Bulletin: New State Notification Requirements for RI and OR
Rhode Island Passes Pregnancy Accommodation Bill
On June 25, 2015, Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo signed Rhode Island Senate Bill 276, mandating the expansion of workplace accommodation for women who are pregnant or nursing.
Under the new law, employers are to provide “reasonable accommodation” for employees who require it as a result of a condition related to pregnancy, childbirth, or a related condition. Employers are required to provide accommodation in the form of temporary transfer to lighter duties, allowing for more or longer breaks, modification of the employee work area, and time off to recover from childbirth, to name a few items spelled out in the law.
Additionally employers will be required to provide employees with a written notice which spells out their rights under the new law. This notice should illuminate the employee’s right to be free from discrimination in relation to pregnancy, childbirth and related conditions, including the right to reasonable accommodations for conditions related to pregnancy, childbirth, or related conditions. To date the government has not provided a template form and there is no indication that they will release one. Employers must create their own written notification until otherwise notified.
Such notices are to be posted in a conspicuous place, accessible to employees at the employer’s place of business as well as distributed to employees. Each new employee should receive such notification at the time of hire, and all employees should receive the written notification within 120 days from the effective date of the law. Employees who notify employers of their pregnancy should also receive a copy of the notice within 10 days. The passage date was also the effective date, so employers should act quickly to get their new hire processes in place as the new hire notification requirement became effective on June 25, 2015. Employers should also begin to work on establishing an all-employee mechanism to ensure timely delivery to all employees on or before October 23, 2015 (120 days from the effective date of the law).
Rhode Island is the latest to join the growing number of states passing pregnancy accommodation laws. Employers should act quickly to ensure that their internal compliance policies are up to date and ready to accommodate the growing number of state notifications. A culture of compliance can be the key to mitigating penalties, or in some instances stopping the expansion of any audit or investigation undertaken by a state authority.
Oregon Governor Signs Mandated Sick Leave Into Law
Governor Kate Brown signed Oregon Senate Bill 454, which would require employers of 10 or more employees to allow those workers to accrue up to 40 hours of paid sick leave annually. The law takes effect January 1, 2016 and requires employers to provide written notice to all employees of their rights under the new sick leave law. The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries is creating a template to make available to employers as a model notice. Employers are to distribute the requirements in the language they typically use to communicate with employees.
Oregon is the fourth state to enact mandated sick leave in some form, joining California, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. Employers should remain vigilant in their monitoring of state compliance requirements to ensure they are aware of and in compliance with all applicable state laws and regulations.
Employers should continuously monitor the compliance landscape to keep abreast of changes in state notification requirements that might affect them. Equifax Workforce Solutions can help employers manage compliance through an automated solution that delivers state required new hire notifications. This solution helps to reduce labor costs and compliance risks, while simplifying the process. Based on the legislation, Equifax has developed a standard template for the Rhode Island Pregnancy Accommodation notification requirement.
Contact us to learn more about the State Compliance Solution through Compliance Center and how you can begin delivering the Rhode Island Pregnancy Accommodation notice as well as many other state required notifications to your new hires.
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