State Law Developments – Summer 2019

By July 11, 2019 July 19th, 2019 Newsletter

California: Expands Anti-Harassment Training (train/retrain by 1/1/20 even if trained in 2018 for employers with 5 or more employees)

Senate Bill (SB) 83, beginning on July 1, 2020, extends Paid Family Leave Benefits from 6 to 8 weeks.

Connecticut: Times Up (10/1/19) – Significantly changes the sexual harassment laws affecting Connecticut employers. All Connecticut employers will be mandated to provide sexual harassment training. Employers with three or more employees must provide two hours of training to ALL employees. Existing employees must receive training by October 1, 2020. All new employees hired on or prior to October 1, 2019 must receive training within six months of their hire. There are further posting requirements.

District of Columbia: Universal Paid Leave Act (tax begins 7/1/19) – By July 1, 2019, all District employers will pay a 0.62 percent payroll tax (except the federal and D.C. governments). There are no exceptions for nonprofit employers or businesses with existing paid leave programs.

Illinois: Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (CRTA) Effective 1/1/20 – Legalizes recreational marijuana in the state. What this means for employers: Under CRTA employers retain the ability to adopt and enforce “reasonable zero tolerance or drug free workplace policies, or employment policies concerning drug testing, smoking, consumption, storage, or use of cannabis in the workplace or while on call.” The CRTA does require employers to give employees a “reasonable opportunity to contest” the basis of the employer’s “good faith belief” of potential impairment due to marijuana.

Kentucky: Pregnant Workers Act (6/27/19) – The Pregnant Workers Act amends the Kentucky Civil Rights Act as it relates to pregnant employees by requiring companies with 15 or more employees to provide “reasonable accommodations” for pregnancy, childbirth, and related conditions.

Maine: Bans Pay History Questions (9/17/19) – Generally prohibits employer inquiries into the salary history of prospective employees until after an offer of employment is made.

Massachusetts: Paid Family & Medical Leave Employer Guide Published (contributions begin 7/1/19 notice deadline is 6/30/2019  employer contributions begin 7/1/2019 employee payouts begin 1/1/2021)

Minnesota: Duluth – Earned Sick & Safe Time (1/1/20) – Apply to employers (in Duluth) with five or more employees nationwide. Covered workers in the city of Duluth will be entitled to accrue an hour of paid sick leave for every 50 hours worked, up to a total of 64 hour per year.

Missouri: Kansas City – Ban on salary History Inquiries goes into effect on 10/31/19. This law applies to employers in Kansas City with six or more employees and prohibits questions regard the current salary, benefits and any other compensation history of any applicant for employment.

New Jersey: Expands Family Leave Laws (6/30/19 & 7/1/20) – Employers with 30 or more employees will be subject to the FLA and will need to provide up to 12 weeks (includes intermittent leave) of job-protected family leave.

New Mexico: Expands Protection for Medical Marijuana Users (6/14/19) – Senate bill 406 expands the types of conditions for which an individual can use medical marijuana. Employers are prohibited from taking “adverse employment action against an applicant or an employee based on conduct allowed under the Act,” including declining to hire, terminating, or taking any other adverse action due to use.

Bans The Box (6/14/19) – The law still allows employers to make criminal background checks, however, the timing of the inquiries shifts to later in the hiring process, after a contingent letter of offer is made.

New York: Anti-Sexual Harassment Training (must be conducted by 10/9/19) –

Expansion of workplace harassment laws. Employers with four or more employees are now covered. Effective date approximately January 1, 2020. Severe or pervasive standard is removed. Matches NYC law. Faragher/Ellerth defense becomes unavailable as a defense. Effective date for these changes is approximately October 1, 2019. Stay tuned for exact implementation dates.

New York City – Bans Family Planning Discrimination (5/20/19) – This law makes it illegal for New York City employers with four or more employees to discriminate against applicants or employees based on sexual and reproductive health decisions.

Suffolk County – Bans Pay History Questions (6/30/19) – This law prohibits employers with four or more employees from requesting information regarding current or former salary history (all compensation and benefits).

Ohio: Cincinnati Bans Pay History Questions (est. 3/13/20) for all employers in Cincinnati. Prohibits employers from requesting information regarding current or former salary history (all compensation and benefits).

Oklahoma: Enhances Employer Rights Under Medical Marijuana Law (8/28/19) – The Unity Bill. The most significant change to the law is the addition of explicit permissions to take medical marijuana use into consideration when the applicant or employee holds, or will hold, a position with safety-sensitive job duties. In this situation, the employer can decline to employ the individual and/or take other action.

Pennsylvania: Pittsburgh Expands Pregnancy Protections (3/15/19)  – The law requires employers to initiate an interactive process with pregnant employees who are having an issue with their work performance or conduct at work related to their or a partner’s pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical condition, even if they have not asked for an accommodation.

TexasDallas – Paid Sick Leave – ( 08/01/19) The law requires one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours an employee works. It applies to any employee who works a total of 80 hours in Dallas in a year. Workers can accrue up to 64 hours each year. Employers with less than 15 workers will be capped at 48 hours.

San Antonio – Paid Sick & Safe Leave (8/1/19) – employees will accrue one hour for every thirty hours worked. Employers with sixteen or more employees can cap accrual at 64 hours within a 12-month period. Employers with 15 or fewer employees, the cap is 48 hours within a 12-month period.

Tennessee: H.B. 856 – This new law extends immunity from abusive conduct lawsuits. The employer must adopt the model policy (The model policy).


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