Bulletin: Key State Legislation Items to Watch in 2016
Important State Legislation Developments to Watch for in 2016
2016 is shaping up to be another interesting year with regard to state legislation. As of March 8th, 37 states are in regular session, as well as the U.S. Congress, so the season is in full swing.
While this year’s bills run the gamut as far as subject matter, it appears that once again there are a number of key areas that are generating bills of importance to most employers. As in 2015, we are once again seeing a high degree of focus placed on paid sick leave, wage theft, pregnancy rights and accommodation in the workplace, and paid family leave laws generally aimed at providing new parents the opportunity to bond with their children. Many of these bills include a requirement to notify employees of the rights afforded them under these new laws. The laws often have specific fines attached to the employee notification portion of the process, in addition to those included in the larger bill.
The Vermont legislature recently passed H.B. 187, which makes that state the fifth to have enacted a paid sick leave law. Eleven additional states have already introduced paid sick leave bills so far this session, each with varying degrees of likelihood of becoming law. Employers need to be aware of these bills and be prepared to change policies in the event of passage.
The state of Washington appears poised to become the latest to pass pregnancy accommodation legislation, with S.B. 6149 having passed both legislative chambers. Six additional states currently have legislation in the wings that deal with pregnancy rights in the workplace.
In addition to the items named above, employers should be mindful of E-Verify bills gaining momentum. Five states have introduced new bills that would require employers to mandate usage of E-Verify for all new employees. While it is hard to predict with any reliability the likelihood of passage of these bills, it is important to note the level of activity after two years of “wait and see” attitude on the state level with regard to this topic.
Employers should note these and other trends in state legislation as they prepare to meet the compliance objectives for the remainder of this year. Stay tuned to this space for details as they arise.
Equifax Workforce Solutions can help simplify compliance with the various state and local notifications through Compliance Center, an onboarding solution that helps support compliance with new regulatory guidelines. Contact us to learn how Equifax Workforce Solutions can help you stay abreast of and help you manage your compliance with state and federal notice requirements.