Office of Human Rights that number of instances of sexual harassment report to management and the total number of reported harassers who were non-managerial, managerial, owners or operators. [Tipped Wage Workers Fairness Amendment Act] Effective 60 days after congressional review. Ending on 10/30/20.

Discrimination Statute of Limitations   Passed — June 30, 2020  Effective — July 1, 2020
Florida

Limits the time period by which an employee must file a lawsuit alleging a violation of the Florida Civil Rights Act when the Commission has failed to issue a determination on a charge of discrimination within 180 days of the complainant’s filing. Previously a complainant had up to four years to file a lawsuit. [HB 255]

E-Verify January 1, 2021
Florida

Requires all public employers, contractors, and subcontractors in Florida to register with and use the E-verify system to verify the work authorization status of all newly hired employees. Proof of registration must be shown prior to entering into public contracts. [Expands E.O. 11-116]

COVID-19 Immunity March 29, 2021
Florida

Florida Statute 768.38 grants significant liability protections to employers, businesses, and other entities against COVID-19 related lawsuits. Plaintiffs must plead their lawsuit with specificity and file an affidavit from a Florida-licensed physician attesting to the physician’s belief that the defendant caused the plaintiff’s COVID-related injuries.

Wage Theft   Passed — February 7, 2020  Effective — February 7, 2020
Florida (Pinellas County)

Employers must provide written notice to employees at the time of hire and to all employees containing: (1) rate or rates of pay and whether paid by the hour, shift, day, week, etc., (2) allowances claimed as part of the minimum wage, (3) the regular payday, (4) the name of the employer, (5) the address of the employer's main office, and (6) the employer's telephone number. [Wage Theft Ordinance]

Lactation Breaks August 5, 2020
Georgia

Requires employers to provide paid lactation breaks and private locations, other than a restroom, at the worksite where working mothers can express breast milk. Does not require employers to provide paid break time to an employee when they are working away from the employer’s worksite. [HB 1090 aka Charlotte’s Law]

COVID-19 Immunity   Passed — August 5, 2020  Effective — August 7, 2020
Georgia

The GA COVID-19 Pandemic Business Safety Act protects individuals and business from certain COVID-19 related liability claims. To avoid liability, the business must either (1) provide the guest with a receipt of proof of purchase for entry or (2) post a warning sign at the point of entry to the premises. Excludes gross negligence, willful and wanton misconduct or reckless infliction of harm. Pending legislation extends immunities until 7/14/2022.

Garnishments   Passed — August 5, 2020  Effective — January 1, 2021
Georgia

Key components of the existing garnishment code were amended. Length of garnishment period extended from six months to three years. Reduces the proof required that a garnishment defendant/judgment debtor has received statutory notice of the file. [SB 443]

Hate Crimes   Passed — June 26, 2020  Effective — June 26, 2020
Georgia

Provides stronger penalties for individuals who target victims because of their actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender, mental disability, or physical disability. Local law enforcement agencies are required to collect data on hate crime investigations and provide "Bias Crime Reports" to the GA Bureau of Investigation. [HB 426 GA Enhanced Penalties for Hate Crimes Act]

Salary History January 1, 2019
Hawaii

Prohibits employers from inquiring about an applicant’s salary history or relying on that information when determining starting compensation. [SB 2351]

Board Make-Up February 7, 2020
Hawaii

Beginning no later than 12/31/2020, each publicly held domestic or foreign corporation whose principal executive office is located within the State shall have a minimum of one female director on its board.  By 12/31/2022, if the number of directors is six or more, the corporation shall have at least three female directors; directors of five or more, the corporation shall have at least two female directors and where the number of directors is four or fewer, the corporation must have at least one female director.  [HB 2720]

COVID-19 Immunity November 24, 2021
Hawaii

Under E.O. 20-05healthcare facilities, professionals and volunteers are immune from civil liability for death or injury to persons or property damages caused by their acts or omissions that occurred while they were providing healthcare services.

Ban the Box   Passed — September 15, 2020  Effective — September 15, 2020
Hawaii

Prevents most private sector employers from considering conviction records within the last 10 years, but only convictions within 7 years for felony convictions, and 5 years for misdemeanor convictions, excluding period of incarceration. [SB 2193]

Unemployment Insurance September 11, 2020
Hawaii

Employers are required to post the “Unemployment Insurance for Workers” poster at each work place to provide employees information about their benefit rights and how to file a claim for UI benefits. [Poster]

COVID-19 Immunity   Passed — August 27, 2020  Effective — July 1, 2021
Idaho

The Idaho Coronavirus Limited Immunity Act provides that a person, business, city, county, school district, university, religious organization and other local governments are immune from civil liability for damages resulting from exposure of an individual to COVID-19.

Background Checks March 23, 2021
Illinois

Amendments to the Illinois Human Rights Act impose new requirements on employers conducting background checks. The new requirements fall into the following three categories: (1) before taking any adverse action based in whole or in part on criminal history, specific factors must be considered, (2) specific disclosures are now required in addition to those mandated by the FCRA, and (3) after taking post-adverse action, employers must provide new state law disclosures, along with FCRA notices.

Medical Testing January 1, 2020
Illinois

Employers can enforce “reasonable zero tolerance or drug free workplace policies concerning drug testing, smoking, consumption, storage, or use of cannabis in the workplace or while on call provided that the policy is applied in a nondiscriminatory manner [Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act]

Human Trafficking Training   Passed — June 1, 2020  Effective — June 1, 2020
Illinois

Hotels, motels, and casinos must provide certain employees with training on the recognition of human trafficking and protocols for reporting to the appropriate authorities. The Department of Human Services' training program is expected to be released on 7/1/2020. [Lodging Services Human Trafficking Recognition]

Work Authorization Status August 2, 2021
Illinois

HB 0121 adds a provision to the Illinois Human Rights Act making it a civil rights violation for discriminating against employees and job applicants based on their “work authorization status.”

Board Make-Up August 27, 2019
Illinois

By 12/31/2020 publicly held domestic or foreign corporations hose principal executive offices are located in the State shall have a minimum of one female director and one African American director on its board of directors.   [HB3394]

Pre-Employment Testing December 4, 2019
Illinois

Clarifies the employer’s ability to conduct pre-employment and random drug tests and take action due to a failure of a drug test. Employers may also conduct reasonable-suspicion and post-accident tests. (SB 1557)

Retirement Plans October 2, 2020
Illinois

Requires companies, including cannabis companies, with more than 25 employees, that have been in business for at least two years, to offer a retirement plan to its employees. Enrollment of all sized companies has passed; however, it clarifies the coverage of cannabis companies. Penalties can run up to $500 per employee, per year. [820 ILCS 80/1 – Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program Act]

School Activities Leave   Passed — November 24, 2021  Effective — August 1, 2020
Illinois

The Illinois’ School Visitation Right Acts (SVRA) is amended to cover behavioral meetings or academic meetings and prohibits employers from terminating an employee because of an absence that is due solely to a reason protected by the SVRA.

Service Member Reemployment June 1, 2019
Illinois

Prohibits employers from imposing conditions for military leave. Requires service members to give notice of pending service to employers. [SB 3547]

Wage Theft May 25, 2021
Illinois

Amendment to the State’s Wage Payment and Collection Act would require private employers and local government entities who violate the Act to pay damages of 5% of the amount of any underpayment of wages, compensation, or wage supplements for each month following the date of payment during which the amount owed remained unpaid.

Restrictive Covenant January 1, 2022
Illinois

Amendment seeks to significantly amend the SB 672 Illinois Freedom to Work Act and impose restrictions on the use of non-competition and non-solicitation (employee and customer) restrictive covenants for Illinois employees. The bill is expected to be signed by Government Pritzker.

Sexual Harassment January 31, 2020
Illinois

Employers must provide sexual harassment prevention training to all employees, including short-term, part-time, and interns by 12/31/2020 and annually thereafter. Employers must keep records (paper or electronic) of the training, including the date of the training, names of employees trained, the name of the facilitator, and copies of all training materials. The records must be provide to the IDHR on request. [Public Act 101-0221, Illinois Department of Human Rights Guidance, Model Training]

Harassment   Passed — August 9, 2019  Effective — January 1, 2020
Illinois

Requires employers who had an adverse judgment or administrative ruling concerning harassment or sexual harassment in the previous year to annually report data to the IDHR, including the number of adverse decisions [effective 7/1/2020]. Employers must conduct annual sexual harassment training. The first annual report to the IDHR of employers’ information about adverse judgments or administrative rulings against them in prior year is due 10/31/2020.

Prohibits employers from contractually restricting a prospective, current or former employee’s ability to report allegations of unlawful conduct, including discrimination, harassment, and retaliation, for investigation by authorities. Bars unilaterally requiring that a current or prospective employee waive, arbitrate, “or otherwise diminish” existing or future claims, rights, or benefits related to unlawful discrimination, harassment, or retaliation. [Workplace Transparency Act [Workplace Transparency Act – Public Act 101-0221 Reporting Guidance

Video Interviewing January 1, 2020
Illinois

Regulates the use of artificial intelligence to analyze and evaluate job applicants’ video interviews. Imposes duties of transparency, consent and data destruction [Artificial Intelligence Video Interview Act]

Non-Competes   Passed — November 24, 2021  Effective — July 1, 2020
Indiana

Requires enforceable physician non-compete agreements to contain five provisions that the employer is required to provide the physician at the termination of their employment or at the end of the contract. [To be codified in part as Ind. Code § 25-22.5-5.5] 

Pay Stubs and Scheduling   Passed — May 12, 2020  Effective — July 1, 2020
Illinois - Chicago

Requires employers: (1) to provide the locations where new employees will work and the estimated work schedule, (2) to maintain the confidentiality of employees who have identified themselves as victims of domestic violence or sexual violence and have requested to have their work schedules not to be shared with other employees, (3) to provide notice of an employee’s rights under the Ordinance, (4) to obtain the employee’s written consent during each work schedule change, and (5) to maintain electronic records demonstrating compliance.    [Fair Workweek Ordinance]

Private lawsuits under the Ordinance may not be initiated until 1/1/2021.

 

COVID-19 Vaccinations April 21, 2021
Illinois - Chicago

New Ordinance prohibits employers from firing or disciplining workers who leave work to get a COVID-19 vaccine during the workers’ normally scheduled work hours.

Predictive Scheduling January 1, 2021
Illinois - Chicago

Requires employers to post employee work schedules a fixed number of days in advance of when the work is to be performed. Once published, employers are penalized for making any scheduling changes. [Chicago Fair Workweek Ordinance]

COVID-19 Immunity May 13, 2020
Illinois

E.O. 37 provides that hospitals and healthcare professionals (excluding volunteers) are protected from civil liability for injury or death alleged to have been caused by an act or omission that occurred at a time when the facility or professional was providing healthcare services in response to COVID-19. Excludes gross negligence or willful misconduct.

Facial Recognition Technology October 3, 2008
Illinois

Mandates that private entities that collect or maintain employees’ fingerprints, retinal or iris scans, voiceprints, hand scans, or face geometry must first receive written consent from the employee before such collection. Businesses must develop a publicly available policy that establishes the retention schedule for the biometric information. [Biometric Information Privacy Act]

Criminal Convictions/Business Reporting/Equal Pay Certificate   Passed — January 13, 2021  Effective — March 23, 2021
Illinois

SB 1480 amends the Illinois Human Rights Act. Employer must determine that there is either a substantial relationship between the conviction and the position sought or that the granting of employment would involve an unreasonable risk to property or to the safety or welfare of specific individuals or to the public. No Illinois employer may use a criminal conviction (including felony, misdemeanor, probation or imprisonment) as a basis for employment decisions, with two exceptions.

Also, amends the Business Corporation Act and requires each domestic or registered foreign corporation that files an EEO-1 report to include in annual corporate reports filed with the Illinois Secretary of State information similar to the employment data in Section D of the federal EEO-1 form. Applies to corporate reports filed on or after 1/1/2023.

Requires employers with more than 100 employees in Illinois to obtain an “equal pay registration certificate.” The employer must provide the EEO-1 data plus the total wages paid to each employee during the prior calendar year. Requires the employer to certify whether it uses certain approaches in setting compensation and benefits. Existing corporations must obtain certificates beginning 3/23/2024. Requires recertification every 2 years.

Vaccination Policies March 1, 2021
Illinois

If an employer requires employees to get vaccinated, the time the employee spends obtaining the vaccine is likely compensable, even if it is non-working time. Employers requiring mandatory vaccinations must provide paid leave for employees receiving the 1st and 2nd dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, or the employer should otherwise provide compensation for the time taken by the employee to comply with the employer-mandated vaccine requirement. [IL DOL Employer Guidance]

Whistleblower Protection March 23, 2021
Illinois

Amendment to the state’s Equal Pay Act includes a new private cause of action for whistleblowers but is not limited to complaints about unequal pay. Prohibits employers from retaliating against any employee who: (1) discloses or threatens to disclose to a supervisor or to a public body any activity, inaction, policy, or practice the employee reasonably believes violates a law, rule or regulation, or (2) assists or participates in a proceeding to enforce the Equal Pay Act.

COVID-19 Immunity February 18, 2021
Indiana

S.B. 1 is retroactive and applies to a cause of action that accrues on or after 3/1/2020 and remains in effect until 12/31/2024. Provides civil tort immunity to a person/association/institution/corporation/company, etc. for damages arising from COVID-19: (1) on the premises owned or operated by the person, (2) on any premises on which the person or an employees or agent provided property or services to another person; or (3) during an activity managed, organized or sponsored by the person.   Exception is for an act or omission that constitutes gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct.

Pregnancy July 1, 2021
Indiana

HB 1309 allows an employee to request an accommodation for pregnancy. Requires an employer (with at least 15 employees) to respond to a request within a reasonable time frame.

Microchip Implantation July 1, 2020
Indiana

Employers are prohibited from requiring current and prospective employees to undergo microchip implantation as a condition of employment or receiving additional compensation or benefits. An employer may require employees to comply with a court order directing them to receive the implantation.

Ban the Box July 1, 2020
Iowa

Employers, with at least 15 employees, will no longer be allowed to have a criminal history box on applications or inquire about criminal history before making a conditional offer of employment.  Employers may only rescind a conditional offer of employment based on a criminal record if it has a legitimate business reason.   [Ban the Box Ordinance]

Unemployment Insurance November 24, 2021
Iowa

Employers are required to inform employees about UI benefits if they become unemployer or experience a reduction in hours. [Notification]

COVID-19 Immunity June 18, 2020
Iowa

The COVID-19 Response and Back-to-Business Limited Liability Act protects businesses, landlords, nursing homes and medical facilities from COVID-19 related lawsuits. Excludes recklessness and willful misconduct.

COVID-19 Immunity June 1, 2020
Kansas

The Business Liability Protection Act protected healthcare providers from civil liability for damages for acts or omissions as a direct response to COVID-19. Applies retroactively to any cause of action accruing on or after 3/12/2020.

COVID-19 Immunity June 16, 2020
Louisiana

Act No. 336 provides that “no natural or juridical person, state or local government, or political subdivision thereof shall be liable for any civil damages” related to exposure to COVID-19 in the course of their business operations. Excludes gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct.

Non-Competes   Passed — August 1, 2020  Effective — August 1, 2020
Louisiana

Expands the state non-compete statute by permitting a corporation, partnership, or LLC to enter into agreements with their shareholders, partners, or members, that prevent them from becoming employees of a competing company under certain circumstances. [LA Revised Statute Section 23:921]

Arrest Record and Criminal History August 1, 2021
Louisiana

Louisiana’s Fair Chance Law restricts an employer’s consideration of an applicant’s arrest record and criminal history in hiring decisions. When a background check reveals an applicant has a record of an arrest or a criminal charge which did not result in a conviction, the employee is prohibited from considering the information in the hiring decision.

Unemployment Insurance April 23, 2021
Louisiana

Requires employers to notify workers of the availability of UI benefits at the time of separation. Employers are also obligated to post a notice with information about filing a UI claim in places employees can access. Notification can be provided in writing, by letter, email, test message or in a flyer. [Emergency Rule, LA Workforce Commission (LWC) online filing and phone 866-783-5567]

Hairstyle Discrimination   Passed — December 22, 2020  Effective — December 22, 2020
Louisiana - New Orleans

Amends the antidiscrimination law and prohibits discrimination based on hairstyle as a subset of discrimination based on race or national origin. [Calendar No. 33,184]

Family Medical Leave January 1, 2021
Maine

Employers with 10 or more employees must provide an hour of sick leave for every 40 hours they work, up to a maximum of 40 hours of time off a year. Paid time could be used for illness or a family emergency. Employers with 5 or fewer employers must allow an employee to accrue and use at least 40 hours of unpaid earned sick leave per year.

Employers must post the Bureau of Labor Standard’s “Regulation of Employment” poster with a revision date of “09/20” at the bottom. [Act Authorizing Earned Employee Leave]

Sub-minimum Wage   Passed — June 16, 2020  Effective — June 16, 2020
Maine

Employers may no longer pay less than minimum wage to a person because they have a mental or physical disability.

Criminal History   Passed — July 6, 2021  Effective — October 18, 2021
Maine

An Act Relating to Fair Chance in Employment prohibits employers from requesting an applicant’s criminal history on their initial employment applicant. An employer may ask about criminal history during an interview or once the applicant has been deemed qualified for the position.

Ban the Box Criminal Histories   Passed — January 30, 2020  Effective — October 1, 2020
Maryland

Employers with 10 or more employees must provide an hour of sick leave for every 40 hours they work, up to a maximum of 40 hours of time off a year. Paid time could be used for illness or a family emergency. Employers with 5 or fewer employers must allow an employee to accrue and use at least 40 hours of unpaid earned sick leave per year. [Act Authorizing Earned Employee Leave] Effective 10/1/2020 applicants may not be asked about their pay history on an application or during interviews or employees cannot rely on prior pay for making wage decisions unless the candidate decides to disclose their prior salary.

Paid Sick Leave   Passed — November 24, 2021  Effective — October 1, 2020
Maryland

Expands the definition of family member for paid sick leave purposes to include legal ward of the employees, and a legal guardian or ward of the employee's spouse.

HB 0056 expands the MD Flexible Leave Act authorizes employees to use paid leave for bereavement leave for the death of the employee’s immediate family. Covers employers with 15 or more employees. An employer cannot take any adverse action against an employee who have used or requested such leave.

Salary Disclosure   Passed — November 24, 2021  Effective — October 1, 2020
Maryland

Employers may not take adverse action against employees for inquiring about their own wages.

COVID-19 Immunity January 13, 2021
Maryland

Md. Code Ann. Pub. Safety § 14-3A-06 states that a healthcare provider is immune from civil or criminal liability if the healthcare provider acts in good faith and under a catastrophic health emergency proclamation. S.B. No. 210 was introduced on 1/13/2021 and would provide civil immunity from liability for a COVID-19 claim unless the person acted with gross negligence or intentional wrongdoing.

Salary History   Passed — November 24, 2021  Effective — October 1, 2020
Maryland

Employers must provide job applicants with a wage range for their potential position upon request. Employers may not take adverse action against applicants for not providing a wage history or rely on an applicant's wage history for considering them for employment or determining wages.

Sexual Harassment Settlement Reporting   Passed — July 1, 2020  Effective — July 1, 2020
Maryland

Employers with 50 or more employees must report information to the MD Commission on Civil Rights on or before 7/1/2020 the following: (1) number of settlement made by or on behalf of the employer after an allegation of sexual harassment by an employee, (2) number of times the employer has paid a settlement to resolve a sexual harassment allegation against the same employee over the past 10 years, and (3) number of settlements made after an allegation of sexual harassment that included a provision requiring both parties to keep the terms of the settlement confidential. Second report is due on or before 7/1/2022. [Disclosing Sexual Harassment in the Workplace Act survey]

Case Processing January 24, 2020
Massachusetts

Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination issued revisions to its procedural regulations.  Allow employers to move for reconsideration of the Commission’s probably cause determination at any time prior to the certification conference.   Grants the Commission the authority to conduct Commission-sponsored mediation overseen by the Investigating Commissioner.   Expands the discovery mechanisms available to employees at the administrative level. 

COVID-19 Immunity April 17, 2020
Massachusetts

Bill S. 2640 provides civil immunity for healthcare providers and facilities providing medical care during the pandemic, absent gross negligence or other reckless or willful misconduct.

Paid Family and Medical Leave   Passed — July 1, 2020  Effective — January 21, 2021
Massachusetts

All private employers must provide covered individuals with paid family and medical leave.  Proposed amendments provide new definitions of key terms, guidance on the requirements for private plan exemptions, and information relating to the application of benefits.  [Draft revised Paid Family and Medical Leave regulations] [Final regulations]

Civil Actions   Passed — May 12, 2020  Effective — August 28, 2020
Missouri

Raises the standards for punitive damages in civil actions. Provides that punitive damages may be awarded only if the plaintiff proves by “clear and convincing evidence that the defendant intentionally harmed the plaintiff without just causes or acted with deliberate and flagrant disregard for the safety of others.”  [S.B. 591]

Ban the Box Criminal Histories January 1, 2021
Missouri (St.Louis)

Restricts private employers with 10 or more employees to base hiring or promotion decisions on an applicant’s criminal history. Violators can lose their business license. [Ban the Box Ordinance] 

Employee Protections May 8, 2020
Maryland

Employee will be required to implement certain measure to protect their employees from “heat-related illness” caused by heat stress.  Regulations to be develop by 10/1/2022.  [HB 722]

Equal Pay   Passed — November 24, 2021  Effective — October 1, 2020
Maryland

Restricts how much an employer (or prospective employer) can inquire about an employee’s or applicant’s wage history. Also, provides protections to employees who wish not to voluntarily reveal wage history.  During the hiring process, if requested by an applicant, the employer must provide the wage range for the position. [HB123/SB217]

Facial Recognition   Passed — May 8, 2020  Effective — October 1, 2020
Maryland

Restrictions on the use of artificial intelligence (AI) during the interview process.  Employers are not permitted to use facial recognition technology for the purposes of creating a facial template during the interview process unless the applicant allow for it.   [HB1202]

Hair Styles Associated with Race   Passed — May 8, 2020  Effective — October 1, 2020
Maryland

Broadens the scope of the definition of “race” to “include traits associated with race, including hair texture, afro hairstyles, and protective hairstyles” which include braids, twists and locks.  [HB1444]

Hate Crimes   Passed — November 24, 2021  Effective — October 1, 2020
Maryland

Amends the hate crime statute and drops the requirement of hate as a sole motive. Prosecutors will need to show a hate crime was “motivated either in whole or in substantial part by another person’s or group’s race, color, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, gender, disability, or national origin, or because another person or group is homeless.” [SB 606 and HB 917, Strategies for Responding to Hate Crimes and Bias Incidents]

Mini-WARN   Passed — May 7, 2020  Effective — October 1, 2020
Maryland

Employers implementing “reduction in operations” must provide 60 days’ advance notice to employees and others, and also provide continuation of health, pension, severance and/or other benefits.  Obligations triggered by the closure of all or a portion of the operations affecting as few as 15 employees, as well as by relocations of operations.   [HB1018/SB780]

Wages   Passed — November 24, 2021  Effective — October 1, 2020
Maryland

Amends the Wage Payment and Collection Law by increasing the maximum amount of unpaid wages – from $3,000 to $5,000 – claimed by an employee for which the MD DOL may issue a complaint to an employer. [Maryland Wage Protection Act]

Board Make-Up May 13, 2019
Maryland

By 12/31/2022 all nonprofit, privately held, and publicly traded institutions and companies doing business in the State must have a minimum of 30% of women directors and measure their progress toward a goal of equal representation of men and women in leadership positions on an annual basis.  [SB 911]

Workplace Accidents   Passed — May 8, 2020  Effective — October 1, 2020
Maryland

Extends the reporting period from 30 to 45 days to an employee who suffered a hernia due to a workplace accident, or whose existing hernia was exacerbated by a workplace accident.  Creates an exception to the 60-day filing deadline for a compensation claim whereby an employee may still be able to obtain benefits if they file the claim within two years of the date of the injury unless the employer or its insurer has been prejudiced by the employee’s failure to report the injury sooner.  [SB784]

Complaints October 1, 2021
Maryland

Increases the time for filing discrimination complaints with the MD Commission on Civil Rights (MCCR) from six month to 300 days after the date on which the alleged discriminatory act occurred. Employees still have two years to file claims of harassment with the MCCR.

Board Make-Up June 3, 2020
Michigan

Beginning no later than 1/1/2021, each publicly held domestic or foreign corporation whose principal executive office is located within the State shall have a minimum of one female director on its board.  By 1/1/2023, if the number of directors is six or more, the corporation shall have at least three female directors; directors of five or more, the corporation shall have at least two female directors and where the number of directors is four or fewer, the corporation must have at least one female director.   [SB No. 115]

Liability Immunity October 22, 2020
Michigan
Provides that employers who comply with "all federal, state, and local statutes, rules, regulations, executive orders, and agency orders related to COVID-19" in effect at the time of the conduct allegedly causing the employee harm, are immune from liability. [COVID-19 Response and Reopening Liability Assurance Act, Public Act 236 of 2020]
Protections for Freelance Workers January 1, 2021
Minnesota (Minneapolis)

Requires businesses, and some individuals, to enter into written agreement with particular requirements with most freelance workers. Breach of agreements can result in stiff penalties and other statutory damages.   [Freelance Worker Protections Ordinance]

Unemployment Insurance September 11, 2020
Michigan

Employers must provide employees with a notice of their rights to file for UI benefits. [Notice]

COVID-19 Immunity October 22, 2020
Michigan

H.B. 6030, COVID-19 Response and Reopening Liability Assurance Act, provides immunity from tort liability from COVID-19 claims to a person, business, government entity, educational institution, and non-profit organizations, acting in compliance with COVID-19 regulations that “had not been denied legal effect at the time of the conduct or risk that allegedly caused harm.” H.B. 6031 amends MI OSHA to provide immunity from liability for an employee’s exposure to COVID-19, if the employer is operating in compliance with COVID-19 regulations. Both bills are retroactive to 3/1/2020.

COVID-19 Immunity March 14, 2020
Mississippi

The MS Back to Business Liability Assurance and Healthcare Emergency Response Liability Protection Act provides legal immunity from civil damages related to exposure to COVID-19 if a person, including premises owners makes a good faith attempt to follow public health guidance. Creates immunity for healthcare professionals or facilities as well as persons who make, sell or donate qualified medical products, cleaning supplies or PPE during the entirety of the pandemic and will terminate one year after the end of the emergency. Excludes malice or willful, intentional misconduct.    

Medical Marijuana November 4, 2020
Mississippi

Voters approved for the state Constitution to create a state medical marijuana program. The initiative does not contain any express protections for applicants for employment or employees, nor does it prohibit testing for marijuana. [Initiative Measure No. 65]

Marijuana Legalization   Passed — November 4, 2020  Effective — January 1, 2021
Montana

Legalizes the possession, purchase and use of one ounce or less of marijuana or eight grams or less of marijuana concentrate by persons over age 21.  Does not provide protections for job applicants or employees or prohibits testing.  Permits employers to discipline, discharge, or refuse to hire an employee or job applicant for violating a workplace drug policy or being under the influence of marijuana while working.  [Statutory Initiative 190 and Constitutional Initiative 118]

Charitable Organizations   Passed — May 25, 2021  Effective — October 2, 2021
Nevada

SB 62 strengthens laws against organizations that claim to be making charitable donations and preventing false claims or misrepresentations when soliciting donations. Expands AG’s authority to bring lawsuits against scams.

Vaccinations May 7, 2021
Montana

HB 702 prohibits employers from mandating the current COVID-19 vaccines and recognizes an individual’s vaccination status as a protected category under the Montana Human Rights Act. [FAQs]

Recreational Marijuana   Passed — May 18, 2021  Effective — January 1, 2022
Montana

Provide protections for off-duty use of marijuana. Does not: (1) require employers to permit or accommodate recreational marijuana use in any workplace or on company property, (2) prohibit an employer from disciplining an employee for violation of a workplace drug policy, (3) prevent an employer from declining to hire, discharging, disciplining or taking adverse action against an individual because of a violation to a drug policy, (4) prevent an employer from including in any contract a provision prohibiting the use of marijuana for a debilitating medical condition; or (5) permit the cause of action against an employer under the state’s wrongful discharge or freedom from discrimination law.

Restrict Covenants May 21, 2021
Nevada

AB 47 amends the Nevada Unfair Practice Act’s to prohibit non-competition covenants for employees who are paid solely on an hourly wage basis, exclusive of any tips or gratuities. Includes a provision that an employer must pay reasonable attorney’s fees and costs.

COVID-19 Immunity February 10, 2021
Montana

S.B. No. 65 provides an affirmative defense for businesses and other private entities against legal liability in the event someone is injured or dies after being exposed to COVID-19 on their premises. Excludes gross negligence or willful and wanton misconduct, or intentional torts.

Medical Cannabis November 24, 2021
Nevada

Prohibits employers from declining to hire a prospective employee based on pre- employment marijuana drug tests. [AB 132]

COVID-19 Immunity July 1, 2023
Nevada

S.B.4 provides most businesses with immunity from liability where there is an alleged personal injury or death as a result of COVID-19 exposure. Excludes home nursing agencies; facilities for hospice care, intermediate care and skilled nursing; independent centers for emergency medical care, and public school entities for preschool, kindergarten, or grades 1 – 12, including school districts, charter schools or universities.

Salary History January 1, 2020
New Jersey

Cannot screen a job applicant based on their salary history including prior wages or benefits or require the applicant’s salary history to satisfy minimum or maximum criteria. [NJ A1094]

Medical Cannabis July 2, 2019
New Jersey

Provides employment protections for authorized users of medical cannabis [Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Act]

Pay Statement   Passed — May 20, 2020  Effective — May 20, 2020
New Jersey

Amends the Wage Payment Law and requires employers with 10 or more employees to include the following information on employees' pay statements in addition to the already required deductions: (1) gross wages, (2) net wages, (3) rate of pay, and (4) number of hours worked during the pay period, if relevant to the wage calculation. [Wage Payment Law]

Unemployment Insurance September 11, 2020
New Jersey

Requires employers to issue Form BC-10 “Instructions for Claiming Unemployment Benefits” to all employees separated for seven days or more.

Minimum Wage November 1, 2020
New Jersey

New $14 per hour minimum wage for long-term care facility direct care staff.  On 9/16/2020, A4482 was signed creating a new statewide minimum wage for these workers, which must be $3 per hour greater than the general state minimum wage.

Hiring Practices February 19, 2021
New Jersey

Requires employers with 50 or more employees to provide hiring preference to employees who have reached maximum medical improvement following work-related injuries, as long as the injured employee can perform the essential duties of the vacant position. [AB N. 2617]

Recreational Cannabis February 22, 2021
New Jersey

On 11/3/2020 voters approved the nonmedical use of cannabis for individuals age 21 or over.   Prohibits employers from taking adverse employment action against employees or applicants based on their cannabis use or non-use. Cannot require an applicant to disclose or reveal or take adverse action against an applicant based on an arrest, charge, conviction, etc. for certain marijuana-related offenses. No private right of action for violations of this employment provisions but violations up to $1,000 for the first violation, $5,000 for the second violation and $10,000 for each violation after that can occur. Employers may perform drug testing post-offer; with reasonable suspicion of use at work or of impairment; post-accident; and randomly. [NJ Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act]

COVID-19 Immunity March 9, 2020
New Jersey

S.B. No. 2333 grants immunity to healthcare professionals, facilities and systems during the pandemic. Extends to (1) civil liability for injury or death by a healthcare professional or facilities for an act or omission if undertaken in good faith and (2) civil and criminal liability for any damages related to the allocation of ventilators or other scarce medical resources. Pending S.B. 3006 would restore civil liability of nursing homes and related facilities. A.B. 4189 grants immunity for businesses against any damage claims occurring at the premises owned or operated by the employer. Excludes willful misconduct, reckless infliction of harm or intentional infliction of harm.

Workplace Protections November 5, 2020
New Mexico

EO 192 applies to all workplaces that require or permit employees to be physically present at a worksite, including nonprofit corporations. Imposes a series of workplace protections in response to an increase in COVID-19 cases. Common interest communities that have direct employees and/or on-site third party vendors, such as property manager personnel, must comply.

Nondisclosure Agreements March 18, 2019
New Jersey

Renders unenforceable nondisclosure provisions in settlement agreements that resolve discrimination-related claims. Bars enforcement of arbitration agreements. [SB 121]

Board Make-Up February 14, 2019
New Jersey

By 12/31/2019, each publicly held domestic or foreign corporation whose principal executive office is located within the State shall have a minimum of one female director on its board.  By 12/31/2021, if the number of directors is six or more, the corporation shall have at least three female directors; directors of five or more, the corporation shall have at least two female directors and where the number of directors is four or fewer, the corporation must have at least one female director.    [SB No. 3469]

Family Leave July 1, 2020
New Jersey

Expands paid family leave benefits to 12 weeks and intermittent leave to 56 days. Prohibits employers from discharging, harassing, discriminating or retaliation against an employee for requesting or use family leave benefits. [NJ Family Leave Act]

Hair styles associated with race December 19, 2019
New Jersey

Defines discrimination due to race as including discrimination based upon “traits historically associated with race, including, but not limited to, hair texture, hair type, and protective hairstyles” such as braids, locks and twists. [Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair Act]

Independent Contractor Status January 14, 2020
New Jersey

Amends the state’s “ABC test” for independent contractor status; prohibit NJ companies from utilizing independent contractor workforces. [SB S863]

Employee Misclassification   Passed — January 21, 2020  Effective — April 1, 2020
New Jersey

Requires businesses to post notices regarding employee misclassification “in a form issued by the Commissioner.” Prohibits retaliation against any employee for complaining about, filing an action regarding, or testifying in a proceeding about, worker misclassification. [A5843]  NJ Department of Labor and Workforce Development published the required postings in two sizes (11 x 17 and 8.5 x 11). Employers must conspicuously post the document “in a place or places accessible to all employees in each of the employer’s workplaces.”  Employers failed to display poster may be found guilty of disorderly persons offense and subject to fines between $100 and $1000.

COVID-19 Vaccinations March 19, 2021
New Jersey

NJ Department of Health issued guidance communicating that, under certain circumstances; employers may require their employees to obtain COVID-19 vaccinations as a condition of employment. If employers mandate employee vaccinations they must ensure that they comply with federal and state employment laws.

E.O. 252 requires employers in covered healthcare and high-risk congregate settings to establish policies, privacy protections, and training procedures that: (2) mandates vaccinations or weekly testing for workers, (2) creates a system to track the results of the testing requirements, and (3) creates a system to communicate the results of such testing to local public health departments.

Vaccine Policies November 24, 2021
New Jersey

Employers can mandate their employees be vaccinated for COVID-19 to be present on the worksite; however, employers must provide reasonable accommodations for employees who: (1) have a disability, (2) have been advised not to get the vaccine while pregnant or breastfeeding, or (3) who will not get the vaccine due to sincerely held religious beliefs. [Guidance for requesting a medical exemption from mandatory immunization]

Employee Classification   Passed — January 21, 2020  Effective — January 21, 2020
New Jersey

Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development has the authority to issue a stop-work order against an employer where any wage, benefit or employment tax law violation was found. [AB 5838]

State can impose financial penalties for misclassification. [A. 5839]

Joint liability can be imposed on labor contractors that provide misclassified workers to an employer. [A. 5840]

State has the authority to “name and shame” businesses that misclassify workers; employers will be prohibited from contracting with any public agency while their name remains on the list. [S. 4226]

Gives the State Treasure permission to share tax data with the Department of Labor and Workforce Development for a more efficient system of enforcing misclassification laws. [S. 42329]

Wages January 21, 2020
New Jersey

Expands the Wage Theft Act and imposes liability on owners, directors, officers, and managers who violate NJ wage or tax laws, on behalf of an employer or a staff agency. (AB 5840]

WARN   Passed — January 21, 2020  Effective — July 19, 2020
New Jersey

Expands employers’ advance notice and severance pay obligation. Triggered by a termination of 50 employees, regardless of tenure or hours of work, aggregating all terminations across NJ. Notice period increases to 90 days and mandates severance pay of one week for each year of employment. If full notice is not given, severance increases by four weeks of pay. [SB 3170] Amendments include: (1) no longer site-specific, (2) WARN notice now required upon termination of 50 or more employees “at or reporting to the establishment,” (3) disasters and national emergencies excluded, (4) requires employers to provide at least 90 days of advance notice to affected employees, (5) employers must now pay affected employees one week’s severance pay for each full year of employment by the next regular payday, and (6) employers cannot obtain a waiver of any severance payments without approval by the Commissioner of the DOL or court. [SB 3170]

On 1/21/2021 amendments were signed into law which imposes mandatory severance pay to affected employees. Employers conducting a mass layoff or transfer or termination of operations will be required to provide severance pay equal to one week of pay for each full year of employment. Requires employers to provide 90 days’ notice of a mass layoff event.

 

Arrest and Conviction History (Ban the Box)   Passed — November 24, 2021  Effective — March 28, 2020
New Mexico

Prohibits private employers from inquiring about an applicant’s arrest or conviction history on an initial employment application. Employers may inquire and consider an applicant’s criminal history after reviewing the application and discussing employment with the applicant. [Criminal Offender Employment Act]

COVID-19 Immunity December 1, 2020
New Mexico

E.O. 2020-083 provides for professional liability protection for medical professionals that are providing services related to COVID-19.

Pregnancy Accommodation   Passed — May 20, 2020  Effective — May 20, 2020
New Mexico

Amends the NM Human Rights Act to require covered employers to provide a reasonable accommodation for an employee or applicant arising from pregnancy, childbirth, unless it creates an undue hardship. Cannot require an employment to take paid or unpaid leave if another reasonable accommodation can be provided, unless the employee voluntarily requires to be placed on leave. The Act also includes pregnancy, childbirth and related medical conditions as a protected class. 

Recreational Marijuana   Passed — April 12, 2021  Effective — June 1, 2021
New Mexico

HB 2, the Cannabis Regulation Act, legalizes cannabis for adults 21 and older. Does not “prevent or infringe upon the rights of an employer to adopt and implement a written zero-tolerance policy regarding the use of cannabis products”. Permits employers to take adverse actions for the possession or use of marijuana at work or during work hours. Permits zero-tolerance policies that impose discipline or termination for a positive marijuana test result indicating any amount of THC.

Sexual Harassment, Discrimination and Retaliation   Passed — March 4, 2020  Effective — May 20, 2020
New Mexico

Limits the use of nondisclosure agreements in sexual misconduct cases.  Restricts the use of confidentiality provisions in settlement agreements involving harassment, discrimination and retaliation claims.  [H.B. 21]

Hairstyle and Religious Garment Discrimination July 23, 2020
New York (Suffolk County)

Amended the county Human Rights Law to ban race and religious discrimination based on hairstyle, hair texture, and religious garments as components of “group identity.” The law prohibits discrimination based on gender and “group identity.”

Gender Identity November 1, 2019
New York

Prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity or expression in housing, employment and public accommodations. Model Sexual Harassment Policy for NY employers issued in October 2018 includes harassment on the basis of gender expression, gender identity and the status of being transgender. [Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act]

Sexual Harassment Claims   Passed — November 24, 2021  Effective — August 12, 2020
New York

The statute of limitations is extended from one year to three years for employees to file sexual harassment complaints with the NY Division on Human Rights.

Whistleblower   Passed — June 17, 2020  Effective — June 17, 2020
New York

Amendment to the NY Healthcare Whistleblower law, which adds a new type of "protected activity" to the list of complaints covered by law, to include complaints about "improper quality of workplace safety."

WARN November 11, 2020
New York

Amends WARN Act by expanding the list of governmental entities that must receive advance notice of a WARN-triggering event. Employers with 50 or more countable employees generally are required to give 90 days’ advance notice of qualifying mass layoffs, plants closings, reduction in hours, and relocations. Amendments add that the notice must go to the chief elected official of the unit of local government and each locality that provides police, firefighting, emergency medical or ambulance services to the site of employment where the WARN event is occurring. [AB A10674a]

Call Center Jobs   Passed — June 30, 2020  Effective — June 30, 2020
New York

The NY Call Center Jobs Act requires covered center employers to provide advance-notice of at least 100 days to the Labor Commissioner if the employers intend to relocate out of state.

COVID-19 Immunity March 7, 2020
New York

The Emergency or Disaster Treatment Protection Act immunized healthcare facilities and professionals from certain forms of liability. Volunteer organizations are also immune from civil or criminal liability for any damages at their facilities. Provides protection for physicians and nurses from civil liability for acts or omissions that result in injury or death. Applies retroactively from 3/7/2020. S.B. 8835 removed the immunity protections for (1) treatment that was not directly related to treating a known or suspected case of COVID-19 and (2) any preventative treatment related to COVID-19.

Board Make-Up June 27, 2020
New York

Requires each corporation authorized to do business in NY file a biennial statement disclosing the total number of directors and total number of female directors on its board.  [Section 408 of the NY Business Corporation Law]

Harassment April 1, 2019
New York

Requires all private New York City employers with 15 or more employees to conduct annual anti-sexual harassment training. [NYC Int. 0632-2018]

Salary History   Passed — July 10, 2019  Effective — July 10, 2020
New York

Prohibits all public and private employers from asking prospective or current employees about their salary history or compensation. Prohibits businesses from seeking similar information from other sources. [SB S6549]

Reproductive Health November 1, 2019
New York

Forbids discrimination based on an employee’s “reproductive health decision making.” Employers must update their employee handbooks to ban discrimination and retaliation based on an employee’s or dependent’s reproductive health decision making. [NY Labor Law Section 203-e]

Retirement Security   Passed — May 11, 2021  Effective — August 9, 2020
New York

Bills Nos. 888-A and 901-A, Retirement Security for All Act, establishes a retirement savings program for private employers with five or more employees if those employers do not otherwise offer employees a retirement plans. Also, establishes a Retirement Savings Board.

Safety Standards November 24, 2021
New York

NY Hero Act directs the DOL to establish minimum requirements for preventing the spread of airborne infectious diseases in the workplace. Employers must adopt the DOL-issued standards relevant to their industry and workforce and establish their own disease prevention plan and post the plan and distribute it to their employees upon hire and/or after reopening following a closure due to an airborne infectious disease. Includes a non-retaliation protection and financial penalties for violations.

Recreational Marijuana Use March 31, 2021
New York

Legalizes the adult recreational use of marijuana and protects individuals who use marijuana outside of the workplace from discrimination. Employers may still prohibit the use, possession, sale or distribution of marijuana in the workplace. The Cannabis Law allows an employer to disciple or discharge an employee if the employee is impaired by cannabis while working. Employers can test both applicants and employees for marijuana; however, employers cannot take any action against an employee for marijuana use.

Wage and Overtime   Passed — December 31, 2020  Effective — September 1, 2021
New York

Covered airport employers must pay the prevailing wage to a covered airport worker. Amends the Prevailing Wage for Building Service Employees law to include “covered airport employers” and “covered airport workers.” [SB S6266D - Healthy Terminals Act]

Lactation March 18, 2019
New York City

Employers with four or more employees must provide a lactation room accommodations for breastfeeding individuals [No. 879-A] Requires covered employers to implement written lactation room accommodation policies to be distributed to all employees [No. 905-A]

Drug Testing May 10, 2020
New York City

Prohibits employers, labor organizations, and employment agencies from pre-employment drug testing for marijuana and THC as a condition of employment.  Provisions of the law do not apply to people applying to work in the following positions: (1) law enforcement, (2) certain construction jobs, (3) jobs requiring a commercial driver’s license, (4) jobs requiring supervision of care of children, medical patients or vulnerable persons, and (5) jobs with the “potential to significantly impact the health and safety of employees or members of the public.” [Int. 1445-A]

 

Ban the Box   Passed — December 20, 2020  Effective — January 9, 2021
New York City

Expands employment protections under the NY City Fair Chance Act. Requires employers to make an individualized assessment of the relationship between the charged conduct and the job, using a set of criteria similar to the considerations made relating to an individual’s conviction history. Prohibits an employer from considering an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal or arrest or criminal accusations that do not result in a conviction or are no longer pending. [Bill 2021/004]

Facial Recognition Technology January 10, 2021
New York City

Requires “any commercial establishment” that collects biometric information from customers must disclose such collection “by placing a clear and conspicuous sign near all of the commercial establishment’s customer entrance notifying customers in plain, simple language” that the information is being collected. Ordinance also makes it “unlawful to sell, lease, trade, share in exchange for anything of value or otherwise profit form the transaction of biometric identified information.” [Biometric Privacy Legislation]

Fast Food Employer - Employee Relationship December 17, 2020
New York City

Prohibits fast food employers from terminating or cutting workers’ hours without just cause and requires fast food employers who need to lay off employees due to legitimate economic reasons to do so in order of seniority. [Int. No. 1415-A and Int. No. 1396-A]

Vaccination Mandates August 2, 2021
New York City

Employees and customers of indoor dining, indoor fitness and indoor entertainment and performance establishments must provide proof of at least one vaccination before entering the premises. [Key to NYC Pass]

Single Use Restrooms   Passed — December 23, 2020  Effective — March 23, 2021
New York City

Amends the Civil Rights Law and Education Law to make all single-occupancy bathrooms located in public places, gender-neutral. Single-occupancy bathrooms must remove any signage designating the bathroom as “male” or “female” and replace it with signage indicating it is open to people of all genders. [A.B. A5240A]

Sexual Harassment Reporting March 3, 2021
New York City

E.O. 64 imposes new sexual harassment reporting requirements on organizations that contract with city agencies for “human services.” Covered organizations will be required to make available to the Department of Investigation (DOI): (1) a copy of the company’s sexual harassment policies, including complaint procedures, (2) copy of any complaint or allegation of sexual harassment or retaliation against the CEO or other principal of the organization, (3) the final determination or judgment regarding the complaint; and (4) additional information requested by the DOI.

Terminations December 17, 2020
New York City

Prohibits employers from terminating fast food workers without “just cause” and sets up arbitration procedures and a private cause of action, through which employees can dispute terminations. Requires fast food employers needing to lay off employees to lay off using inverse order of seniority and only for “bona fide economic reasons.” Impacts fast food establishment operating in the City who have at least 30 locations nationwide. [City webpage]

Sexual Harassment Training   Passed — January 11, 2020  Effective — January 11, 2020
New York City

NY City's Commission on Human Rights guidance regarding an amendment to the city's Human Rights Law which expands protections under the law to independent contractors and freelancers. Employers are not required to provide these groups with sexual harassment prevention training. Similar to employees and interns, independent contractors must receive this training if they work for an employer of 15 or more people, work more than 80 hours in a calendar year and work for at least 90 days. [FAQs]

COVID-19 Immunity July 2, 2020
North Carolina

The Act to Provide Limited immunity from Liability for Claims Based on Transmission of Coronavirus Disease 2019 provides limited immunity to businesses, individuals, government agency and other protected entities. The covered entity must take some sort of protective action to prevent the spread of COVID-19 on its premises and provide reasonable notice of such safety plans. Applies to claims that arise with 180 days of the rescission or expiration of the State of Emergency E.O.

Unemployment Insurance   Passed — April 14, 2020  Effective — April 14, 2020
North Carolina

Employers must give a notice of unemployment eligibility to workers separated from employment as a result of COVID-19 related reductions. Employees must be informed that: (1) UI benefits are available to workers who are unemployed and meet the state’s eligibility requirements, (2) they may file a claim in the first week that employment stops or work hours are reduce-d, (3) they may file claims online or by calling 888-737-0259, and (4) they must provide the Department of Employment Security (DES) with their full name, SSN, and authorization to work, and (5) they may contact DES for assistance. [Emergency rule]

Military Benefits May 20, 2020
Ohio

Allows active-duty military members' children and spouses with special needs to maintain their Medicaid home and community-based service waivers while stationed in Ohio. [H.B. 287]

Allows active duty military personnel and their families stationed in Ohio, in-state college tuition costs. [H.B. 16]

Separation Payments & Wage Posting Requirements July 8, 2021
North Carolina

SB 208 amends the NC Wage and Hour Act by requiring an employer: (1) to pay final wages to separated employees through its regular pay channels unless the employee requests in writing that final payment be made via trackable email; (2) to provide written notice at the time of hiring of promised wages and the day and place of payment; and to provide written notice of at least one pay period prior to any change in the promised wages.

COVID-19 Immunity December 16, 2020
Ohio

The Grant Immunity to Essential Workers Who Transmit COVID-19 Bill provides that no civil action for damages regarding injury, death or loss to person or property shall be brought against any person if the cause of action is based on COVID-19, unless it was reckless conduct or intentional misconduct.

Workers' Compensation   Passed — June 16, 2020  Effective — September 16, 2020
Ohio

Addresses temporary total compensation, safety violations, state fund settlements and court appeals. New statutory language precludes payment of temporary and permanent total compensation where the economic loss is the direct result of reasons unrelated to the injury. New law shortens the time during which an inactive claim remains open for payments by moving the claim lapse date from the date of the last payment of medical services back to the date the services were rendered. [Am. Sub. H.B. 81]

Holidays November 24, 2021
Ohio

HB 110 recognizes Juneteenth Day as an official Ohio holiday which requires many political subdivisions, counties, townships and school districts to recognize Juneteenth as a paid holiday.

Employment Discrimination   Passed — January 12, 2021  Effective — April 15, 2021
Ohio

Modifies civil rights laws relating to employment. Statute of limitations for filing a discrimination lawsuit has been reduced from six years to two years; however, it is tolled while the claim is pending with the Ohio Civil Rights Commission. Caps damages for compensatory and punitive damages in “tort actions.” Managers and supervisors can be sued for damages unless they are the employer or acted outside the scope of employment. [Employment Law Uniformity Act – H.B. 352]

HR Services Organization   Passed — December 18, 2020  Effective — March 24, 2021
Ohio

Establishes a new HR services entity called an Alternative Employer Organization (AEO). Permits a PEO to file its client-employer payroll taxes on the tax identification number of the client-employer, instead of to the PEO itself. Gives the option of shifting the tax liabilities to/from the PEO. [S.B. 201]

New Hire Reporting November 24, 2021
Ohio

Employers must report all contractors and newly-hired employees to the state within 20 days of hire/engagement using this revised form.

Hair Discrimination   Passed — January 10, 2020  Effective — January 10, 2020
Ohio (Toledo)

Prohibits discrimination based on "natural hair types and hair styles or head wraps commonly associated with race, culture, or religion." [City Ordinance O-541-19]

Salary History   Passed — June 25, 2020  Effective — June 25, 2020
Ohio (Toledo)

Employers with at least 15 employees are prohibited from: (1) asking job applicants about salary history, (2) screening applicants based on their current or prior wages, benefits, other compensation, (3) relying on an applicant's salary history in deciding on employment or salary determination, and (4) refusing to hire or otherwise retaliate against an applicant who fails to disclose his or her salary history. [City Ordinance O-173-19]

Medical Marijuana March 14, 2020
Oklahoma

Prohibits employers from engaging in certain employment practices with applicants or employees that hold medical marijuana licenses [AB2612 - OK Medical Marijuana and Patient Protection Act]

COVID-19 Immunity November 24, 2021
Oklahoma

S.B. 1946 provides businesses and individuals with immunity from any civil action claiming injury from exposure to COVID-19 if the act or omission alleged was in compliance or consistent with federal or state regulations. S.B. 1947 provides product liability immunity to any person or business that designs, manufactures, labels, sells, distributes or donates disinfecting and cleaning supplies or PPE during and in response to COVID-19.

Equal Pay January 1, 2019
Oregon

Prohibits pay discrimination on the basis of protected class, as well as screening job applicants based on current or past compensation. New posting requirements. [Equal Pay Act]

Anti-Discrimination Policy   Passed — November 24, 2021  Effective — October 1, 2020
Oregon

Employers are required to  adopt an anti-discrimination policymake it available to employees within the workplace, and provide a copy to new hires and to employees who make a complaint about discrimination or harassment. [SB 726 Workplace Fairness Act]

COVID-19 Immunity November 24, 2021
Oregon

H.B. 4402 provides protection for schools, both public and private so long as they open in accordance with the guidance. Applies to COVID-19 claims brought during the state of emergency.

Pregnancy & Lactation Accommodation January 1, 2020
Oregon

Applies to employers with six or more employees and outlines specific accommodations employers must provide and actions that may not take. Also, requires new notice requirements. [HB 2341]

COVID-19 Vaccinations August 4, 2021
Oregon

Requires healthcare workers to show they have been vaccinated by 9/30/2021. If the employee is not vaccinated, the employer must conduct weekly testing and incur the cost of the testing. [Announcement]

Nondisclosure Agreement   Passed — November 24, 2021  Effective — October 1, 2020
Oregon

Employers are restricted from entering into nondisclosure or non-disparagement agreements at the time of hiring and during settlement and severance negotiations that prevents the employee from disclosing or discussing discrimination or sexual assault.  [ORS 659A.370]

Restrictive Covenants   Passed — May 21, 2021  Effective — January 1, 2022
Oregon

SB 169 changes the current statutory framework for non-compete agreements entered into on or after 5/21/2021. A non-compete agreement may not exceed 12 months beyond the date of separation and the employee must be paid an annual salary of at least $100,533 (adjusted annually for inflation).

Scheduling   Passed — November 24, 2021  Effective — July 1, 2020
Oregon

Retail, hospitality and food service employers with 500 or more employees worldwide must post the written work schedule at least 14 calendar days before the first day of the work schedule.  [Predictive scheduling law]

Facial Recognition Technology January 1, 2021
Oregon (Portland)

Prohibits all private entities from using facial recognition technologies in places of “public accommodation” within the city. Since the ordinance applies to both “place[s] and service[s]” the scope may extend beyond physical business to online services and websites. [City information]

Lactation Accommodation September 29, 2019
Oregon

Applies to employers with 25 or more employees and provides an undue hardship exemption from lactation break requirements. Also provides flexibility as to frequency and length of breaks. [HB 2593]

Discrimination and Harassment   Passed — June 11, 2019  Effective — October 1, 2020
Oregon

For discrimination and harassment settlements, employees may not be required to disclose alleged conduct or disparage employers or alleged perpetrators. Employees cannot force no-rehire provisions as a term of settlement. Increases statute of limitations for lawsuits involving workplace misconduct from one year to five years. [SB 726 Workplace Fairness Act] 

Employee Protections May 1, 2020
Pennsylvania

Requires companies and individuals who employ domestic workers to provide them with written employment contracts, meal and rest breaks, and paid and unpaid leave.  Domestic workers is someone who: (1) cares for a child, serves as a companion or caretaker for the sick, elderly or person with a disability, (3) does housekeeping or house cleaning, (4) cooks, (5) provides food or butler service, (6) parks cars, (7) cleans laundry,  (8) gardens, (9) does personal organizing and (10) other performs other domestic services. [Domestic Worker Bill of Rights]

Tax Credits November 24, 2021
Pennsylvania

Created a new transferable tax credit for businesses manufacturing fertilizers and petrochemicals using dry natural gas. Qualifying businesses may being applying for the credit on purchases beginning on 1/1/2024 and ending on 12/31/2049. [HB 732]

COVID-19 Immunity May 6, 2020
Pennsylvania

E.O. to Enhance Protections for Health Care Professionals provides healthcare practitioners protection against liability for good faith actions taken in response to the pandemic at facilities, including nursing homes, personal care homes, assisted living facilities, etc. Provide immunity for any person or organization allowing real estate or other premises used for the treatment of COVID-19 patients for any liability in the case of injury, death or damage to the property. Excludes gross negligence, fraud, malice or willful misconduct. Pending H.B. 1737 includes protection for medical professionals, manufacturers providing PPE.

Data Privacy March 1, 2021
Pennsylvania

Requires any business handling the private information of New York residents to comply with broadened data breach notification requirements. Small employees with less than 50 employees and less than $3 million in annual revenue must implement a data security program that contains reasonable administrative, technical, and physical safeguards, and to provide notice to affected individuals and proper authorities in the case of a data security breach. [Stop Hacks and Improve Electronic Data Security (SHIELD) Act – SB S5575B]

Unemployment November 24, 2021
Pennsylvania

Requires employers to provide notice to employees about unemployment compensation benefits at the time of separation from employment or when an employee’s work hours are reduced.   [Act 9 of 2020, website, forms notice in English and Spanish, toll-free number 888-313-7284]

Ban the Box - Criminal Reporting   Passed — January 20, 2021  Effective — March 21, 2021
Pennsylvania (Philadelphia)

Prohibits all employers located in the City or entities the City contracts with for goods and services from: (1) inquiring about convictions on the application or in the initial interview; and (2) making inquiries and any personnel decisions based on records of an arrest that does not result in a conviction. [Fair Criminal Record Screening Standards Ordinance]

Work Schedule April 1, 2020
Pennsylvania (Philadelphia)

Requires covered employers with 250 or more employees (including full-time, part-time, seasonable and temporary workers) to provide fast food workers and certain service, retail and hospitality workers with a predictable work schedule 10 days in advance of the work. They must also obtain employee consent when requesting to add hours to a posted work schedule.

The enforcement of predictability pay will begin on 6/1/2021. It was paused due to COVID-19. Predictability pay is compensation employers must provide to employees if employers initiate changes to employees’ posted work schedules. Covers retailers, hotels, food service establishments, chain establishments or franchises, with at least 30 locations and 250 employees worldwide. Employers must post employees’ work schedules 10 day in advance of the workweek.  [Fair Workweek Law]

Employment Protections for Contract Workers November 24, 2021
Pennsylvania (Philadelphia)

The Philadelphia Protection of Displaced Contract Workers Ordinance (Bill No. 200559) offers job protections to workers providing security, janitorial, building maintenance, food and beverage, hotel service, or health care service who are employed by service contractors, and are displaced when the service contract is terminated and awarded to another service contractor.

Pre-Employment Testing   Passed — April 22, 2021  Effective — January 1, 2022
Pennsylvania (Philadelphia)

Employers, labor organizations and employment agencies may not require a prospective employee to submit to testing for the presence of marijuana in the person’s system as a condition of employment. Marijuana testing is still permitted for numerous exempt positions, such as police officer and other law enforcement positions; jobs that require a commercial driver’s license; positions that require the supervision or care of children, medical patients, the disabled; and any position in which the employee could significantly impact the health or safety of other employees or the public.

Credit Histories December 10, 2020
Pennsylvania (Philadelphia)

Amendment that restricts the use of credit checks and credit-related information in the hiring, promotion, discipline, or discharge process adds law enforcement agencies and financial institutions to the list of covered employers. [Bill No. 200413] Bill No. 200614 requires an employer to follow the Fair Credit Reporting Act’s pre-adverse action and adverse action requirements for credit screening.

Salary History   Passed — January 23, 2017  Effective — January 29, 2020
Pennsylvania (Philadelphia)

Prohibits employers that employ individuals in the City from asking applicants about their salary history or to rely on an applicants’ wage history to determine wages for the job for which the applicant applied. Shortly after passing, the Chamber of Commerce sued alleging that it violated the employer’s First Amendment rights. The District Court agreed with the Chamber; however, on appear the Third Circuit unanimously held for the City. [Wage Equity Ordinance] Beginning 9/1/2020 the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations will be enforcing a previously-enjoined provision, known as the “Inquiry Provision” of the city’s Wage Equity Ordinance. This provision prohibits employers from asking about an applicant or employee’s wage history or using the information to set wages.

Equal Pay March 14, 2020
Puerto Rico

Regulations are to establish the organization and functioning of the Equal Pay Program to encourage gender pay equity.  Program is voluntary for employers the legislature is considering amendments to require all employers to conduct a self-assessment of their business for compliance. [Act No. 16 - Puerto Rico’s Equal Pay Act]

Lactation February 11, 2021
Puerto Rico

The Guidelines on the Acclimatization of Lactation Rooms were published by the Women’s Advocate Office and apply to public and private-sector employers. Guidelines set forth 10 criteria that employer-provided lactation rooms must meet to be compliant with PR laws governing a working mother’s right to breastfeed and the child’s right to be fed. Act 427-2000 as amended – Act to Regulate Breastfeeding and Breast Milk Extraction Periods ensures that nursing mothers who work full-time can have one hour to express breastmilk during their shift.

Mandatory Vaccinations August 16, 2021
Puerto Rico

EO-2021-058 makes COVID-19 vaccination mandatory for all public employees in the Executive Branch and the health and hospitality sectors. Employers are obligated to corroborate vaccination by inspection. Includes theaters, cinemas, coliseums, restaurants, bars, etc. Administrative Order 2021-509 provides that personnel and students age 12 and old who physically attend school, post-school education institutions, or universities must be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Medical Cannabis July 29, 2021
Puerto Rico

Registered and authorized patients of medical cannabis are considered a protected category for purposes of all employment laws under an amendment to Law 15-2021.

Harassment August 7, 2020
Puerto Rico

Prohibits abusive conduct against employees that affects worker performance, alters workplace peace, and threatens the dignity of employees. The Act provides a non-exhaustive list of conduct that can be considered workplace harassment. Employers must adopt and implement internal rules and policies to eliminate or reduce the occurrence of harassment, establish the procedure to investigate claims, and impose sanctions against those who violate the policies. [HB 306 Act to Prohibit and Prevent Workplace Harassment]

Criminal and Salary History August 6, 2019
South Carolina – Columbia

Private employers with contracts or vending relationships with the City are limited from the use of criminal background checks and are banned from inquiring about salary history on job applications. [Conviction and Wage History Prohibition in City Employment and by City Contractors and City Vendors]

Lactation Support   Passed — November 24, 2021  Effective — June 25, 2020
South Carolina - Columbia

Prohibits employers from discriminating against employees who choose to express breast milk in the workplace. Employers must: (1) take steps to provide a designated area, near the workplace, in which employees can express breast milk in privacy and (2) provide a reasonable amount of unpaid break time for lactation. [HR 3200 SC Lactation Support Act]

COVID-19 Immunity   Passed — March 13, 2020  Effective — June 30, 2021
South Carolina

Pending S. 147 South Carolina COVID-19 Liability Immunity Act covers businesses, governmental agencies and healthcare facilities. These entities need only show reasonable adherence to public health guidance to receive immunity from liability for acts or omissions related to COVID-19. If signed into law, the Act will apply retroactively to protect businesses against claims arising between 3/13/2020 and 6/30/2021 or 180 days after the final state of emergency is lifted.

Unemployment November 24, 2021
South Carolina

Employers will be required to provide a notification to employees who have separated from employment informing them that: (1) UI benefits are available to workers who are unemployed and meet eligibility laws; (2) they may file a UI claim if they are separated from employment or their hours have been reduced; (3) they need to provide the Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) with their full legal name, SSN, and authorization to work if they are not a US citizen or resident in order to process their claims; and (4) they can visit the DEW website or call 866-831-1724 for assistance. Notice can be provided in-person, via mail, through email or text message.

Discrimination Protections   Passed — November 24, 2021  Effective — July 1, 2020
South Dakota

The SD Human Rights Act is amended to provide discrimination protections to interns.

Workers' Compensation July 27, 2021
South Carolina

SC Workers’ Compensation Commission issued an advisory notice detailing new procedures for email submission of Forms 15, 17, 19, and 20 by Carriers.

COVID-19 Immunity February 18, 2021
South Dakota

H.B. 1046 prohibits any claim or action for damages or relief alleging exposure or potential exposure to COVID-19 unless it is a result of intentional exposure with the intent to transmit. Applies to healthcare providers, business owners, and PPE manufacturers and distributions. Covers claims from 1/1/2020 through 12/31/2022.

Marijuana Legalization November 4, 2020
South Dakota

Approves both recreational and medical marijuana measures simultaneously.  Allows the use of marijuana for individuals 21 years and older of up to one ounce.  Prohibits employers from specifically targeting medical marijuana patients, including for the purposes of drug testing.  The measure allows employers to prohibit employees from ingesting marijuana in the workplace and/or working “while under the influence of cannabis.” [Constitutional Amendment A, Initiated Measure 26]

Pregnancy   Passed — June 22, 2020  Effective — October 1, 2020
Tennessee

Requires every employer with at least 15 employees to make a reasonable accommodation  for an employee’s or prospective employee’s medical needs arising from pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, unless it imposes an undue hardship.  [SB 2520 - Pregnant Workers Fairness Act]

COVID-19 Immunity November 24, 2021
Tennessee

Tennessee COVID-19 Recovery Act prohibits claims “against any person for loss, damage, injury or death arising from COVID-19 unless the claimant proves by clear and convincing evidence that the person proximately caused the loss, damage, injury or death by an act of omission constituting gross negligence or willful misconduct.” Covers healthcare providers, business entities, schools and government.

Unemployment Insurance November 24, 2021
Tennessee

Employers must provide employees with a notification of the availability of unemployment compensation. [Online information and form, online claim filing]

COVID-19 Vaccinations April 5, 2021
Texas

E.O. GA-35 prohibits government and private entities that receive public funds from requiring certain individuals to obtain COVID-19 vaccinations or vaccine passports.

COVID-19 Vaccination Proof June 7, 2021
Texas

SB 968, prohibits government entities from requiring individuals to provide evidence of COVID-19 vaccination status and strongly discourages private businesses from requiring a COVID-19 vaccine passport from customers.

Firearm Carry September 1, 2021
Texas

HB 1927 Firearm Carry Act of 2021 is expected to be signed by Governor Abbott. Allows individuals 21 years of age and older to possess and carry a handgun in public without a government-issued permit or license, provided that they are not prohibited from possessing a firearm under state or federal law. It is now legal to carry a firearm at public governmental meetings; however, business owners have the right to prevent members of the public from bringing firearms into their places of business. It also allows employers to prohibit an employee from possessing a firearm on their “premises.”

Sexual Harassment September 1, 2021
Texas

Aggrieved employees can now file an administrative charge asserting sexual harassment any time within 300 days of the date of the alleged harassment. Expands the definition of employer to encompass any person or entity who employs one or more employees, or “acts directly in the interests of an employer in relation to an employee.” The new definition widens the group that can be sued and potentially held liable for sexual harassment that occurs in the workplace. Requires employers to take “immediate and appropriate correction action” to end harassment that they know or should have known about. [SB 45 signed 5/30/2021 and HB 21 signed 6/9/2021.

Accommodation   Passed — November 24, 2021  Effective — March 28, 2020
Utah

Amends and clarifies provisions of the medical cannabis laws; private employers are not required to accommodate the use of medical cannabis and have policies restricting the use of medical cannabis by applicants and employees.  [SB 121]

Medical Marijuana   Passed — November 24, 2021  Effective — July 1, 2020
Utah

Amended its medical marijuana law to include that private employers are not required to accommodate the use of medical marijuana and are allowed to have policies restricting the use of medical marijuana by applicants or employees. [H.B. 3001 Utah Medical Cannabis Act]

COVID-19 Immunity November 24, 2021
Utah

S.B. 5003 provides immunity from civil liability if a person is exposed to COVID-19 on a person’s or businesses premises. Excludes willful, reckless or intentional misconduct.

COVID-19 Immunity April 10, 2020
Vermont

Addendum 9 to E.O. 01-20 provides that healthcare facilities, providers and volunteers are immune from civil liability for any death, injury or loss resulting from COVID-19 related emergency management services or response activities, except for willful misconduct or gross negligence.

Nondisclosure February 22, 2019
Virginia

May not require job applicants or current employees to execute nondisclosure agreements that would conceal the details of any “sexual assault” claim an employee may have against the employer. [VA Coe §40.1-28.01]

COVID-19 Immunity November 24, 2021
Virginia

S.B. 5082 provides immunity from civil lawsuits to all healthcare providers, hospices, assisted living facilities, and related providers related to injury or death from exposure to COVID-19. Excludes acts of gross negligence or willful misconduct.

Criminal Background Inquiries   Passed — July 1, 2020  Effective — July 1, 2020
Virginia

Employers are prohibited from requiring job applicants to disclose information concerning any arrest, criminal charge or conviction for possession of marijuana.  An applicant does not have to answer any questions or disclose information related to past criminal charges for such possession.  [HB 972/SB 2]

New Hire Reporting   Passed — November 24, 2021  Effective — September 1, 2020
Virginia

Newly hired independent contractors must be reported according to the same requirements as newly hired employees if they have not previously had a contract with an employer or have previously entered into a contract with an employer and have received a payment based on a contract after receiving no payments for at least 60 consecutive days. [FAQs]

Domestic Worker Protection November 24, 2021
Virginia

HB 2032 extends employee protection laws to domestic service workers, allowing them to file complaints regarding workplace safety.

Disability July 1, 2021
Virginia

Virginia Human Rights Act expands to prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability and requires employers to make reasonable accommodation to the known physical and mental impairments of an otherwise qualified person with a disability, if necessary to assist in performing a particular job. Requires employers to update employee handbooks to include information covering an employee’s right to reasonable accommodation for disabilities. New law does not repeal the Virginians with Disabilities Act.

Medical Verification April 23, 2021
Washington

Amended the High-Risk Employee Proclamation, making it easier for employers to seek medical verification from employees of whether they are high-risk for COVID-19 and what accommodations might allow them to return to work. [FAQs]

Overtime Wage   Passed — March 20, 2021  Effective — July 1, 2021
Virginia

HB 2063 VA Overtime Wage Act requires payment of time and a half an employee’s regular rate of hours worked in excess of 40 hours in a workweek. Increases liabilities and damages for overtime violations from the FLSA. Statute of limitations is three years.

Non-Compete Agreement July 1, 2020
Virginia

Prohibits all covenant or agreements, including a provision of a contract of employment, between an employer and low-wage employee that “restrains, prohibits, or otherwise restricts an individual’s ability, following termination of employment, to compete with his former employer.” [Code of Virginia § 40.1-28.7:8]

Emergency Preparedness   Passed — July 15, 2020  Effective — July 27, 2020
Virginia

Employers will need to comply with the Emergency Standard and may have to revise policies and procedures for dealing with their workforce as soon as possible or potentially face VA Department of Labor & Industry (VDOLI) enforcement actions.  Within 60 days of enactment, employers will have to train their employees on infectious disease preparedness and response plans.

Worker's Compensation   Passed — July 1, 2020  Effective — July 1, 2020
Virginia

Once an initial claim for benefits has been filed, an employer will have 30 days following the receipt of an order from the VA Workers’ Compensation Commission to respond to the claim.  Employer must elaborate on its response if it intends to deny the claim or if it cannot yet determine whether to accept or deny the claim. Failure to file a timely response may result in a $500 civil penalty for each failure up to $5,000 if willful.  [Virginia code §65.2-601.2]

Hairstyles March 3, 2020
Virginia

Amends the VA HRA to prohibit discrimination on the basis of hairstyles or “because of or on the basis of traits historically associated with race, including hair texture, hair type, and protective hairstyles such as braids, locks and twists.” (HB 1514)

Wage Paystub   Passed — November 24, 2021  Effective — January 1, 2020
Virginia

Requires employers to provide detailed paystubs, either in electronic format or hard copy, to all of their employees on each regular pay date.  It must show: (1) employee’s name and address, (2) hours they worked during the pay period, (3) rate of pay, (4) gross wages that they earned during the pay period, and (5) the amount and purpose of any deductions taken from the employee’s wages during the pay period.  Not being enforced until 7/1/2020. [Wage Payment Act]

Privacy/Data Protection   Passed — March 2, 2021  Effective — January 1, 2023
Virginia

Applies to organizations that conduct business in Virginia or produce products or services geared to residents of Virginia and (1) control or process personal data of at least 100,000 VA residents during a calendar year, or (2) control or process personal data of at least 25,000 consumers and derive over 50% of gross revenue from the sale of personal data. Does not impact small or medium-sized businesses or non-profits. [Consumer Data Protection Act]

Unemployment Insurance November 24, 2021
Virginia

Employers must post a notice that advises employees when they are eligible for UI benefits and how to apply for those benefits. [Online information, poster in English and Spanish]

Wage Theft   Passed — June 19, 2020  Effective — July 1, 2020
Virginia

Creates private cause of action for employees who are victim of wage theft when an employer fails to fully compensate their employees for all hours worked.  Employers who knowingly fail to comply will also be subjected to liquidated damages or up to trip the amount of unpaid wages. [HB 123]   Holds general contractors liable for subcontractors’ violations if they knew or should have known that the subcontractor was not paying employees properly.

Any contracts entered into after 7/1/2020 for projects valued at more than $500,000, other than single-family residential projects, is deemed to include a provision making the general contractor and subcontractors at any tier jointly and severally liable for ensuring that the contractor’s employees receive all wages due.

SB 1209 amends the HB 123 in order to mitigate some of the increased burden on general contractors.

Marijuana Decriminalization   Passed — May 21, 2020  Effective — July 1, 2020
Virginia

Decriminalizes simple marijuana possession and prohibits employers, including state agencies and state and local governments) from requiring applicants to disclose information related to past criminal charges for such possession. Gives applicants a statutory right not to disclose such information to their prospective employers.  Restrict employers’ questions during the interview process.  Prohibits educational institutions from demanding the same information from applicants for admission.    [HB 972/SB 2

Work Sharing   Passed — April 22, 2020  Effective — January 1, 2021
Virginia

Allows employers that are experiencing a slowdown in business to save jobs by reducing the number of hours their employees work instead of laying off a portion of those employees. In exchange, employees whose hours have been reduced can recover prorated unemployment benefits tied to the amount of their reduced hours.  [Work share program]

Non-Compete Agreements   Passed — November 24, 2021  Effective — July 1, 2020
Virginia

Employers may not enter into, enforce, or threaten to enforce a covenant not to compete against a low-wage employee. A low-wage worker is an individual whose average weekly earnings for the 52 weeks prior to termination are less than the average weekly wage in the state.  On 7/1/2020, the threshold will be $1,137 per week.  [SB 480]

Pay Transparency   Passed — April 22, 2020  Effective — July 1, 2020
Virginia

Prohibits employers from discharging or taking any other retaliatory action against an employee for discussing wages or compensation with another employee. Does not apply to “employees who have access to the compensation information of other employees or applicants…as part of their essential job functions.”  Civil penalty of up to $100 per violation against an employer who violates the law. 

Workplace Safety   Passed — January 13, 2021  Effective — January 27, 2021
Virginia

The VA Department of Labor and Industry’s Safety and Health Codes Board enacted a permanent workplace safety rule to protect employees from COVID-19 exposure impacting all public and private employers, regardless of size.

Mandatory Vaccinations August 9, 2021
Washington

Proclamation 21-14 requires all state employees, contractors, vendors and appointees to be fully vaccinated by 10/18/2021. Also requires all healthcare providers, or employees, contractors or volunteers to be vaccinated by the same date.

Employment Contracts   Passed — March 19, 2020  Effective — June 11, 2020
Washington

Amends the Washington Sales Representative Act and requires employers of wholesale sales representatives (reps) to enter employment contracts with those sales reps who earn commissions for soliciting orders for wholesale purchases.  Issued to address instances in which wholesale sales reps were not paid commissions for sales they had made before separation from employment.  [HB2474]

Service Animal January 1, 2019
Washington

Amends discrimination law to define “service animal” and create a maximum penalty of $500 for misrepresenting an animal as a service animal. [HB 2822]

Workplace Violence January 1, 2020
Washington

Medical facilities must prevent and track workplace violence, covering any physical assault or verbal threat of physical assault against an employee. Hospitals must have a committee to address violence, develop and implement a plan and provide violence prevention training. New law implementation guide. [HB 1931]

Board Make-Up June 11, 2020
Washington

Amends the Washington Business Corporation Act (WBCA) that requires public companies to either have a “gender-diverse board” by 1/1/2022 or comply with new board diversity disclosure requirements.  [SB 6037]

Hair Textures and Styles   Passed — March 19, 2020  Effective — June 11, 2020
Washington

Amends Washington Law Against Discrimination to include a definition of "race" as being "inclusive of traits historically associated or perceived to be associated with race including, but not limited to, such hairstyles as afros, braids, locks, and twists." [HB 2602]

Immigrant Discrimination   Passed — June 11, 2020  Effective — June 11, 2020
Washington

Washington Law Against Discrimination is amended to prohibit discrimination based on citizenship and immigration status.

Lactation Accommodation   Passed — June 11, 2020  Effective — June 11, 2020
Washington

Employers with 15 or more employees may no longer require certification to support the need for a lactation accommodation.

Long-Term Care   Passed — October 1, 2021  Effective — January 1, 2022
Washington

Mandates long-term care benefits for WA residents, paid for by a tax on employees’ wages. The tax/premium collections begin on 1/1/2022. Employers will be required to collect the premium assessment via after-tax payroll contributions and will remit the premiums to the WA Employment Security Department in their quarterly reporting. The opt-out exemption opens on 10/1/2021. [Chapter 50B.04]

Pregnancy Discrimination   Passed — June 11, 2020  Effective — June 11, 2020
Washington

The time to file an administrative complaint with the WA Human Rights Commission regarding pregnancy discrimination is extended from six months to one year. 

Paid Family and Medical Leave April 21, 2021
Washington

HB 1073 temporarily amends the Paid Family and Medical Leave Act to create pandemic leave assistance grants for certain employees and employers. Applications for grants open on 8/1/2021 and the amendment expires on 6/30/3023.

Hotel Employee Protections   Passed — July 1, 2020  Effective — July 1, 2020
Washington (Seattle)

Hotel Employee Protections Ordinances requires hotel employers to: (1) take certain steps to protect employees from violent or harassing conduct by guests, (2) limit the workload to reduce frequency and occurrence injuries associated with room cleaning, (3) provide increased access to medical care, and (4) take actions to reduce job insecurity.

Jobs Tax January 1, 2021
Washington (Seattle)

JumpStart Seattle passed a jobs tax for companies engaging in business and applies to businesses with $7 million or more in annual Seattle payroll expense in the prior year. Tax will be measured by the compensation of each employee earning $150,000 or more annually. Employer-funded tax and employers may not deduct from the employee’s compensation to fund the tax.

COVID-19 Immunity April 19, 2021
West Virginia

SB 277, COVID-19 Jobs Protection Act, is retroactive from 1/1/2020 and applies to any cause of action accruing on or after that date. Purpose is to eliminate liability and to “preclude all suits and claims against any persons for loss, damages, personal injury, or death arising from COVID-19.” Protects those who design, manufacture, label, sell, distribute, or donate products in response to COVID-19. Does not provide protection to any person who had knowledge of a defect in the product and “acted with conscious, reckless, and outrageous indifference.”

Worker Classification June 9, 2021
West Virginia

The West Virginia Employment Law Workers Classification Act, SB 272, provides standards and creates a uniform test for determining who is an employees and who is an independent contractor. Does not apply to on-demand drivers.

Unemployment Insurance   Passed — April 15, 2020  Effective — August 21, 2020
Wisconsin

Unemployment claims filed for weeks after 3/12/2020 and before 12/31/2020 will not be charged to the employer’s UI accounts. For claims filed between 5/16/2020 and 6/30/2020 employees must filed form UCB-18823-E by 8/15/2020. For initial UI claims that are “related to” COVID-19 and filed after 7/1/2020, employers have 30 days from the date the claim is filed to submit the form. [Act 185]

Requires employers to prominently display a poster visible to employees or provided to employees without a permanent work site. [Posters]

Beginning 11/2/2020, employers will be required to notify workers at separation about the availability of unemployment insurance benefits.

COVID-19 Immunity February 27, 2021
Wisconsin

Sections 98 through 104 of the 2019 Wisconsin Act 185, effective 4/15/2020 provides immunity from civil liability for healthcare workers. Wisc. Stat. § 895.476 gives certain entities broad immunity from civil liability related to COVID-19 unless they acted recklessly or engaged in wanton conduct or intentional misconduct. Applies to lawsuits filed after 2/27/2021 asserting claims that accrued on or after 3/1/2020.

COVID-19 Immunity June 30, 2021
Wyoming

Enrolled Act No. 2 includes protections for businesses and employees, who act in good faith in responding to the COVID-19 health emergency from civil suits related to actual or potential exposure to COVID-19. Excludes willful, reckless, intentional or grossly negligent misconduct and employees are not barred from filing workers’ compensation claims related to exposure. Protections expire on 6/30/2021.

 

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