Missouri right-to-work law set to take effect

by Bob Kaiser, Daniel O’Toole, and Jeremy Brenner

Missouri’s right-to-work law will take effect on August 28. The law was passed by the legislature and signed by Governor Eric Greitens in February.

Here are some key provisions of the law: read more…

Tip-sharing law set to take effect in New Hampshire

by Jim Reidy

A New Hampshire law set to take effect September 3 makes clear that employees who receive tips may pool their tips and share them with coworkers who don’t receive tips. For example, restaurant servers will be free to share tips with hosts and hostesses.

Even though Senate Bill 37, which was signed by Governor Chris Sununu on July 5, allows tip sharing, employers won’t be allowed to require employees to participate in a tip-sharing arrangement, just as employers may not require employees who receive tips to share tips with each other now. Employees must participate in tip-sharing arrangements voluntarily and “without coercion.”

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UAW’s effort to unionize Mississippi Nissan workers fails

by Martin J. RegimbalMartin Regimbal 1 column

Workers at the Nissan auto plant in Canton, Mississippi, rejected a unionization effort by the United Auto Workers (UAW) on August 3-4, leaving intact the union’s record of unsuccessful organizing attempts at foreign-owned auto plants in the South.

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Employer-friendly changes on the way for Missouri’s antidiscrimination law

by Daniel K. O’Toole

Changes seen as making the Missouri Human Rights Act (MHRA) more “employer-friendly” are set to take effect on August 28.

One of the changes will eliminate individual liability for supervisors and specify that only employers may be held liable for discrimination. The previous law allowed employees alleging discrimination to sue both the employer and any supervisory employee who allegedly discriminated against them.

Also, the new law excludes any entity that is owned or operated by a religious organization from the definition of “employer.” The change will presumably exclude from suit, for example, entities such as religious charities or hospitals operated by religious orders. Under previous law, entities were exempt if they were owned and operated by a religious order, which became a difficult standard to meet.

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Massachusetts ruling opens door to discrimination suits over medical marijuana

Hero Line marijuanaby Erica E. Flores

A new ruling from the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court should be a warning to employers in the state that refuse to tolerate medical marijuana use by employees with a disability.

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Texas Supreme Court balks at extending spousal benefits to same-sex couples

by Jacob Monty
Monty & Ramirez, LLP

The Texas Supreme Court ruled this week that the City of Houston’s extension of its employee benefits to married same-sex couples goes further than is required by the 2015 U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, which declared same-sex marriage equal in all 50 states. The plaintiffs in Friday’s decision argued that Obergefell didn’t impose on taxpayers the obligation to “subsidize” same-sex marriage. The city argued that the Supreme Court ruling requires it to treat employees in same-sex marriage equally.

In what same-sex marriage opponents are calling a victory, the Texas Supreme Court sent the case back to the lower court for arguments to be made in light of Obergefell, which was announced only after the parties had briefed the case in the lower court. The court stated: read more…

West Virginia’s ‘second chance’ law takes effect July 7

by John R. Merinar, Jr.

The West Virginia Second Chance for Employment Act, which is aimed at encouraging employers to open the doors of opportunity to certain nonviolent criminal offenders, will become law on July 7.

The new law will allow individuals with certain criminal convictions the opportunity to petition the courts to change their records to show a reduction of their offenses from felonies to misdemeanors. The legislation also includes certain protections for employers that hire applicants with criminal convictions.

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Changes to Iowa unemployment benefits coming July 1

by Tara Z. Hall

Several changes related to unemployment benefits in Iowa are set to take effect July 1. The changes are seen as beneficial to employers.

Unemployment and incarceration

An amendment to the Iowa Employment Security Act (IESA) adds a new subsection to the Iowa Code that provides that an employee will be disqualified from receiving benefits if he misses work because of incarceration unless the following four factors are satisfied: read more…

Seattle scheduling law to take effect July 1

by Chelsea Petersen and Stephanie Holstein

An ordinance affecting how large retail and food services employers in Seattle schedule workers is set to take effect July 1.

The ordinance applies to employers in the retail and food services industries (defined broadly to include restaurants, food trucks, bars, and caterers) with 500 or more employees worldwide or, for franchises, within the franchise network. In addition to the 500-employee requirement, full-service restaurants (that is, restaurants where patrons order and are served while seated) are covered by the ordinance only if they have 40 or more physical locations.

Covered employers will have to comply with numerous requirements: read more…

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Iowa workers’ comp changes coming July 1

by Tara Hall and Rebecca Duffy

Changes to Iowa’s workers’ compensation law—changes seen as mostly beneficial to employers—are set to take effect July 1.

The employer-friendly changes to the state’s workers’ comp law include a new provision classifying shoulder injuries as scheduled-member injuries rather than body-as-a-whole injuries, which force an industrial disability analysis. Another change limits compensation for body-as-a-whole injuries to functional disability when the employee returns to work or is offered work at the same or higher pay than he earned at the time of the injury. Another employer-friendly provision places burdens regarding an offer of suitable work on both the employer and the employee.

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