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State Employment Laws Are Changing in 2020

By December 16, 2019

Below is a short list of some of the country’s state employment law changes. As always, stay in touch with your state department of labor to make sure your organization is in complete compliance. If you come across anything that you need assistance with, please contact us. We are here to help.


Lactation Accommodation expanded (effective 1/01/2020)

This new regulation obligates employers to provide a private, safe lactation room with a seat, electricity, and a surface, that is not a bathroom and is in proximity to the employee’s workstation.  Employers must also provide access to refrigeration or a cooler and running water near the workspace.  Creates undue hardship exemptions for certain employers. (Senate Bill SB 142)

The Crown Act, Racial Discrimination Hairstyle (effective 1/01/2020)

The Crown Act expands the definition of prohibited racial discrimination, barring employers from banning racially associated hairstyles in dress code or grooming standards. (Senate Bill SB 188)

Protected Time Off: Living Organ Donation (effective 01/10/2020)

This new law requires an employer to provide additional, unpaid leave time, of up to 30 days a year, to an employee who is donating an organ. (Senate Bill SB 1233)

Expansion of Paid Family Leave (effective 07/01/2020)

Governor Gavin Newsom has signed into law an expansion of California’s Paid Family Leave (PFL). This expansion will extend the paid leave from six weeks.

California’s PFL program is not a job protected leave like California Family Rights Leave (CFRA) or the Federal Medical Leave Act (FMLA), rather it is wage replacement for employees who take time off work to care for a seriously ill family member or to bond with a minor child within one year of birth or placement.

The same bill that expands California’s PFL, contains a proposal to increase paid leave to a full 12 weeks for families by 2021-22. The bill contains a provision to create a task force to work out the details by the end of 2019.


Workplace Discrimination: Human Rights Act Coverage (effective 1/01/2020)

This new regulation reduces the number of employees needed for an employer to be covered by the Illinois Human Rights Act (IHRA) from 15 employees to 1.  It exempts only places of worship. (Senate Bill HB 252)

School Activities Leave (effective 1/01/2020)

This legislation amends the school activities leave law to allow employees to take up to 8 hours of unpaid leave to attend school conferences or behavioral or academic meetings. It prohibits employers from terminating employees absent for covered reasons. (Senate Bill HB 2830)

Background Checks: Workplace Discrimination (effective 1/01/2020)

This legislation bans employers from inquiring into or using a criminal arrest as a reason to refuse to hire an applicant, discriminate against an applicant or employee, or take other negative employment actions.


Marijuana Legislation (effective 1/01/2020)

Nevada has expanded the medical and recreational cannabis laws to provide additional oversight and regulation. (Senate Bill AB 533)

Definition of Health Benefits for Minimum Wage Purposed (effective 1/01/2020)

This law is intended to clarify what type of benefits an employer must provide in order to pay its employees the lower-tier minimum wage under the Minimum Wage Amendment (MWA) Act. (Senate Bill SB 192)

Paid Leave (effective 1/01/2020)

Nevada now requires employers with 50 or more employees to provide employees with up to 40 hours of paid leave per year for any reason. With limited exceptions, covered employers must provide paid leave to their employees in proportion to the number of hours worked. The law makes no exception for part-time employees. (Senate Bill SB 312)

Workers’ Compensation (effective 1/01/2020)

Workers’ Comp in Nevada has been amended to clarify that an injured employee has a right to select their treating physician or chiropractor and required insurers to provide at least 12 doctors from which employees can choose for treatment within 19 specified practice areas. (Senate Bill 381)


Accommodations: Pregnancy (effective 1/01/2021)

Oregon now requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to employees for issues related to pregnancy or childbirth, unless it would cause an undue burden. Employers must also notify employees of these protections. The legislation creates employee remedies, including filing a complaint or bringing a civil action for relief. (Senate Bill HB2341)

Final Rule on Rest Procedures for Expressing Breast Milk (effective 1/01/2020)

This legislation amended the statute governing the requirements of for providing rest breaks to employees expressing milk. The amendments make the lactation accommodation requirements applicable to employers of all sizes and removes the temporal requirement for rest periods. (OAR 839-020-051)

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