February 2020 Employment Law and Regulations Update
Welcome back to the Reflexis Employment Law and Regulations Update! In this month’s article, we’ve included notable changes in United States regulations from February 2020 onward.
As I’ve mentioned, this list of new laws and regulations is not exhaustive, nor is it intended as legal advice. Reflexis strongly recommends you consult with your legal counsel regarding any substantive employment law and regulation changes that may affect your organization.
Effective March 1, 2020
Employers with 20 or more employees must give their employees a pre-tax transportation fringe benefit (except for those employees in a current collective bargaining agreement), which allows employees to deduct commuter highway vehicle and transit benefits, consistent with the provisions and limits of I.R.C. § 132(f)(1) at the maximum benefit levels allowable under federal law, from their gross pay.
Effective March 1, 2020
PA – Pittsburgh
Paid Sick Days’ Act requires all employers with 15 or more employees to allow full-time and part-time employees who work in Pittsburgh 35 or more hours in a year to accrue 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 35 hours worked, up to a maximum of 40 hours in a year (maximum of 24 hours in a year for employers with 14 or fewer employees). Employer with 14 or fewer employees may provide the sick leave without pay from March 15, 2020 to March 14, 2021, after which time all sick leave must be paid. Employees must be allowed to carryover up to 40 hours of accrued paid sick leave from one calendar year to the next. Employers are not required to pay out any accrued, but unused, paid sick leave upon terminating an employee or upon the employee’s resignation. The Paid Sick Days’ Act does not apply to seasonal employees who are notified in writing upon hire that they will work no more than 16 weeks during the calendar year.
Effective June 17, 2020
Temporary Disability Insurance benefits are available to an employee who is able to return to work on a reduced basis, if the employee was totally unable to perform duties of employment due to disability and was receiving full TDI benefits for at least 7 consecutive days before claiming partial TDI benefits. The amount of partial benefits will be equal to the amount of full TDI benefits less any amounts the employee received from working. The maximum duration of partial TDI benefits is 8 weeks, unless the NJ Division of Temporary Disability and Family Leave grants an extension, provided the total duration of partial TDI benefits shall not exceed 12 weeks.
Effective July 1, 2020
The maximum duration of Paid Family Leave benefits increases from 6 weeks to 8 weeks.
Illinois – Chicago
Any employer who (a) employs, (i) globally, 100 or more employees, or in the case of not-for-profit corporations, 250 or more employees, (ii) 50 of whom are Covered Employees; and (b) is primarily engaged in a Covered Industry must provide, with limited exceptions:
(a) An initial, good faith estimate in writing, prior to or at the start of employment, of the Covered Employee’s projected days and hours of work for the first 90 days of employment. The estimate must include the average number of weekly work hours, whether there are any on-call shifts, the days of the week and times or shifts the Covered Employee can expect to work or those that the Covered Employee will not be scheduled to work. A Covered Employee may request a change in the projected days and hours of work, and the Employer must notify the Covered Employee of its decision about the request within 3 days of the request.
(b) For existing Covered Employees, a written notice of work hours, no later than 10 days (from July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2022) or 14 days (after July 1, 2022) before the first day of any new schedule, including the shifts and on-call status of all current Covered Employees at that worksite. If the schedule is changed after these deadlines, unless the Covered Employee affected by the change and the Employer mutually agree to the change, the Employer, in addition to pay for actual working time, will be subject to payment of: (i)1 hour of Predictability Pay for each shift where the Employer: (A) adds hours of work, (B) changes the date or time of a work shift with no loss of hours, or (C) with more than 24 hours’ notice, cancels or subtract hours from a regular or on-call shift; and (ii) no less than 50% of the Covered Employee’s regular rate of pay for any scheduled hours the Covered Employee does not work because the Employer, with less than 24 ours’ notice, subtracts hours from a regular or on-call shift or cancels a regular or on-call shift, including while the Covered Employee is working on a shift.
Employer will also be subject to a fine of anywhere from $300 to $500 for each offense. For definitions and additional provisions not described here, with respect to no retaliation, notice and postings, and the like see the ordinance at: https://chicago.legistar.com/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=3964374&GUID=52BA6EC6-9561-4581-87E2-51C8F279DE2D&Options=Advanced&Search=&FullText=1
Maximum amount of Family Leave Insurance benefits increases from 6 weeks to 12 weeks for any FLI leave that commences after July 1, 2020
New Mexico – Bernalillo County
The Employee Wellness Act entitles employees to accrue a minimum of one hour of earned time off for every 32 hours worked, up to a cap of 24 hours of earned paid time off in a year. The cap increases to 40 hours on July 1, 2021, and to 56 hours on July 1, 2022. Accrual commences on the employee’s 90th day of employment, or immediately for employees who have already been employed for 90 days with the employer. Exempt employees will be deemed to have worked 40 hours in each work week for purposes of earned paid time off accrual.
Unused accrued earned paid time shall be carried over to the following year, up to the annual accrual cap.
Earned paid time may be used for any use, but cannot be used until the employee has worked 56 hours in the applicable earned paid time benefit year.
Employers are required to provide notice about earned paid time to the employee upon commencement of employment and are prohibited from retaliating against an employee for using earned paid time or for having alleged in good faith a violation of the ordinance.
Predictive Scheduling law requires notice of schedules 14 days in advance (change from notice 7 days in advance).
Amendments to the TN Employment Security Law require that:
- The application for a seasonal employer determination must be made on forms prescribed by the Department of Employment Security and must be received between September 1 and October 31 each year;
- A seasonal employer conspicuously display on its premises the seasonal employer determination; and
Prior to the beginning of each active seasonal period, a seasonal employer provide seasonal workers with written notice that their seasonal wages are potentially excludable for unemployment benefits purposes.
The salary threshold to be considered “exempt” from WA state overtime requirements increases from $250 per week to $675 per week (which is equal to $35,100 on an annual basis). Because the federal “salary basis” amount is higher than the WA state salary threshold amount, the federal law will trump the WA state amount initially. The WA state salary threshold is slated to exceed the federal “salary basis” amount in 2021.
The job duties to qualify as “exempt” from WA state overtime requirements will also be aligned with the job duties for exempt employees under the federal law.
Paid Family Leave benefits become available to eligible workers.
Effective July 4, 2020
OH – Toledo
Pay Equity Act prohibits employers located within Toledo and have 15 or more employees within Toledo from making any inquiry into salary history of job applicants, and must provide a pay scale for the position if an applicant who has received a conditional job offer of employment makes a reasonable request for a pay scale.
Effective August 1, 2020
In an amendment to the School Visitation Rights Act, employers must grant employees up to a total of 8 hours during any school year, and up to 4 hours of which may be taken on any given day, to attend school conferences, behavioral meetings, or academic meetings related to the employee’s child if the conference or meeting cannot be scheduled during nonwork hours.
Effective January 1, 2021
Paid Family Leave will also be available for employees for who need to take time off due to a “qualifying exigency related to the covered active duty or call to covered active duty of the individual’s spouse, domestic partner, child, or parent in the Armed Forces of the United States.”
Employers are required to start collecting payroll deductions for paid family and medical leave benefits. Amounts to be withheld are likely to change before January 1, 2021, as rules and regulations for CPFML are being developed.
Sunday and holiday premium pay rate decreases to 1.2 times the employee’s regular hourly rate of pay.
Eligible employees may receive Paid Family and Medical Leave benefits.
Employers with at least 10 employees who work more than 120 hours in a calendar year are required to allow employees to earn up to 40 hours of paid leave time annually, at a rate of 1 hour of paid leave for every 40 hours worked. Employees being accruing paid leave upon commencement of employment, and are allowed to use accrued paid leave after 120 days of employment. During the leave, the employee must be paid the same base rate they were receiving prior to the leave and receive the same benefits provided to employees taking other types of paid leave.
This does not apply to seasonal employees or employees subject to a collective bargaining agreement.
Paid Family Leave benefits rate increases to 67% of the employee’s average weekly wage, up to 67% of the NYS average weekly wage. The duration of the leave also increases to 12 weeks total leave.
PA – Philadelphia
The Philadelphia Fair Workweek ordinance requires notice of work schedules to employees 14 days in advance of their scheduled work (change from 10 days’ advance notice).
To learn more, stay tuned for the update in March! Visit www.reflexisinc.com for more information on how Reflexis can help you increase compliance rates and stay on top of new labor laws and regulations.