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June 2022: Planning Ahead and Posting Updates

(This section provides you with an overview of labor law postings for this month. Note: many of these are included in the federal/state labor law poster.)

Federal or StateFederal or StateMandatory or Recommended
TBD 
FederalFair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) – Overtime Exemptions, Overtime, Joint EmploymentANTICIPATED
FederalMinimum WageANTICIPATED
FederalFamily Medical Leave Act (FMLA)ANTICIPATED
ANTICIPATED 
CaliforniaJob Health and SafetyANTICIPATED
CaliforniaOccupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)ANTICIPATED
IllinoisYou Have the Right to Be Free from Job Discrimination and Sexual HarassmentANTICIPATED
IllinoisEqual PayANTICIPATED
New HampshirePaid Family LeaveANTICIPATED
New JerseyWage TheftANTICIPATED
New JerseyEmployee MisclassificationANTICIPATED
New JerseySafe ActANTICIPATED
New MexicoHealthy Workplaces ActANTICIPATED
New YorkSexual HarassmentANTICIPATED
New YorkDiscriminationANTICIPATED
New YorkFair EmploymentANTICIPATED
Puerto RicoMinimum WageANTICIPATED
Rhode IslandPay EquityANTICIPATED
Rhode IslandDiscriminationANTICIPATED
 July 2022 
CaliforniaBerkeley, CA Minimum WageMANDATORY
CaliforniaLos Angeles, CA Minimum WageMANDATORY
CaliforniaPasadena, CA Minimum WageMANDATORY
CaliforniaSanta Monica, CA Minimum WageMANDATORY
ConnecticutPaid Family Medical LeaveMANDATORY
District of ColumbiaMinimum Wage to $16.10MANDATORY
District of ColumbiaLiving Wage to $16.10MANDATORY
NevadaMinimum Wage BulletinMANDATORY
NevadaOvertime BulletinMANDATORY
New MexicoHealthy Workplace ActMANDATORY
OregonMinimum WageMANDATORY
OregonAgricultural Minimum WageMANDATORY
OregonSick TimeMANDATORY
OregonSexual HarassmentMANDATORY
OregonFamily LeaveMANDATORY
OregonEqual PayMANDATORY
June 2022 
ColoradoPaid Leave, Whistleblowing, and Protective EquipmentMANDATORY
District of ColumbiaTime Off to VoteMANDATORY
IowaIowa OSHAMANDATORY
MaineMinimum WageMANDATORY
MaineWorker’s CompensationRECOMMENDED
MarylandMinimum Wage and Overtime LawMANDATORY
MichiganMinimum WageRECOMMENDED
MinnesotaUnemployment InsuranceRECOMMENDED
UtahUnemployment InsuranceMANDATORY
 May 2022 
ConnecticutHealthcare AdvocatesMANDATORY
LouisianaEarned Income CreditMANDATORY
New JerseyPayment of WagesMANDATORY
New YorkElectronic MonitoringMANDATORY
OklahomaUniformed Services Employment and Re-employment Rights Act (USERRA)MANDATORY

June 2022: Rhode Island Governor Signed Bill to Allow Workers with Disabilities to Be Paid Fair Wages

Update Applicable to:
All employers with employees with mental and/or physical disabilities.

What happened?
In our previous communication here, we informed you that the Rhode Island General Assembly voted to pass House Bill 7511 (HB 7511) to repeal Section 28-12-9 of the R.I. General Laws that allows employers to pay workers with disabilities below the minimum wage. This is an update to that communication.

What are the details?
On June 15, 2022, Governor McKee signed HB 7511 into law.

Effective immediately, employers are prohibited from paying employees with mental and/or physical disabilities a sub-minimum wage below the state’s minimum wage.

For more information, please see the links below:

House Bill 7511 (HB 7511)

Section 28-12-9 of the R.I General Laws

Vensure Legal Update (6/21/2022)

What do employers need to do?
Employers should review the links provided above and ensure that their employees with mental and/or physical disabilities are paid the same wage as other employees so that they are in compliance with the new law.

June 2022: Philadelphia City Council Vote Employee Commuter Transit Benefit Program into Law

Update Applicable to:
All employers with 50 or more employees in the city of Philadelphia.

What happened?
On June 9, 2022, the Philadelphia City Council passed an ordinance titled, “Employee Commuter Transit Benefit Programs,” which would require employers to make available to a commuter transit benefit program. The bill is currently awaiting the mayor’s signature.

What are the details?
Effective December 31, 2022, employers with 50 or more employees will be required to make available covered employees a commuter transit benefit program.

Employees will be qualified as covered employees if they have averaged working at least 30 hours per week in Philadelphia for the same employer in the previous 12-month period. Unpaid interns, volunteers, and those working in unpaid apprenticeships will not be considered covered employees.

Covered employees must be offered a pre-tax payroll deduction for mass transit expenses, qualified bicycle expenses, or an employer-paid benefit for a fare instrument. Covered employees must also be offered one of the following types of commuter transit benefits:

  • An election of a pre-tax payroll deduction for Mass Transit Expenses (expenses incurred for either a Fare Instrument, such as a pass, token, or fare card, or expenses related to transportation in a Commuter Highway Vehicle) or Qualified Bicycle Expenses (which include reasonable expenses related to the purchase, maintenance, repair, and storage of bicycles regularly used for commuting to and from work), as allowed under the Internal Revenue Code §§ 132(f)(1)(D) and (f)(5)(F); or
  • An employer-paid benefit whereby the covered employer supplies a Fare Instrument for a covered employee pursuant to Internal Revenue Code § 132(f)(2); or
  • Any combination of the two.

To qualify as a Commuter Highway Vehicle, the vehicle must be used to transport groups of employees between their homes and work. This means that the vehicle must have a seating capacity of at least six people and at least three employees must be transported to work 80% of the time the vehicle is used (excluding the driver).

Covered employees alleging a violation of this new law can report their employer to the agency designated by the mayor to enforce these benefits. Upon receipt of the complaint, the enforcement agency will have 30 days to mediate the matter between the parties. Following this mediation period, a written warning will be issued to the employer if it is determined that the employer is non-compliant. If the employer remains non-compliant for 30 days following the issuance of the written warning, the enforcement agency may ask a court of competent jurisdiction to compel compliance and impose fines ranging from $150 to $300 per day, with each day constituting a separate violation.

For more information, please see the links below:

Employee Commuter Transit Benefit Programs

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What do employers need to do?
Employers should review the links provided above and should take appropriate measures to meet the new requirements if they do not already have a compliant transportation program in place.

June 2022: New York Warehouse Employers to Be Required to Disclose Quotas

Update Applicable to:
All businesses with warehouse workers in the state of New York.

What happened?
On June 3, 2022, the New York Senate and General Assembly approved Assembly Bill A10020A (the Warehouse Worker Protection Act, “WWPA”), which, if signed by Governor Hochul, will require covered companies to disclose production quotas to warehouse workers and prohibit companies from preventing employees from taking legally-protected breaks.  

What are the details?
Effective 60 days after being signed into law by the governor, the WWPA will lay out two main requirements for warehouse employers with employee quotas:

  • provide notice of the quotas to employees; and
  • refrain from instituting a quota that prevents employees from taking breaks. 

Coverage  
The bill applies to any employer that, “at any time in the prior twelve months, employs or exercises control over the wages, hours, or working conditions of one hundred or more employees at a single warehouse distribution center or five hundred or more employees at one or more warehouse distribution centers in the state.”

Definitions
The bill provides the following definitions of “quota” and “warehouse distribution center”:

  • Quotas are defined as work standards that require employees to perform “at a specified productivity speed,” or where employees’ actions are categorized by the time spent “performing tasks and not performing tasks, and the employee’s failure to complete a task performance standard . . . may have an adverse impact on the employee continued employment.”
  • Warehouse Distribution Center is defined by the North American Industry Classification System Codes based on industry:
  • Code 493 for warehousing and storage;
  • Code 423 for merchant wholesalers, durable goods;
  • Code 424 for merchant wholesalers, nondurable goods;
  • Code 454,110 for electronic shopping and mail-order houses; or
  • Code 492,110 for couriers and express delivery services.  

Requirements
Covered employers must abide by the following requirements:

  • Quota Notification
    • The employer must provide a written description of each quota and any potential adverse employment action that could result from failure to meet it. Notice must be provided to current employees within 30 days of the effective date of the law, at the start of employment for new employees, and within two days of any change in the quota.
    • Each time an employer takes an adverse employment action against an employee based on the quota, it must provide that employee with the applicable quota for that employee.
  • Breaks
    • Employees may not be required to meet a quota that prevents them from taking meal or rest periods or using the bathroom, including reasonable time to get to and from the bathroom.
  • Recordkeeping
    • Covered employers must maintain records of each employee’s work speed data, aggregated work speed data for similar employees at the same establishment, and the required written notices of the quotas.
    • Following an employee’s separation from employment, records covering the six-month period prior to the date of separation must be preserved for three years and made available to the Commissioner of Labor upon request.
  • Employee Right to Request Quota Description
    • Current and former employees can request a written description of each quota to which they are or were subject, a copy of their personal work speed data, and a copy of the aggregated work speed data.

Anti-Retaliation
The bill contains standard anti-retaliation language prohibiting covered employers from retaliating against employees who exercise their rights under the law.

Enforcement and Penalties
The bill does not provide for a private right of action by employees to enforce their rights in court.  Rather, it authorizes the Labor Commissioner to assess civil penalties for violations up to $100 for a first offense and $500 for subsequent offenses; penalties up to $20,000 for retaliation; and penalties up to 100% of unpaid wages.  The bill also provides for criminal penalties for violators.

Employers with operations involving covered warehouses should review the legislation and begin making changes to ensure compliance once this bill has been signed into law.

For more information, please see the links below:

Assembly Bill A10020A

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What do employers need to do?
Employers should review the links provided above and make changes to their policies so that they are in compliance with the law once the bill has been signed by the governor.

June 2022: Louisiana Publishes Updated Earned Income Credit Notice

Update Applicable to:
All employers in the state of Louisiana.

What happened?
In April 2022, the Louisiana Workforce Commission published an updated Earned Income Credit poster to include new earned income tax credit information.

What are the details?
Effective May 25, 2022, all businesses within the state of Louisiana must display the revised Earned Income Credit notice along with other state-mandated posting requirements where it is sufficiently accessible and viewable to all employees.

You can find the updated Louisiana labor law poster here.

For more information, please see the links below:

Louisiana Labor Law Poster

Article

What do employers need to do?
Employers should review the links provided above and post the newly required poster in a conspicuous location as soon as possible.

June 2022: Illinois Governor Signs Bills Expanding Contractors’ Liability for Unpaid Wages of Subcontractors’ Workers

Update Applicable to:
All employers with contractors in the state of Illinois.

What happened?
On June 10, 2022, Illinois Governor Pritzker signed House Bill 5412 (HB 5412) and its trailer bill, House Bill 4600 (HB 4600), into law, which will amend the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act (WPCA) to make certain primary contractors liable for any debt owed by a subcontractor at any tier relating to the wage claimant’s performance of labor for contracts entered into on or after July 1, 2022.

What are the details?
Under HB 5412, a primary contractor performing “erection, construction, alteration, or repair of a building, structure, or other private work in ” will be liable for the wages and fringe benefits of its subcontractor’s employees if the subcontractor fails to pay those employees. This reallocation of liability puts prime contractors on the hook for wage theft committed by their subcontractors.

HB 4600, the trailer bill, carves out two categories of contractors exempt from liability for such unpaid wages and benefits:

  1. Contractors who are signatories of collective bargaining agreements on projects where work is being performed; and
  2. Primary contractors altering or repairing an existing single-family dwelling or single residential unit.

Additionally, HB 4600 also limits the scope of the amendment to the WPCA, applying it only to contractors doing work in Illinois that exceeds $20,000 on private (i.e., non-government) projects, other than an owner acting as a primary contractor on the owner’s primary residence.

General contractors may not contract around this new obligation in their subcontracts.

Under the enactments, an employee must provide written notice to the primary contractor and the employee’s employer detailing the nature and basis for the alleged non-payment claim. If the employer or primary contractor fails to resolve the claim within 10 days after receipt of the notice or by any agreed-upon extension of that deadline, the employee-claimant may file a lawsuit to enforce the provisions of the act.

These bills went into effect immediately upon signage from Governor Pritzker.

For more information, please see the links below:

House Bill 5412 (HB 5412)

House Bill 4600 (HB 4600)

Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act (WPCA)

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What do employers need to do?
Employers should review the links provided above and make their primary and subcontractors aware of this these new laws.

June 2022: Governor Newsom Terminates Five Provisions in the COVID-19 Executive Orders

Update Applicable to:
All employers in the state of California

What happened?
On June 17, 2022, Governor Newsom issued Executive Order N-11-22, which terminates certain provisions of prior executive orders as they are considered no longer necessary due to changes in the Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS).

What are the details?
The current version of the ETS remains in effect until the end of 2022. However, Cal/OSHA won’t be done with COVID-19 regulations in 2023. The agency is currently working on a permanent COVID-19 Standard. Recently, the draft of the proposed regulation was released.

The draft regulation carries over many of the employer obligations from the current ETS. The following are some of the proposed requirements:

  • COVID-19 procedures are either included in their Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP) or a separate document.
  • Exclusion and prevention requirements for employees who test positive and close contacts.
  • Employers would continue to be required to provide testing to employees who have close contact in the workplace.
  • Employers would continue to have notice requirements for COVID-19 exposure.
  • Employers would continue to have to provide face coverings to employees.
  • Employers would continue to have reporting and recordkeeping requirements for COVID-19 cases and outbreaks in the workplace.

Currently, no public hearing has been set for the proposed permanent COVID-19 Standard, so it is uncertain how soon the regulations may be implemented.

For more information, please see the links below:

Executive Order N-11-22

Proposed Regulation (Draft)

Office of Governor Gavin Newsom Announcement

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What do employers need to do?
Employers should review the links provided above and be on the lookout for any new updates from the Office of Governor Newsom regarding the proposed COVID-19 standards.

Prevent Your Top Talent from Leaving

Employee retention should always be of the utmost importance to any business owner. Unfortunately, retaining employees is becoming more difficult than ever before. However, the exodus of talent isn’t just about money.

In fact, other considerations like workplace culture, leadership, and company vision have a significant impact on an employee’s decision to leave an employer.

The migration of employees from one company to the next is drastic. A recent study conducted by Deloitte shows that 43% of Millennials (who make up about 50% of today’s workforce) will leave their current job within two years. The same study shows that only 28% plan to stay longer than five years.

It is imperative that the leaders of your organization consider the top reasons why quality employees leave and what adjustments need to be made to promote stronger retention.

Focus on Long-Term Strategies

Without a vision for the future of your organization, employees will seek new opportunities in places they feel more inspired. While in some cases, short-term goals for revenue and spending money on optics does have benefits, this kind of planning runs the risk of giving your employees the perception that money is more important.

 Furthermore, short-term planning without long-term goals may make your employees feel as though their job security is dwindling. They may assume that if the company doesn’t have goals for the future, they also don’t have plans for employee retention in the future.

This isn’t exclusive to just small and mid-sized businesses. Large corporations that are too complacent in their ways also run the risk of pushing top talent out the door.

Develop a Strong, Inclusive Company Culture

Many employees spend more time in the workplace than they do at home. It’s important that the culture of your organization is admired by the majority of employees.

A critical aspect of company culture is unresolved and unaddressed conflicts amongst employees. For some companies, it’s easy to overlook conflicts—there are so many employees to manage and not enough eyes to keep a close watch. In these cases, consider using employee evaluations to keep on top of grievances. By using an evaluation form template, you’ll be able to conduct uniform sessions to ensure that all employees will have fair and transparent reviews.

If you don’t check in with your employees more often, morale will begin to fall, as well as productivity.

Additionally, 70% of candidates prefer to work for a company with a demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusion. Without promoting diversity, some of your most talented employees will not feel accepted and discouraged from engraining themselves within your organization.

it is imperative that you gain a better understanding of the cultural differences within your workforce so you can unbiasedly address any conflicts and accommodate cultural needs.

Ensure Fair Compensation

Most people would love a raise. However, an increase in compensation doesn’t always portray fair compensation.

For example, many organizations put an arbitrary limit on how much of a raise an internal employee can receive, even if they are promoted or outperforming their colleagues. The problem is, these same organizations spend more on recruiting, training, and compensating a new employee, rather than ensuring competitive compensation to the internal employee who has already proven their value.

When employees realize they aren’t being compensated the same way they could if they were on the market, you run the risk of them leaving your business for a competitor who will pay them what their market value is. Consider doing some market research a few times each year to be sure you’re updated on market values.

Create Opportunities for Growth

While your best employees are incredibly talented, they still want to improve their skillset and strive for greater accomplishments.

Employees that feel their job is becoming stagnant due to the lack of professional growth will begin to seek those opportunities elsewhere.

Training, development, and growth within an organization are so important that 94% of employees say they would stay at a company longer if they invested in their career. Be sure that your employees have access to their superiors so they can learn more about the positions above them and how to make educated decisions that will have a positive impact on the organization. If you need more support with your retention efforts, consider working with a professional employer organization (PEO) like VensureHR. A PEO can provide you with invaluable resources for recruiting and retention, such as recruiting guides and burnout handbooks.

June 2022: Rhode Island Legalizes Recreational Marijuana and Protects Off-Duty Use

Update Applicable to:
All employers in the state of Rhode Island.

What happened?
On May 25, 2022, Governor McKee signed Senate Bill 2430 (SB 2430) into law, which legalizes recreational marijuana and protects off-duty use.

What are the details?
Effective immediately, employers are permitted to refuse to hire, terminate, discipline, or take other employment action based on an individual’s violation of a workplace drug policy or because the individual was working while under the influence of cannabis. However, employers are prohibited from terminating or taking disciplinary action against an employee “solely for an employee’s private, lawful use of cannabis outside the workplace and so long as the employee has not and is not working under the influence of cannabis.”

There are exceptions if off-duty use is prohibited by the terms of a collective bargaining agreement or if the employer is a federal contractor or otherwise subject to federal law or regulation such that the failure to terminate or discipline the employee would cause the employer to lose a monetary or licensing benefit under the law or regulation.

In addition, if an employee works in a job, occupation, or profession that is “hazardous, dangerous or essential to public welfare and safety,” an employer may adopt and implement policies that prohibit the use or consumption of cannabis within the 24-hour period prior to a scheduled work shift or assignment.

Examples of work that falls under this exception include:

  • Operation of an aircraft
  • Watercraft
  • Heavy equipment
  • Heavy machinery
  • Commercial vehicles
  • School buses or public transportation
  • Use of explosives
  • Public safety, first responder jobs
  • Emergency and surgical medical personnel  

Drivers of commercial motor vehicles who are subject to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s drug and alcohol testing regulations never may use marijuana and will be disqualified from driving if they test positive for marijuana.

The law also provides for automatic expungement of certain civil and criminal convictions related to the possession of marijuana.  All eligible records will be expunged by July 1, 2024. Employers may not require an employee to disclose a sealed or expunged offense unless otherwise required by law.

For more information, please see the links below:

Senate Bill 2430 (SB 2430)

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What do employers need to do?
Employers should review the links provided above and ensure their drug testing policies and procedures are in compliance with the law.

June 2022: Rhode Island Senate and Assembly Voted to Pass Law Allowing Workers with Disabilities to Be Paid Fair Wages

Update Applicable to:
All employers with employees with mental and/or physical disabilities.

What happened?
On June 7, 2022, the Rhode Island General Assembly voted to pass House Bill 7511 (HB 7511) to repeal Section 28-12-9 of the R.I. General Laws that allows employers to pay workers with disabilities below the minimum wage.

What are the details?
Effective immediately upon signage from Governor McKee, employers are prohibited from paying employees with mental and/or physical disabilities a sub-minimum wage below the state’s minimum wage.

The bill has been sent to the governor and is currently pending signage.

For more information, please see the links below:

House Bill 7511 (HB 7511)

Section 28-12-9 of the R.I General Laws

Article

What do employers need to do?
Employers should review the links provided above and ensure that their employees with mental and/or physical disabilities are paid the same wage as other employees so that they are in compliance with the new law once it has been signed.