June 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 June 2020 onward.
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.
Readers should check for any newer developments on COVID-19 regulations at state and local levels.
Effective June 11, 2020
Paid Family and Medical Leave Act amended to correct technicalities and clarified that employers may allow employees using PFML to receive “supplemental benefit payments” (employer-provided paid vacation, sick time, paid parental leave, or any other paid time off) if the employee so chooses, but may not require an employee to use such time.
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
Fair Workweek Ordinance requires any employer with at least 100 employees globally (or 250 employees and 30 locations for a restaurant) in Building Services, Healthcare, Hotels, Manufacturing, Restaurants, Retail, and Warehouse Services, must provide the following to employees if they make less than $26/hour or $50,000/year:
(a) An initial, good faith estimate in writing, prior to or at the start of employment, of the employee’s expected work schedule for the first 90 days of employment. The employee may request a change in the expected work schedule, and the Employer must notify the employee of its decision about the request within 3 days of the request.
(b) 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, employees must be notified of their shifts and any on-call shifts.
The employer must provide predictability pay of: (i)1 hour at the employee’s regular rate of 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 employee’s regular rate of pay for any scheduled hours employee does not work because the employer, with less than 24 hours’ notice, subtracts hours from a regular or on-call shift or cancels a regular or on-call shift, including while the employee is working on a shift.
Predictability pay requirements of The Fair Workweek Ordinance subject to following exceptions:
- threats to Employers, Covered Employees, or property, or when civil authorities recommend that work not begin or continue;
- acts of nature (including, but not limited to, flood, earthquake, tornado, or blizzard);
- war, civil unrest, strikes, threats to public safety or pandemic.
Paid Sick Leave ordinance applies to all employers with at least one “covered employee,” regardless of having a business facility in Chicago or being subject to at least one business license in Chicago. A “covered employee” is an employee who performs at least 80 hours of work for an employer within any 120-day period, and performs at least two hours of work in a particular 2-week period while physically present within the geographic boundaries of Chicago. Excepted from the ordinance are the following:
- An outside salesperson (regularly engaged in making sales or obtaining orders or contracts for services where most of such duties are performed away from the employer’s place of business);
- A member of a religious corporation or organization;
- A student at, and employed by, an accredited Illinois college or university;
- Motor carriers regulated by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation or the State of Illinois; and
- Certain camp counselors employed at a day camp.
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.
Tip credits for miscellaneous industries and occupations, including wash attendants, nail salon workers, tow truck drivers, dog groomers, wedding planners, tour guides, valet parking attendants, hairdressers, aestheticians, golf and tennis instructors and door-persons, but excluding hospitality workers, begin to be eliminated, with an initial decrease by 50% and complete elimination on December 31, 2020
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.
Employers are prohibited from discharging, or taking other retaliatory action against, an employee because the employee:
(i) inquired about or discussed with, or disclosed to, another employee any information about either the employee’s own wages or other compensation or about any other employee’s wages or other compensation or
(ii) filed a complaint with the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry alleging a violation of this law.
This does not apply to employees who have access to the compensation information of other employees or applicants for employment as part of their essential job functions who disclose the pay of other employees or applicants to individuals who do not otherwise have access to compensation information, provided that the disclosure is (a) in response to a formal complaint or charge, (b) in furtherance of an investigation, proceeding, hearing, or action, including an investigation conducted by the employer, or (c) consistent with a legal duty to furnish information.
Employers who violate this new law shall be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $100 for each violation.
Employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees who (i) refuse to perform an act that violates any federal or state law or regulation; or (ii) report in good faith to a supervisor, governmental body, or law-enforcement official any violation of any federal or state law or regulation.
The Virginia Human Rights Act (VHRA) is amended to prohibit:
(i) employers with fifteen (15) or more employees from engaging in unlawful employment practices on the basis race, color, religion, national origin, status as a veteran, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, pregnancy, childbirth and related medical conditions, and lactation;
(ii) employers with five (5) or more employees from unlawfully discharging an employee on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, status as a veteran, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, pregnancy, childbirth and related medical conditions, and lactation.
(iii) employers with more than five (5) but fewer than twenty (20) employees from unlawfully discharging an employee on the basis of age.
Employers must also provide reasonable accommodations related to pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions and lactation when requested by an employee.
Wage payment statute (Virginia Code § 40.1-29) amended to enable workers “individually, jointly, with other aggrieved employees, or on behalf of similarly situated employees as a collective action consistent with the collective action procedures of the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. § 216(b).”
If a violation is found, the court shall award interest. If an employer “knowingly” violates the wage payment law, the court shall award treble damages and reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs. “Knowingly” means acting with “actual knowledge,” “deliberate ignorance,” or “reckless disregard.”
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 September 30, 2020
Employees will be entitled to accrue sick leave at a rate of 1 hour for every 30 hours worked, up to the following caps:
- Employees who work for employers with (a) fewer than 5 employees in a calendar year and (b) annual net income of less than $1 Million, accrue up to 40 hours of unpaid sick leave in each calendar year.
- Employees who work for employers with (a) fewer than 5 employees in a calendar year and (b) annual net income of greater than $1 Million accrue up to 40 hours of paid sick leave in each calendar year.
- Employees who work for employers with 5 or more employees, but less than 100 employees, up to 40 hours of paid sick leave in each calendar year.
- Employees who work for employers with 100 or more employees, accrue up to 56 hours of paid sick leave in each calendar year.
Employers can provide the annual cap amounts as a lump sum at the beginning of a calendar year, rather than keeping track of accruals throughout the year.
Up to 40 hours of accrued time must be permitted to be carried over from one year to the next. Accrued but unused time does not need to be paid out upon termination of employment.
Accruals begin on September 30, 2020, and accrued time can be used by employee starting on January 1, 2021.
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.
Employees may begin using accrued sick time.
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).
Effective March 15, 2021
PA – Pittsburgh
Paid Sick Days’ Act requires employers with 14 or fewer 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 24 hours in a year. Employees must be allowed to carryover up to 24 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.
To learn more, stay tuned for the update in July! 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.