KEN KIRSCHENBAUM, ESQ
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More on employment law issues affecting your state
September 28, 2020
More on employment law issues affecting your state
On September 21, 2020 the article was about change in New York sick leave law. Today we expanded our search for other state laws that affect employment. Some statutes mentioned below are not new, some are.
California, Maryland and Washington have statewide and local laws regarding paid sick leave. Arizona, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont offer statewide laws only. In response to the coronavirus pandemic, New York State has recently enacted a sick leave policy for those affected with coronavirus. Pennsylvania, Illinois, Minnesota, and Texas only offer sick leave policies in select cities, and Washington D.C. has its own laws regarding paid sick leave.
· Workers earn 1 hour of leave for every 30 hours worked.
· Employees begin accruing sick leave on hiring date or July 1, 2017, whichever is later.
· Employers with 15 or fewer employees must provide 24 hours of paid sick leave each year and those with more than 15 employees must provide 40 hours yearly.
CALIFORNIA (Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014)
· Paid sick leave is required for employees who work 30 or more days within a year from the beginning of employment.
· All employees including part-time and temporary employees, earn one hour of paid leave for every 30 hours worked. Law applies to employers of all sizes.
· Some cities in California, like San Francisco, have their own sick leave requirements.
· Generally, employers must follow whichever law is more generous to workers.
COLORADO ( The Colorado Health Emergency Leave with Pay Rules & Paid Sick Leave Bill-CO S 205)
· Emergency regulations for paid leave requires up to four days of paid sick leave for employees being tested for Covid-19 in select industries which include: Leisure and hospitality; food services; child care; education, including transportation, food service, and related work at educational establishments; home health if working with the elderly, disabled, ill, or otherwise high risk individuals; and nursing homes and community living facilities.
· In July 2020 paid sick leave bill enacted calling for employers to grant one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, up to 48 in a year.
· Starting January 1, 2021, Colorado’s Equal Pay for Equal Work Act (SB 19-085) will prohibit all employers from discriminating because of sex (including gender identity) — alone or with another protected status — by paying less for substantially similar work in terms of skill, effort and responsibility. Every employer with any employees in the state will have to comply with the law. The Colorado Equal Pay for Equal Work Act (CEPEWA) will apply only to violations that occur on or after its effective date. CEPEWA amends and effectively replaces Colorado's equal pay statute, the Wage Equality Regardless of Sex Act, CRS §§ 8-5-101 et seq. CEPEWA greatly expands the definition of wage discrimination and changes the process for handling wage discrimination claims.
· Colorado also passed HB 19-1025, a “ban-the-box” law, which will prohibit employers from inquiring into applicants' criminal history. This law took effect on September 1, 2019 for employers of 11 or more employees, and for all employers on September 1, 2021:
· (a) On and after September 1, 2019, an employer with eleven or more employees, and on and after September 1, 2021, all employers, shall not:
· (I) State in an advertisement for an employment position that a person with a criminal history may not apply for the position;
· (II) State on any form of application, including electronic applications, for an employment position that a person with a criminal history may not apply for the position; or
· (III) Inquire into, or require disclosure of, an applicant's criminal history on an initial written or electronic application form.
CONNECTICUT (Paid Sick Leave Act enacted in 2011(first state to require private-sector employers provide paid sick leave))
· Employers with over 50 employees must provide one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked by an hourly, nonexempt employee up to 40 hours yearly.
· Connecticut sick leave law applies to part-time workers but not temporary workers.
The Oct. 1st 2020 Sexual Harassment Prevention Training deadline has been extended to January 1, 2021 due to the Covid-19 Pandemic (pursuant to Executive Order 7DDD, as amended by Executive Order 9A). This is a blanket extension and does not require a request to be made. Prior to the Executive Order, by October 1, 2020, all employers were required to provide sexual harassment training to supervisors, and all employers with at least 3 employees must provide sexual harassment training to all of their employees. (The prior law, “Time's Up Act” is codified in the Connecticut Annotated Statutes at Title 46a, Chapter 814c, Part I, Section 46a-54 and 46a-97.)
Governor Ron Desantis signed Florida Senate Bill 664, which will require all employers within the state of Florida to use the E-Verify platform. E-Verify is a federal government online system that confirms information provided on I-9 employment forms and work eligibility with the US Department of Homeland Security, and the Social Security Administration. The E-Verify requirements will go into effect for the private sector on January 1, 2021. Currently in Florida, E-Verify is required on all state projects pursuant to Executive Order 11-02 which was signed back in 2011.
Fla. Stat. Ann. § 448.095 provides:
“(2) Public employers, contractors, and subcontractors.--
(a) Beginning January 1, 2021, every public employer, contractor, and subcontractor shall register with and use the E-Verify system to verify the work authorization status of all newly hired employees. A public employer, contractor, or subcontractor may not enter into a contract unless each party to the contract registers with and uses the E-Verify system.”
Private employers cannot offer an employment contract without obtaining an E-Verify certificate. Once completed, the employer must retain a copy of the certificate or any other related documents for at least 3 years after the initial date of employment. If requested by certain parties (state attorney, Attorney General, Department of Law Enforcement, etc.) the employer must provide them with proof of the employee’s eligibility.
This will not apply to any employees that were hired before then. However, any existing employment contracts that need to be renewed or extended after that date will be required to go through the verification process without going through the E-Verify process.
· Illinois does not have a statewide sick leave policy, but certain cities and counties in the state offer their own policies.
· In Chicago:
o Workers who work 80 hours within a 120 day period are covered by the city ordinance.
o Every 40 hours worked earns an hour of paid sick leave.
o Salaried employees who are exempt from overtime requirements accrue one hour per week of employment.
· Currently, Maine has no paid sick leave laws until the “Act Authorizing Earned Employee Leave” takes effect in 2021.
· The Act will require employers to allow employees to take time off for any reason, not limited to sick leave.
Gov. Janet Mills signed L.D. 369 making Maine was the first state to pass a law requiring employers to provide paid leave for any reason. The Act Authorizing Earned Employee Leave will go into effect on January 1, 2021, and it will require employers with more than 10 employees to provide employees with up to 40 hours of paid personal leave per calendar year (other than in seasonal employment). Under the Act, employees will accrue one hour of paid leave for every 40 hours worked. Unlike other paid family and sick leave laws that have been enacted around the country, Maine’s law would be the first law to allow employees to use earned paid leave for any purpose, including non-medical personal reasons. The law does not include any provisions for carryover of unused time into the following year. Although employees will begin to accrue leave at the start of employment, employers are not required to permit use of such leave before the employee has been employed for 120 days during a one-year period. Absent an emergency, illness, or other sudden necessity for taking earned leave, employees are required to give “reasonable notice” of their intention to use the leave (though the term is not further defined in the law). And, use of leave must be scheduled “to prevent undue hardship on the employer as reasonably determined by the employer.” The Act contains exceptions for employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement during the period between January 1, 2021 (the Act’s effective date) and the expiration of the agreement.
MARYLAND (Maryland Healthy Working Families Act of 2014-HB 1)
· Employers with 15 or more employees may offer one hour of leave for every 30 hours worked or 40 hours at the start of the year.
· Employers with less than 14 employees must provide unpaid sick leave.
· This law is not applicable to workers who work less than 12 hours weekly, work in agriculture, or are defined as independent contractors.
· Some counties provide their own sick leave policies.
MASSACHUSETTS (Earned Sick Time for Employees-2014)
· Employers with more than 10 employees have to provide one hour of leave for every 30 hours worked, with a cap of 40 hours.
· Employers with less than 10 employees must provide the option for unpaid sick leave.
· Under both scenarios, this time can be used if employees are ill, injured, or need time to attend to a condition for themselves or an immediate family member, including a parent.
MICHIGAN (Paid Medical Leave Act- SB 1175)
· Employees accrue one hour of sick leave for every 35 hours worked, with a maximum of 40 hours per year.
· Employers can provide all 40 hours at the beginning of the year to avoid carry-over.
NEVADA (SB 312 (2019)
· Employers with less than 50 employees do not have to provide sick leave.
· Employers with more than 50 employees must provide 40 hours of sick leave annually, however, if it is during the company’s first two years of operation they are not required to comply.
NEW JERSEY (The New Jersey Paid Sick Leave Act (AB 1827)
· Employees, including full- and part-time, earn one hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked, capped at 40 hours.
· Employers can choose to make all 40 hours available at the beginning of the benefit year.
· The state’s sick leave law preempts any municipal laws regarding the topic.
NEW YORK (Most Generous of any State )
· Two full weeks of paid sick leave are required for public and private sector workers who are forced into mandatory or cautionary quarantine due to coronavirus.
· In New York City:
o Private sector employees of companies with 5 or more employees should by law earn up to 40 hours of paid sick time a year.
o Private sector employees in smaller companies should by law receive job protection for up to 40 hours of unpaid sick time a year.
o Employees begin earning sick time as soon as they are hired, but have to work for 120 days before they are able to use the time.
OREGON (Mandatory Provision of Sick Time)
· Employers with 10 or more employees must provide 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, with a maximum of 40 hours.
· Employers with less than 10 employees must provide up to 40 hours of unpaid sick leave annually.
RHODE ISLAND (Healthy and Safe Families and Workplaces Act)
· Employers with more than 18 employees must give workers (including full-time, part-time, seasonal, and temporary employees), paid sick leave.
· For every 35 hours worked, one hour of leave is accrued.
· Employers with less than 18 employees must provide the same amount of leave, but it is unpaid.
VERMONT (Act 69)
· Employees earn one hour of paid sick leave for every 52 hours worked, with an accrual cap is 40 hours.
· Exempt employees include federal employees, independent contractors, and temporary workers who work under 20 weeks.
WASHINGTON (Paid Sick Leave - 2016)
· Employees earn one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked.
· This includes part-time and seasonal employees.
· If employees do not use all of their accrued hours, employers must carry over balances less than 40 hours.
WASHINGTON D.C. (Employees Sick Leave)
· In Washington D.C., paid sick leave time depends on the size of the employer. The law covers full-time and part-time employees.
· Employers with more than 100 employees must provide one hour of sick leave for every 37 hours worked, capped at 7 days annually.
· Businesses with 25-99 employees must provide one hour of leave for every 43 hours worked, capped at 5 days annually.
· Small employers who have less than 25 employees must provide one hour for every 87 hours worked, capped at 3 days annually.
For questions or follow up please contact K&K's Employment Law Department by contacting Jennifer Kirschenbaum,Esq at 516 747 6700 x 302 or Jennifer@Kirschenbaumesqcom
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Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum PC
Attorneys at Law
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Garden City, NY 11530
516 747 6700 x 301