Arizona voters will decide minimum wage, recreational marijuana proposals

by Dinita L. James
Gonzalez Law, LLC

On August 18 and 19, two Maricopa County Superior Court judges cleared the way for two voter initiatives with significant implications for Arizona employers to appear on the November ballot. One would raise the statewide minimum hourly wage to $10 on January 1, 2017, and the other would make recreational marijuana legal for people 21 and older and establish a regulatory system like Colorado’s.

Opponents of both measures challenged the petition procedure through which hundreds of thousands of Arizona citizens had endorsed putting the proposed laws to a vote. The dismissal of both lawsuits on August 19 likely means voters will get their say on whether the two provisions will become law.

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Notice for Colorado’s new pregnancy accommodation law available

by Besse H. McDonald

The Colorado Civil Rights Division has released a suggested notice for employers to post related to the state’s new pregnancy accommodation law. Under the law, Colorado employers must post a notice of employee rights as well as provide written notice to new hires at the start of employment and existing employees no later than December 8, 2016.

The new law, which went into effect on August 10, requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to applicants and employees for health conditions related to pregnancy or physical recovery from childbirth unless doing so would impose an undue hardship on the employer. The new law’s requirements also include an obligation to engage in the interactive process to identify reasonable accommodations.

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Massachusetts passes broad new pay equity law

A new Massachusetts pay equity law going into effect on July 1, 2018, contains provisions that are much broader than current federal law and even prohibits employers from screening applicants based on their salary or wage history.

Although the law doesn’t take effect for nearly two years, employers are advised to start planning immediately in order to be in compliance on time.

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Colorado’s pregnancy accommodation law takes effect August 10

by Micah Dawson

Colorado’s new law requiring employers to engage in an interactive process to assess potential reasonable accommodations for applicants and employees with conditions related to pregnancy and childbirth will go into effect on August 10.

The new law, House Bill 16-1438, stipulates that employers must engage in the interactive process, provide reasonable accommodations for eligible individuals, prohibit retaliation against employees and applicants who request or use a pregnancy-related accommodation, and provide notice of employees’ rights under the law.

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New Arizona law allows independent contractors to declare their status

by Dinita L. James
Gonzalez Law, LLC

A new Arizona law going into effect on August 6 will allow independent contractors to provide a declaration of their independence to businesses using their services.

The law provides a form called a declaration of independent business status (DIBS) to help determine whether a worker should be classified as an independent contractor or an employee.

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Proposal calls for EEO-1 deadline to move from September 2017 to March 2018

July 14, 2016 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has announced that its proposal to collect pay data through the Employer Information Report (EEO-1) includes a change in the due date for the EEO-1 survey.

The revised proposal, published in the July 14 Federal Register, moves the deadline for employers to submit the EEO-1 survey from September 30, 2017, to March 31, 2018. According to the EEOC’s announcement, the change is to simplify reporting by allowing employers to use existing W-2 pay reports, which are calculated based on the calendar year. Employers will have until August 15, 2016, to submit written comments on the revised proposal.

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New Massachusetts law to expand transgender protection

by Stefanie M. Renaud

Massachusetts law has prohibited discrimination against transgender people in employment and housing since 2011, but a new law taking effect on October 1 will expand transgender protections to places of public accommodation.

On July 8, Governor Charles Baker signed into law a bill that prohibits discrimination against persons because of their gender identity in places of public accommodation.

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New Wisconsin law grants leave to employees donating bone marrow or organs

by Saul C. Glazer

A new Wisconsin law granting employees leave to donate bone marrow or organs takes effect July 1. It applies to private employers with 50 or more permanent employees as well as to government employers.

The new law allows employees to take up to six weeks of leave to donate organs or bone marrow. The law provides job protections to employees who donate bone marrow or a heart, lung, liver, pancreas, kidney, intestine, or other organ that requires the continuous circulation of blood to remain useful for purposes of transplantation. No more than six weeks of leave may be taken in a 12-month period, and leave may be taken only for the time necessary for the employee to undergo and recover from the donation procedure.

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Employers praise injunction blocking new ‘persuader’ rule

June 27, 2016 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

An injunction blocking the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) new “persuader” rule is drawing praise from employer interests concerned that the new rule would stifle their efforts to respond to union organizing campaigns.

The rule change was scheduled to take effect July 1, but a preliminary injunction issued June 27 prohibits enforcement pending final resolution of a lawsuit challenging the rule’s constitutionality. Senior U.S. District Judge Sam R. Cummings of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas issued the injunction after hearing arguments during a June 20 hearing. The scope of the injunction is nationwide.

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New Chicago ordinance will require employers to provide paid sick leave

by Steven L. Brenneman

On June 22, the Chicago City Council passed an ordinance that will require nearly all employers in Chicago to provide paid sick leave to employees. The ordinance, which passed 48-0 despite opposition from business and employer groups, follows the lead of similar laws in several states and more than a dozen cities. It is expected to be signed into law quickly by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and it will take effect on July 1, 2017.

The ordinance will apply to virtually all employers in Chicago, regardless of the number of employees. All businesses that have a location in the city or are subject to city licensing requirements must comply (except for employers in the construction industry).

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