New provisions of New Hampshire’s equal pay law take effect January 1

by Jeanine Poole

Eight sections of New Hampshire’s Protective Legislation (RSA 275:37, 38, 38-a, 40, 41-a, 41-b, 41-c, and 41-d) will be modified effective January 1, 2015. RSA 275:37 will prohibit employers and persons seeking employees from discriminating between employees on the basis of sex by paying employees of one sex less than employees of the other sex for equal work that (1) requires equal skill, effort, and responsibility and (2) is performed under similar working conditions.

There are exceptions that permit different wage rates when the different payment is made pursuant to: read more…

Categories: New Hampshire

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Proposed West Virginia regulations spell change to wage and hour landscape

by Rodney Bean

The West Virginia Division of Labor (DOL) has proposed emergency regulations that, if enforced in their present form, could force West Virginia employers to change by December 31 a number of common wage and hour practices that comply with long-standing federal regulations.

Although the state DOL’s emergency rules purport to adopt vast portions of federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulations, they simultaneously impose several new rules that contradict or otherwise differ from those same federal regulations, particularly as they relate to the determination of what constitutes compensable working time.

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New laws affecting Illinois employers take effect January 1

by Steven L. Brenneman

Illinois employers need to be aware of a few new laws taking effect January 1.

Ban the box

One of the new laws, the Job Opportunities for Qualified Applicants Act, prohibits most private-sector employers and employment agencies with 15 or more employees from asking applicants about their criminal histories and conducting criminal background checks until after they are deemed qualified for a job.

Under the law, employers may not inquire about, consider, or require disclosure of an applicant’s criminal record or criminal history until he has been deemed qualified for a position and has been notified that he has been selected for an interview. If there is no interview, the employer may not inquire into the applicant’s criminal record or criminal history until after making a conditional offer of employment.

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Delaware businesses get new recordkeeping obligations

by Molly DiBianca and Lauren Russell

Delaware’s new law related to the safe destruction of documents containing personal identifying information will take effect on January 1.

The law requires commercial entities to take all reasonable steps to destroy a consumer’s personal identifying information within the business’s custody and control when the information is no longer to be retained. Destruction includes shredding, erasing, or otherwise destroying or modifying the personal identifying information to make it entirely unreadable or indecipherable through any means.

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New California law on immigrant discrimination takes effect January 1

by Alka Ramchandani

A new California law taking effect January 1 clarifies a previous law prohibiting immigrant-related discrimination.

Last year, a law creating California Labor Code Section 1019 was enacted. That law makes it unlawful for an employer or any other person to engage in—or direct another person to engage in—any “unfair immigration-related practice” against a worker in retaliation for exercising a legal right.

Unfair immigration-related practices include requesting more or different documents than are required under law, threatening to file a false police report, using the federal E-Verify system to check the status of an employee in a time and manner not required by law, or threatening to contact immigration authorities.

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New Jersey cities getting paid sick leave laws

by Kevin J. Skelly

Paid sick leave laws are gaining ground in New Jersey, as new laws in several cities are scheduled to take effect in the coming weeks and months.

Paterson, Irvington, Passaic, Newark, East Orange, Jersey City, Trenton, and Montclair have passed laws either in city councils or, in the case of Trenton and Montclair, in the November general election.

Jersey City was the first city in the state to pass a paid sick time law, with its law going into effect in January 2014. Newark’s law took effect in May. The laws in Paterson, Irvington, East Orange, and Passaic go into effect in January 2015. Voters in Trenton and Montclair passed versions of a paid sick leave law in the November election, and their laws are to take effect March 4.

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Colorado wage theft protection law takes effect in January

by Emily Hobbs-Wright

Most provisions of Colorado’s new Wage Protection Act, which establishes an administrative procedure to adjudicate wage claims under state law, will take effect January 1.

The law means that for wages and compensation earned on or after January 1, 2015, the Colorado Division of Labor may receive complaints and adjudicate claims for nonpayment of wages or compensation of $7,500 or less. A written demand for unpaid wages may come from or on behalf of an employee and is satisfied if a notice of complaint filed with the division is sent to the employer.

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Categories: Colorado

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Chicago City Council raises minimum wage

by Steven L. Brenneman

With a mayoral election looming and opponents challenging him from the left, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel pushed through a Chicago ordinance that will gradually increase the minimum wage to $13 per hour by 2019. Currently, the state minimum wage is $8.25 per hour. The new Chicago ordinance, passed December 2, establishes a $10-per-hour minimum wage on July 1, 2015. Increases of 50 cents per hour would be imposed in 2016 and 2017. After that, $1-per-hour increases would take effect in 2018 and 2019, with inflation-based increases thereafter.

The ordinance also raises the minimum wage for tipped employees by $1 over two years from the current state minimum of $4.95 to $5.45 as of July 1, 2015, and $5.95 as of July 1, 2016, to be indexed to inflation thereafter.

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Part of once-delayed ACA employer mandate takes effect January 1

by Douglas R. Chamberlain

Employers got a reprieve in 2014 on a key mandate incorporated in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), but the new effective date for many employers is now set for January 1, 2015.

The ACA generally provides that all employers with 50 or more employees who work 30 or more hours per week must offer their employees health insurance coverage. This “employer mandate” was originally slated to take effect January 1, 2014, but during 2013, the Obama administration delayed the effective date to 2015.

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Rochester ban-the-box law to take effect November 18

by Edward O. Sweeney

Rochester, New York, will become the latest city to restrict employers’ ability to ask applicants about their criminal history when its ban-the-box ordinance takes effect November 18.

Since many employers are hesitant to hire applicants with criminal histories, states and cities have begun passing laws that restrict employers from including a check box on applications requiring applicants to disclose arrests and convictions.

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