Bulletin: Labor and Employment – 2015 State Legislative Review
2015 State Legislative Review
2015 proved to be another busy year with the state wage and hour laws, with numerous states passing new laws requiring employee notifications. A few issues were at the top of many state agendas and seem likely to remain so this year, although employers should not concentrate solely on those issues. Some of the key items addressed in last year’s legislative session include pregnancy rights/accommodation, paid sick leave, and wage theft notifications and surrounding processes.
Rhode Island passed a pregnancy accommodation law that took effect in June of 2015. This law now requires employers to extend specific rights to employees who have a condition related to pregnancy, childbirth or a related condition. Additionally, all new hires must be provided notice of their rights under this law at the time of hire. Tennessee, Kentucky, New York, Texas, Missouri and Nebraska also introduced similar laws with varying degrees of success. New York and Nebraska passed laws without notice requirements, while many of the other states pushed the issue out to the 2016 legislative agenda.
Paid sick leave is once again a leading topic, with Oregon having passed a law effective January 1st, 2016. Additionally, the Massachusetts safe harbor provision has now elapsed, so all employers in Massachusetts should be fully compliant with Massachusetts’ sick leave law. New Jersey has also promised a sick leave law to address the current patchwork of municipal sick leave laws currently effective in their state. Employers should be including all sick leave notifications as required so employees are apprised of their rights under these new laws.
Wage theft prevention remains a key legislative initiative. In February of 2015, the District of Columbia joined the list of states requiring employers provide new employees wage theft notifications at the time of hire. Other states currently on that list include California and New York, and a number of states introduced bills aimed at addressing this issue as well. Minnesota and Maryland were among those to introduce bills that are likely to be reconsidered again in 2016.
Employers should closely monitor the legislative landscape for any new bills/laws that could affect their onboarding processes or their current employee rights. Compliant processes do not occur overnight and employers should be aware of any upcoming changes as early as possible
What to expect with state legislation developments in 2016
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 more about how Equifax Workforce Solutions can help you stay abreast and in compliance with state and federal notice requirements.