Not so fast—Judge strikes down Pittsburgh’s paid sick leave ordinance

by Gregory J. Wartman

In November, we reported that Pittsburgh had enacted a paid sick time ordinance for employees working in the city that was scheduled to take effect January 11, 2016 (see “Pittsburgh passes ordinance requiring paid sick time”). On December 21, 2015, a Pennsylvania judge struck down the ordinance, ruling that it is “invalid unenforceable.”

As we reported in November, the Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association and others filed a lawsuit against the city of Pittsburgh to bar it from implementing the ordinance, which would have entitled workers within the city to up to 40 hours of paid sick time per year. They contended that the Pittsburgh City Council lacked the authority to pass and enforce the law.

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New York Women’s Equality Act takes effect January 19

by Edward O. Sweeney

Several new laws that are part of New York’s Women’s Equality Act take effect on January 19, meaning employers need to understand the new protections related to equal pay, sexual harassment, and familial and pregnancy discrimination in the workplace.  Manager Balancing Out A Female And A Male Worker

One of the new laws amends New York state’s Labor Law § 194, commonly referred to as the Equal Pay Law. The law already requires employers to pay men and women equally for the same work unless they can show that the difference in pay is based on a seniority system, a merit system, a quantity or quality metric, or “any factor other than sex.” The new law replaces the “any factor other than sex” requirement with a “bona fide factor other than sex” requirement.

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Categories: HR Hero Alerts / New York

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New year brings new minimum wage, posting requirements in Portland

by Peter Lowe

A new year means different things for different people, but for Portland employers, the first of the year means a new hike in the minimum wage along with related posting requirements.

The new minimum wage, set at $10.10 per hour for all employees, comes as the result of a municipal ordinance passed in July that went into effect January 1. The ordinance also mandates a wage increase in 2017 (to $10.68) and annual adjustments based on the Consumer Price Index for all years 2018 and beyond.

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Time for California employers to be ready for $10 minimum wage

by Elizabeth J. Boca

The minimum wage in California will increase from $9 to $10 an hour as of January 1. Employers must understand that paying the higher minimum wage alone doesn’t satisfy their obligations because the upcoming increase will spark a domino effect in various compliance areas.  monimum wage increase ahead

Exempt “white-collar” employees. Each time the state minimum wage increases, so does the minimum salary required for exempt white-collar employees. Under Labor Code Section 515, to qualify as exempt from overtime as an executive, administrative, or professional employee, a worker must earn a monthly salary equivalent to at least two times the state minimum wage for full-time employment totaling 40 hours per week, or 2,080 hours per year.

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Texas employers need to be ready for new open carry law

by Laurianne Balkum

A new Texas law allowing individuals with a concealed handgun license to openly carry a gun in a shoulder or hip holster takes effect January 1, but many employers will find they are able to restrict the open carrying of handguns if they so desire.

The new law allows individuals to openly carry handguns in public places, but private places may prohibit handguns. Employers that are private businesses can create and enforce handbook policies that prohibit the carrying (concealed or open) of guns into their workplace.

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Categories: HR Hero Alerts / Texas

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New Oregon data security law takes effect January 1

by Joanna Perini-Abbott

Oregon’s expanded data breach law will take effect January 1, making two significant changes to the old law—a notification requirement and a change in the definition of “personal information.”  Lock that Data Down

Like the old law, the new law requires businesses that maintain personal information digitally, including information about employees, to notify Oregon residents whose electronically stored information has been compromised as soon as the breach is discovered.

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California school activities leave expansion starts January 1

by Cathleen S. Yonahara

California’s law allowing unpaid time off for employees to participate in their children’s school or daycare activities will be expanded effective January 1.

Current law requires employers with 25 or more employees to provide unpaid leave to employees who are a parent, guardian, or grandparent with custody of one or more children who are in kindergarten or grades 1 through 12 or are attending a licensed daycare facility. Employers must provide employees up to 40 hours of unpaid leave each year, not to exceed eight hours in a calendar month, to participate in school or daycare activities.

The new law expands the reasons for which employees can take leave to include (1) to find or enroll or reenroll their child in a school or with a licensed childcare provider and (2) to address a childcare provider or school emergency. “Childcare provider or school emergency” is broadly defined to mean that an employee’s child can’t remain in school or with a childcare provider because of one of the following reasons: read more…

End of 2015 marks beginning of New York’s fast-food wage increases

by Angelo D. Catalano

The first of a series of minimum wage increases for fast-food workers in New York is set to begin on December 31.  Counter Girl Serving

The increases survived a challenge from the National Restaurant Association when the New York Industrial Board of Appeals decided on December 9 that the state’s action to raise wages for fast-food employees was lawful. The restaurant organization, however, isn’t giving up and has vowed to take the issue to court, according to news reports.

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New Orleans Living Wage Ordinance takes effect January 1

by P.J. Kee

Employers doing business with the city of New Orleans must pay employees at least $10.10 per hour and provide them at least seven days of paid leave per year after the city’s living wage law takes effect January 1.

The ordinance applies to city contractors, subcontractors, and grant recipients. A “contractor” is covered “if it enters into one or more city contracts where the annual value of payments under all such city contracts is (or is projected to be) $25,000 or more.” A “subcontractor” is covered during the time it is associated with a covered contractor or grant recipient. A “grant recipient,” also termed a “beneficiary,” is any person or entity that receives more than $100,000 in municipal funds “for the purpose of promoting economic development, community development, job retention, or job growth.”

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New law removes ‘alien’ from California Labor Code

by Elizabeth J. Boca

A California law taking effect on January 1 removes the word “alien” from the state’s Labor Code. The new law deletes two sections of the Labor Code as a way of modernizing and removing negative connotations in the law.

In 1937, the California Legislature enacted various provisions regarding the employment of “aliens,” defined as any person who isn’t a born or fully naturalized citizen of the United States. The legislature also enacted a provision that prescribes an order for the issuance of employment under specific public-works contracts—first to citizens of California, second to citizens of other states of the United States, and third to aliens.

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