October 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 October 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 October 1, 2020
Under an amendment to the Economic Stabilization Act, employers who operate industrial, commercial and business enterprises in Maryland who employee 50 or more employees, who are undergoing a “reduction in operations” are now required to provide:
- 60 days’ advance written notice to all employees affected by the reduction in operations, each, and exclusive representative or bargaining unit, the Division of Workforce Development’s dislocated worker unit and all elected officials in the jurisdiction where the reduction in operations will occur; and
- Continued benefits, including health insurance, severance and benefits (details to be set forth in regulations to be issued by the state secretary of labor).
A “reduction in operations” is a relocation or shutdown of the workplace or a part of an employer’s operations that results in a reduction of the number of employees by 25% or 15 employees, whichever is greater, over any three (3)-month period.
Pursuant to amendments to the wage disclosure laws, employers, upon request, must provide an applicant for employment the wage range for the position to which the applicant applied.
Tip credit wage statement regulations become effective, requiring restaurant employers to provide a written or electronic statement that shows the effective hourly tip rate, derived from employer-paid cash wages plus all reported tips for tip credit hours worked each workweek of the pay period.
Maryland Healthy Working Families Act amended to expand the definition of “Family Member” to include the legal ward of an employee, legal ward of an employee’s spouse, or legal guardian of an employee’s spouse.
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 28 hours of earned paid time off in a year. 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.
Pregnancy Workers’ Fairness Act required employers with 15 or more employees to make reasonable accommodation for medical needs arising from pregnancy, childbirth related medical conditions of an applicant or employee, unless the employer demonstrated that the accommodation would pose an undue hardship in the employer’s business.
Effective October 29, 2020
Employers are required to provide notice to current employees of the prohibition of discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions and the right to reasonable accommodation for pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions.
Effective January 1, 2021
California Family Rights Act expanded to:
- Cover all employers with 5 or more employees, and not just employers with 50 or more employees.
- Allow each parent to take full leave, if both parents are employed by the same employer.
- All eligible employees 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.”
- Allow for leave to bond with a new child of the employee or to care for themselves or their child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, spouse or domestic partner.
Equal Pay for Equal Work Act prohibits:
- Different pay based on sex (including gender identity) of the worker;
- Seeking salary history of a job candidate or requiring disclosure of a job candidate’s wage rate as a condition of employment;
- Discrimination or retaliation against an employee for asserting rights under the Act;
- Discriminating, retaliating or disciplining an employee for inquiring about, disclosing or discussing the employee’s own wage rate, or interfering with an employee’s inquiring about, disclosing or discussing the employee’s own wage rate.
Employers must maintain a record of job descriptions and wage rate history for each employee while employed and for 2 years after.
Healthy Families and Workplaces (SB 20-205) requires employers with 16 or more employees to provide paid sick leave to their employees, accrued at one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, up to a maximum of 48 hours each year. Employees can begin accruing and using accrued time from the first day of employment or from January 1, 2021, whichever is later.
Paid sick leave can be used for the following:
- The employee has a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition; needs a medical diagnosis, care, or treatment related to such illness, injury, or condition; or needs to obtain preventive medical care;
- The employee needs to care for a family member who has a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition; needs a medical diagnosis, care, or treatment related to such illness, injury, or condition; or needs to obtain preventive medical care;
- The employee or family member has been the victim of domestic abuse, sexual assault, or harassment and needs to be absent from work for purposes related to such crime; or
- A public official has ordered the closure of the school or place of care of the employee’s child or of the employee’s place of business due to a public health emergency, necessitating the employee’s absence from work.
Retaliation is prohibited against any employee who exercises rights under this law.
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 to:
- bond with a new child;
- address needs relating to a family member who is a covered service member of the armed forces; and for the employee’s own serious medical condition.
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.
Paid Family Leave benefits will increase to 12 weeks and 67% of the employee’s average weekly wages, up to the maximum benefit of 67% of the New York State average weekly wage.
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 May! 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.
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.
Effective July 1, 2021
Eligible employees may receive Paid Family and Medical Leave benefits to bond with a new child, address needs relating to a family member who is a covered service member of the armed forces, for the employee’s own serious medical condition, and to care for a family member with a serious medical condition.
Effective October 1, 2021
New Mexico – Bernalillo County
Maximum accruals of paid time off under the Employee Wellness Act increase to 44 hours per year for employers with greater than 10 employees. (Maximum accrual for employers with 2 to 10 employees remains the same at 28 hours per year).
To learn more, stay tuned for the update in November! Visit www.reflexisinc.com for more information on how Reflexis (now a Zebra Technologies company) can help you increase compliance rates and stay on top of new labor laws and regulations.