- When Pennies Become Thousands of Dollars: Are Courts Eroding the De Minimis Rule?
- The Pendulum Swings Again: DOL Proposes “New” Independent Contractor Rule
- California Poised to Join States with Robust Pay Transparency Laws
- Compliance Steps For Cos. After Mich. LGBTQ Bias Ruling
- Department of Labor Proposes New Rule on Nondisplacement of Qualified Workers under Service Contracts
- States Push for Pay Equity and Transparency Laws
- Restaurant and Hospitality Employers Beware: The Fight Over the 80/20 Rule Continues
- How a Bonus Might Cause Unexpected Liability for an Employer
- White House Task Force Issues Recommendations to Promote Unionization
- Are Your Employees Entitled to Expense Reimbursements When Working from Home? The Answer Is Not as Straightforward as You Might Think
- Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
- Department of Labor (DOL)
- Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
- Minimum Wage
- Exempt Status
- White Collar
- Independent Contractor
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
- Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
- Home Health Care
- Attorney Fees
- Interns and Internships
- Nondiscretionary Bonus
- Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA)
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
- November 2022
- October 2022
- September 2022
- August 2022
- June 2022
- May 2022
- April 2022
- March 2022
- February 2022
- December 2020
- June 2020
- January 2020
- October 2019
- September 2019
- April 2019
- March 2019
- December 2018
- August 2018
- May 2018
- April 2018
- March 2018
- January 2018
- December 2017
- November 2017
- September 2017
- August 2017
- June 2017
- February 2017
- December 2016
- November 2016
- August 2016
- July 2016
- June 2016
- May 2016
- March 2016
- February 2016
- January 2016
- December 2015
- November 2015
- September 2015
- August 2015
- July 2015
- June 2015
- April 2015
- March 2015
- February 2015
- December 2014
- September 2014
- May 2014
- April 2014
- March 2014
- September 2013
- February 2013
The holiday season is the perfect time to reflect on the prior year and plan for the upcoming one. In 2018, a spotlight was directed at sexual harassment issues, leading to significant upcoming changes in some states’ employment laws. Likewise, mandatory paid sick leave became a major 2018 issue that has led to changes for many employers.
Even more changes will soon become effective in 2019, and now is the time to review employee handbooks, payroll policies, and training programs to ensure compliance with the changing labor and employment laws. Here are just a few highlights for employers to consider in 2019:
Minimum Wages Rise
A number of states and localities across the US are increasing the minimum wages for both regular and tipped employees. Some of the larger increases taking effect in states on January 1, 2019 include the following:
2018 Tipped Minimum Wage
2019 Tipped Minimum Wage
Paid Sick Leave Policies
Michigan joined the growing ranks of states to implement mandatory paid sick leave policies for employers. Effective April 1, 2019, Michigan’s Paid Medical Leave Act will apply to companies that employ 50 or more individuals. An eligible employee will accrue paid leave at a rate of 1 hour for every 35 hours worked. Alternatively, an employer may frontload at least 40 hours of paid sick leave at the beginning of the benefit year. Employers may limit the use of paid sick leave by an employee to 40 hours per benefit year.
Sexual Harassment Prevention and Confidentiality Provisions
California has expanded its mandatory sexual-harassment-prevention training law to businesses with 5 or more employees, requiring employers to comply by January 1, 2020. Employers must provide at least 2 hours of sexual-harassment-prevention training to supervisory employees and 1 hour of training to all other employees, then provide additional training every two years after.
In 2018, New York employers were required to update anti-sexual-harassment policies and conduct annual sexual-harassment-prevention trainings for all employees.
States like California and New York have passed laws affecting confidentiality provisions in sexual-harassment settlement agreements. Effective January 1, 2019, California will prohibit provisions that prevent the disclosure of factual information related to sexual harassment, discrimination, and assault, or retaliation against a person for reporting sexual harassment or discrimination. In New York, the parties must establish that the confidentiality provision is the complainant’s preference by giving the complainant a 21-day waiting period to sign the agreement and a 7-day revocation period.
Accommodation and Gender Equity Moves
California aligned its lactation-accommodation law to be consistent with federal law, requiring that a lactation space cannot be a bathroom.
California now requires that publicly traded companies appoint a certain number of women to their boards of directors. Covered companies must have at least one female on their board by the end of 2019, and two or three females depending on board size by the end of 2021.
Awaiting Overtime Rules
On the federal level, employers are still awaiting the Department of Labor’s announcement on rules concerning overtime and the salary level for the “white collar” exemptions. An announcement of a new rule is anticipated in 2019.
For New York employers, the salary threshold for exempt “administrative” or “executive” employees will change on December 31, 2018 to the following:
- For New York City employers with 11 or more employees, the threshold will increase from $975 per week ($50,700 annually) to $1,125 per week ($58,500 annually).
- For New York City employers with 10 or fewer employees, the threshold will increase from $900 per week ($46,800 annually) to $1,012.50 per week ($52,650).
- For Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester county employers, the threshold will increase from $825 per week ($42,900 annually) to $900 per week ($46,800 annually).
- For the other cities and counties in New York, the threshold will increase from $780 per week ($40,560 annually) to $832 per week ($43,264 annually).
Likewise, the salary requirement for exempt employees will also increase in California. To be considered an exempt executive, administrative, or professional employee in California, employers will now need to pay a minimum salary of $49,920 per year.
As 2019 brings more changes, the Employer’s Wage and Hour Advisor and the Labor and Employment attorneys at Honigman will continue to provide you updates on laws and decisions that may impact your business. May 2019 bring you continued success, joy, and compliance!