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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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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New Rhode Island data security law takes effect July 2

by Timothy C. Cavazza and Matthew H. Parker

The Rhode Island Identity Theft Protection Act of 2015 will take full effect on July 2, meaning employers need to have their data security and notification policies in compliance or face serious financial consequences if even one data breach occurs.

The new law applies to employers and municipal agencies. It requires that any person or entity in Rhode Island that stores, collects, processes, maintains, acquires, uses, owns, or licenses “personal information” about a Rhode Island resident to “implement and maintain a risk-based information security program [that] contains reasonable security procedures and practices appropriate [for] the size and scope of [the] organization, the nature of the information[,] and the purpose for which the information was collected.”

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Portland, Oregon, ‘ban the box’ ordinance takes effect July 1

by Cal Keith

Employers in Portland, Oregon, need to be ready for the city’s new “ban the box” ordinance, which takes effect July 1.

The state of Oregon’s ban-the-box law took effect January 1, but Portland’s ordinance goes further than the state law.

Portland’s ordinance applies to businesses that (1) employ six or more employees and (2) have at least one employee who spends most of her time working in the city. It does not apply to law enforcement jobs, the criminal justice system, volunteer positions, or jobs for which federal, state, or local law requires criminal history to be considered.

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Colorado repeals state employment verification law

by Roger Tsai

Colorado employers soon will be relieved of their obligation to complete and maintain the state employment verification affirmation form aimed at ensuring that new hires are legally eligible for employment in the United States.

Governor John Hickenlooper signed the measure into law on June 8, and it will take effect August 10. The law also removes employers’ obligation to keep copies of documents provided by new hires to prove their identity and employment eligibility in support of the I-9 verification process.

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New West Virginia law allows hiring preference for veterans

by Thomas S. Kleeh

West Virginia will join the list of states that allow hiring preferences for veterans when a new law takes effect on June 22.

House Bill 4507 was signed into law on March 24. Its purpose is to assist veterans and disabled veterans in securing employment. The new law amends the provisions of the West Virginia Human Rights Act (WVHRA) that outline unlawful discriminatory practices by West Virginia employers. The new law also adds a section to the WVHRA setting forth the circumstances in which employers may have hiring preferences for military personnel.

“Veteran” is defined as any servicemember who has been honorably discharged after providing more than 180 consecutive days of full-time active-duty service in the U.S. armed services or reserves, including the National Guard. A veteran also may be granted preference in the hiring process if he has been issued a service-connected disability rating by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

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West Virginia joins states limiting access to employees’ social media accounts

by Tracey B. Eberling

West Virginia’s new law regulating employer access to employees’ and applicants’ personal social media accounts goes into effect June 10.

The West Virginia Internet Privacy Protection Act is aimed at protecting employees’ “personal accounts,” defined as “an account, service or profile on a social networking website that is used by an employee or potential employee exclusively for personal communications unrelated to any business purposes of the employer.”

The new law says that an employer may not: read more…

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