Recently, we wrote about the most current minimum wage changes that took place this year. As of January 13, there have been 26 minimum wage changes across the U.S. Today, we will discuss some of the newest labor law changes that could affect your business. With these changes come changes to the required postings. To see a list of all the changes on a state-by-state basis visit Most Recent Labor Law Changes. In this article we will discuss just a few of the updates. You can sign-up to receive email updates regarding labor law changes and the accompanying required posting(s) on our Labor Law Poster Update Notifications page. Click on your state and enter your email address just above the subscribe button.
Many people have inquired about the Federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act that required certain employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for specific reasons related to COVID-19. That posting was effective only thru December 31, 2021. As of this writing, there has not been an extension to that law. (https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd). Stay connected and we will keep you up to date of any new changes that may take affect.
Here is a summary of just a few of the state changes:
California: Senate Bill 1383 (Family Care & Medical Leave & Pregnancy Disability Leave; Your Rights and Obligations as a Pregnant Employee, Workplace Discrimination, Notice to Employees Paid Family Leave) (https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201920200SB1383)
Effective January 1, 2021, this bill expands the California Family Rights Act to include employers with 5 or more employees. It also expands the list of reasons for taking family or medical leave and includes taking leave to bond with a new child of the employee or to care for themselves or a child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, spouse, or domestic partner, as specified. It requires an employer who employs both parents of a child to grant leave to each employee and make it an unlawful employment practice for any employer to refuse to grant a request by an employee to take up to 12 work-weeks of unpaid protected leave during any 12-month period due to a qualifying exigency related to the covered active duty or call to covered active duty of an employee’s spouse, domestic partner, child, or parent in the Armed Forces of the United States.
Colorado: Healthy Families & Workplace Act (Colorado Workplace Public Health Rights Poster: Paid Leave, Whistleblowing & Protective Equipment)
Effective January 1, 2021, Colorado employers with more than 16 employees must provide one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours of work, up to a minimum of 48 hours. On the same posting, the Public Health Emergency Whistleblower Law (PHEW) details workers right to oppose Workplace Health/Safety violations during public health emergencies and gives workers’ rights to use their own Personal Protective Equipment.
Florida: Human Trafficking Bill, Chapter 2019-152, Laws of Florida (Human Trafficking posting)
Healthcare professionals licensed by the following Boards: Acupuncture, Medicine, Osteopathic Medicine, Chiropractic Medicine, Podiatric Medicine, Optometry, Pharmacy, Dentistry, Nursing Home Administration, Occupational Therapy, Dietetics and Nutrition, Respiratory Care, Massage Therapy, and Physical Therapy must complete one hour of continuing education (CE) on human trafficking and post a sign about human trafficking in their office by January 1, 2021.
Maine: Earned Paid Employee Leave Law (Regulation of Employment)
An employer that employs more than 10 employees in the usual and regular course of business for more than 120 days in any calendar year shall permit each employee to earn paid leave based on the employee’s base pay. An employee is entitled to earn one hour of paid leave from a single employer for every 40 hours worked, up to 40 hours in one year of employment. Accrual of leave begins at the start of employment, but the employer is not required to permit use of the leave before the employee has been employed by that employer for 120 days during a one-year period.
Massachusetts: Paid Family and Medical Leave (Notice of Benefits)
On January 1, 2021, the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Act (PFML) will begin providing benefits to eligible workers for qualifying reasons. Covered individuals may be entitled to up to 20 weeks of paid medical leave in a benefit year if they have a serious health condition that incapacitates them from work. They may be entitled to up to 12 weeks of paid family leave in a benefit year related to the birth, adoption, or foster care placement of a child, or because of a qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that a family member is on active duty or has been notified of an impending call to active duty in the Armed Forces. Covered individuals may be entitled to up to 26 weeks of paid family leave in a benefit year to care for a family member who is a covered service member with a serious health condition.
Oregon: OAR 437-001-0744 (Oregon OSHA’s COVID-19 Temporary Standard for All Workplaces)
Oregon has released a Temporary COVID-19 Rule for all workplaces that is effective through May 4, 2021 unless it is revised or repealed before that date. The requirements include physical distancing, facial coverings, , workplace risk assessments and other pertinent information regarding notifying your employer and your right to notify your employer or Oregon OSHA about workplace hazards.
These are just a few of the state changes. State labor laws change throughout the year and no two states have the same requirements. It is important and (required by law) that employees are made aware of these various laws, bills, and acts. Employers must post the postings in their place of business where everyone has access to them and if there are remote workers, making them accessible to view online or by email. Labor law and the required workplace notices is an important issue and should not be ignored by any business.