More than two dozen new employment laws – both federal and state – went into effect at the top of the year, opening up the flood gates for potential compliance issues.
Some of the notable new changes include:
- FLSA Overtime Rule: Approximately 1.3 million workers nationwide were made eligible for overtime pay of at least time-and-a-half thanks to the Fair Labor Standards Act law, which raised the salary threshold from $455 to $684 a week. The rule posed a distinct challenge to employers, who were expected to reclassify upwards of 1 million employees to non-exempt status, or raise pay rates to meet the threshold. Believing an employee is exempt simply because they are salaried is not always the case – and classification will be all the more critical under this law.
- California Assembly Bill 5: Also known as AB5, this law requires companies to reclassify independent contractors as employees, giving them access to health and PTO benefits, and other concessions previously unavailable to gig-economy workers. The law may be a trendsetter. States such as New York and New Jersey are reportedly looking to emulate California’s recent move.
- New Jersey Salary History Ban: In an effort to promote pay equity, employers in the Garden State will no longer be able to ask interviewees about their salary history, wages, and benefits.
- Washington Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFMLA): Employees in Washington State are now entitled to up to 18 weeks of paid family and medical leave per year. This hits particularly close to home for employees working within proximity of Maslow HQ, as Washington, D.C. is expected to adopt similar legislation in July of this year. Massachusetts may also follow in January 2021. Washington also continues to roll out new details and information regarding the law, keeping employers on their toes as they continuously keep watch on changes in an effort to remain compliant.
Other laws effective this year extended accommodations for pregnancies. Oregon’s Employer Accommodation for Pregnancy Act requires companies with at least six employees to provide reasonable arrangements for those with limitations or medical conditions related to pregnancy, including but not limited to assignment, equipment, and scheduling modifications. Back in California, Senate Bill 142 expands on lactation accommodations, to include complete privacy and seating, surface space for pumps, and refrigeration and electricity access, as well as a sink.
Meanwhile, Nevada’s Assembly Bill 132 prohibits employers from refusing hires based on testing positive for marijuana use, with exceptions relegated to drivers, EMTs, firefighters and other public servants who are responsible for the safety of others. Nevada was the first state to enact such legislation and has since encouraged others to follow suit. New York City’s legislation – Int. No. 1445-A – bars employers from requiring hopefuls to submit a marijuana test as a condition of employment, in general, with compliance required by May 10, 2020.
New employment laws, rules, and regulations are ever-changing – and ever-challenging for business owners who must remain current or face the consequences.
Compliance is the name of the game, and Maslow Media Group helps our clients manage all of these changes.
As a leading Payroll company and Employer of Record, MMG can help you navigate payroll compliance concerns, customizing paycheck cycles to intervals that best suit your needs, while handling all related expenses, insurance, and more.
We make it our business to be versed in all new employment laws and compliance standards, from ACA to mandated sick leave, and beyond. And we can help you. Reach out to us today to request a quote.