$15 minimum wage clears Baltimore City Council

March 21, 2017 0 COMMENTS

by Kevin C. McCormick

On March 20, the Baltimore City Council voted 11-3 to approve a bill that would raise the city’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2022. If ultimately enacted, the minimum wage would be the highest in Maryland.

Under the proposed legislation, the minimum wage for employees working in the city would rise to $15 an hour by 2022. Businesses with fewer than 50 employees would have until 2026 to reach that threshold. There are exceptions for employees younger than 21 and workers who participate in training programs through the Baltimore Mayor’s Office of Employment Development.

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Missouri governor signs new right-to-work law

February 06, 2017 0 COMMENTS

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

As anticipated, the Missouri Legislature has once again passed a right-to-work law. However, unlike the two prior right-to-work measures passed by the legislature but vetoed by former Governor Jay Nixon, the version passed on February 2 was signed into law by newly elected Governor Eric Greitens on February 6. Missouri has now become the 28th right-to-work state.

Law’s key provisions

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New Illinois law bans noncompetition agreements for low-wage workers

December 21, 2016 0 COMMENTS

by Steven L. Brenneman

The Illinois Freedom to Work Act, which will ban noncompetition agreements for low-wage private-sector employees, goes into effect on January 1.

The law defines a “low-wage employee” as an employee who earns the greater of the applicable federal, state, or local minimum wage or $13 per hour. Therefore, the law initially will apply to noncompetition agreements with employees earning $13 per hour or less.

The law defines “covenant not to compete” broadly to mean an agreement between an employer and a low-wage employee that restricts the employee from performing: read more…

California Equal Pay Act expansion takes effect January 1

December 19, 2016 0 COMMENTS

by Cathleen S. Yonahara
Freeland Cooper & Foreman LLP

California’s equal pay law will provide protections for race and ethnicity as well as gender as of January 1, 2017.

Since 1949, California law has prohibited gender-based wage discrimination, and in 2015, that protection was expanded to require equal pay for men and women who perform “substantially similar” work for an employer regardless of their location and to place the burden of proof on the employer to demonstrate that any pay gap is due to nondiscriminatory factors.

Effective January 1, the law also will protect employees from disparities in pay based on ethnicity. The new prohibitions on wage differentials based on ethnicity track the prohibitions on wage differentials based on gender. The employer bears the burden of proving that a wage differential is based on: read more…

California’s minimum wage going up on January 1

December 12, 2016 0 COMMENTS

The minimum wage in California will rise to $10.50 an hour on January 1 for most employers thanks to a measure signed into law in April. Future incremental increases will put the state’s minimum wage at $15 an hour by January 2022 for employers with 26 or more employees. Smaller employers will have more time to reach the eventual $15 level.

The current minimum wage in California is $10 an hour. Under the new law, employers with 26 or more employees will see the minimum wage go to $10.50 on January 1, 2017.

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Changes coming to Delaware’s discrimination law

December 07, 2016 0 COMMENTS

by Lauren E.M. Russell

Changes that will expand the Delaware Discrimination in Employment Act (DDEA) to include discrimination based on family responsibilities and reproductive health decisions are set to take effect on December 30.

Under the revised law, it will be unlawful for a covered Delaware employer to discriminate against employees because of their family responsibilities. “Family responsibilities” are defined as “the obligations of an employee to care for any family member who would qualify as a covered family member under the Family and Medical Leave Act [FMLA].”

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Stricter workplace smoking law taking effect in California

December 01, 2016 0 COMMENTS

by Jim Brown
Sedgwick LLP

A new law expanding smoking restrictions in California workplaces is set to take effect on January 1.

State law previously restricted smoking in places of employment based on “enclosed space” areas. In addition to requiring signage, California Labor Code Section 6404.5 provided a list of exceptions or exemptions from the definition of “place of employment.”

The new law, Assembly Bill 7, amends Labor Code Section 6404.5 to, among other things, eliminate the specified exemptions from “place of employment” for hotel lobby and bar areas, taverns, banquet rooms, warehouse facilities, and employee break rooms. Before Assembly Bill 7, local jurisdictions could enact rules prohibiting smoking in those areas, but no statewide law required such a ban.

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Maryland equal pay law will take effect October 1

September 08, 2016 0 COMMENTS

by Kevin C. McCormick

Maryland’s new Equal Pay for Equal Work Act, which takes effect on October 1, will prohibit employers from providing less than favorable employment opportunities to or discriminating against employees by paying different rates based on their sex or gender identity.

Under the new law, which was signed by Governor Lawrence Hogan in May, employers will be prohibited from relying on sex or gender identity to assign or direct employees into less favorable career tracks or positions. Employers also will be prohibited from failing to provide information about promotions or advancement in the full range of careers or career tracks offered, and they will not be able to limit or deprive employees of employment opportunities that would otherwise be available to them.

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New Arizona law allows independent contractors to declare their status

July 25, 2016 0 COMMENTS

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 Wisconsin law grants leave to employees donating bone marrow or organs

June 29, 2016 0 COMMENTS

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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