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State Employment Laws

Accommodation January 1, 2019

Expanded lactation accommodation requirements [AB 1976]

Arbitration October 13, 2019

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]

Criminal History January 1, 2019

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.” [SB 1412]

Discrimination Claims January 1, 2019

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 January 1, 2020

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]

Discrimination Against Service Members January 1, 2019

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]

Harassment Training January 1, 2019

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

Human Trafficking January 1, 2019

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

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]

Military Leave January 1, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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]

Settlement Agreements September 29, 2020
California – San Francisco

After applying for CA paid family leave, employees can seek the SF paid parental leave benefits. Requires employers to pay “supplemental compensation” for the full period that a covered employee receives paid family leave to bond with a child. Extends to 8 weeks. [Article 33H]

Criminal History September 1, 2021

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

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

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

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]

Wage or Salary Histories January 1, 2019

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

Sexual Harassment January 1, 2019

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

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]

Salary History January 1, 2019

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

Pre-Employment Testing December 4, 2019

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)

Service Member Reemployment June 1, 2019

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

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

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.

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]

Ban the Box Criminal Histories   Passed — January 30, 2020  Effective — February 29, 2020

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]

Paid Leave January 1, 2020
Minnesota(City of Duluth)

Employers with five or more employees must provide employees one hour of sick and safe time if they spend more than 50% of their working time in the city’s geographical limits. The employer is not required to be physically located in the city. [Sick and Safe Time Ordinance]

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]

Medical Cannabis September 29, 2020

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

Paid Leave   Passed — June 12, 2019  Effective — January 1, 2020

Employers with 50 or more employees must provide paid leave to their full-time or part-time employees in proportion to the number of hours worked. [SB 312]

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]

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]

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]

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]

Paid Time Off July 1, 2020
Arrest and Conviction History (Ban the Box)

Covered employers must permit employees to accrue a minimum of one hour of earned paid time off for every 32 hours worked or choose to use a frontload method and provide for accrual of all earned paid time off at the beginning of the year. Leave must be provided for any reason. Time off increases in 7/1/2020. [Employee Wellness Act]

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]

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]

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]

Medical Marijuana March 14, 2019

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]

Drug Testing May 10, 2020
New York City

Prohibits employers from pre-employment drug testing for marijuana and THC. [Int. 1445-A]

Equal Pay January 1, 2019

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]

Pregnancy & Lactation Accommodation January 1, 2020

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]

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

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 729 Workplace Fairness Act]

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]

Paid Leave   Passed — August 1, 2015  Effective — March 15, 2020
Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh)

After an extended legal battle, effective 3/15/2020 employers with 15 or more employees will have to provide up to 40 hours of paid sick time per year while effective 3/15/2021 employers with fewer than 15 employees must provide up to 24 hours of unpaid sick time. Paid sick leave to be used for the employee’s care or for their family member’s illness or injury, or in the event of certain specified public health emergencies. [Paid Sick Days Act]

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]

Service Animal January 1, 2019

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

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]

  Passed — September 29, 2020  Effective — March 28, 2020

Twenty-four states, 48 cities and counties and Washington, DC will increase their hourly wages in 2020.

State Amounts Date Of Increase
Alaska $10.19 01/ 01/ 2020
Arizona $12 01/ 01/ 2020
Arkansas $10 01/ 01/ 2020
California $12 for small employers; $13 for large employers; reach $15 by 2022 01/ 01/ 2020
Colorado $12 01/ 01/ 2020
Connecticut $11; reach $15 by 2023 09/ 01/ 2020
District of Columbia $14, $15 07/ 01/ 2019
07/ 01/ 2020
Florida $8.56 01/ 01/ 2020
Illinois $9.25$10; reach $15 by 2025 01/ 01/ 2020
07/ 01/ 2020
Maine $12 01/ 01/ 2020
Maryland $11; reach $15 for large employers by 2025 and for small employers by2026 01/ 01/ 2020
Massachusetts $12.75; reach $15 by 2023 01/ 01/ 2020
Michigan $9.65 01/ 01/ 2020
Minnesota $8.15 for small employers; $10 for large employers 01/ 01/ 2020
Missouri $9.45; tipped employees $4.725 plus any other amount to bring total to$9.25 after trips; increase of 85 cents each year until $12 in 2023 01/ 01/ 2020
Montana $8.65 01/ 01/ 2020
New Jersey $11; reach $15 by 2024 01/ 01/ 2020
New Mexico $9 01/ 01/ 2020
New York $11.80 01/ 01/ 2020
Nevada $8 if the employer has health benefits; $9 if employer does not 07/ 01/ 2020
Ohio $7.25 for small employers; $8.70 for large employers 01/ 01/ 2020
Oregon $13.25 for Metro Portland area, $11.50 for nonurban counties; $12 forthe rest of the state 07/ 01/ 2020
South Dakota $9.30 01/ 01/ 2020
Vermont $10.96 01/ 01/ 2020
Washington $13.50 01/ 01/ 2020
Alaska $10.19 29/ 09/ 2020
29/ 09/ 2020

Twenty-one states allow for anti-smoking or vaping policies and allow employers to include nicotine-free policy statements on employment application materials. In the states that allow for nicotine testing, applicants will be required to consent to submit to nicotine screening in the future. These states include: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia and Washington. Keep in mind that nicotine users are not a “protected class” under federal anti-discrimination laws.

Red Flag Laws – As of 1/28 there are 17 states and DC with these laws. (see California)