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ten most recent state employment law articles Ten Most Recent State Law Articles

New York City Earned Sick Time Act Updates Take Effect: New Policies and Notices to Employees Required

FordHarrison LLP • May 24, 2018
Executive Summary: In November, the New York City Council passed a law amending the Earned Sick Time Act, changing the name to the Earned Safe and Sick Time Act (ESSTA), and allowing employees to use paid time off under ESSTA if they or their family members are victims of domestic violence and other family offenses. The changes came into effect on May 5, 2018. Employers need to immediately update their sick time policies to reflect the change and distribute the new “Notice of Employee Rights” to all their employees by June 4, 2018.

Connecticut's New Pay Equity Bill Prohibits Questions Regarding Prospective Employees' Wage and Salary History

Littler Mendelson, P.C. • May 23, 2018
Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy signed Public Act No. 18-8, “An Act Concerning Pay Equity,” into law on May 22, 2018, making Connecticut the sixth state to prohibit employers from asking applicants about salary history. California, Delaware, Massachusetts, Oregon and Vermont had previously adopted similar bans. The new Connecticut law will permit applicants to file lawsuits for damages and other remedies.

Vermont Requires Gender-Neutral Bathrooms

XpertHR • May 23, 2018
A new Vermont law will result in more gender-free restrooms. Beginning July 1, 2018, single-user restrooms in public buildings or places of public accommodation must be available for use by persons of any gender.

Missouri’s Right-to-Work Bill: Not as Soon as the Legislature Intended but Perhaps Sooner Than the Unions Want

Ogletree Deakins • May 22, 2018
In February of 2017, Missouri Governor Eric Greitens signed Senate Bill 19, which was intended to make Missouri the 28th right-to-work state in the United States. Senate Bill 19 was scheduled to take effect on August 28, 2017. In response, unions mounted petition drives and filed signatures in support of Referendum Petition 2018-R002 with the Missouri secretary of state. To be valid, this petition was required to have been signed by at least five percent of the registered voters in six of Missouri’s eight congressional districts. On November 22, 2017, Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft issued a certificate of sufficiency declaring that Referendum Petition 2018-R002 had received the requisite number of signatures and that Missouri voters would decide whether to enact a right-to-work law in November 2018 (unless a different date was designated by the Missouri General Assembly). Right to work will become the law of Missouri only if ratified by a majority of the Missouri electorate, as is required by Article III, Section 52(b) of the Missouri Constitution.

Rhode Island Paid Sick and Safe Time Rules Raise as Many Questions as They Answer

Littler Mendelson, P.C. • May 21, 2018
On May 11, 2018, the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training finalized regulations concerning the state’s mandatory paid sick and safe time law,1 the Healthy and Safe Families and Workplaces Act (HSFWA). The regulations clarify some issues like business size and pay rate calculations and fill some gaps left by the enacting statutes. Yet the regulations fail to provide sufficient clarification on certain issues and interpret some more common provisions in a novel way that may leave employers scratching their heads.

Share The Patchwork of States Prohibiting Salary History Inquiries Grows to Include Vermont and Likely Connecticut

Ogletree Deakins • May 20, 2018
Vermont and likely Connecticut will soon join California, Delaware, Massachusetts, Oregon, and Puerto Rico (along with various cities and counties) in prohibiting salary history inquiries.

NYC Employers Must Take Immediate Steps to Comply with Expanded Sick Leave Law

Fisher Phillips • May 18, 2018
New York City recently expanded its paid sick leave law to provide protected time off to employees who are the victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, or human trafficking and to broaden the definition of a covered family member. The expansions to the city’s sick leave law, now dubbed the NYC Earned Safe and Sick Time Act (the “Act”) took effect May 5, 2018. Employers must take immediate steps to comply with the expanded law.

Sexual Harassment Claims Gain More Transparency Under Maryland Law, Uber Policy

XpertHR • May 18, 2018
The #MeToo movement revealed that a culture of sexual harassment thrives in secrecy and that bringing sexual harassment and misconduct claims to light is essential to ending these unlawful practices. To that end, Congress disallowed taking as a business deduction the cost of any settlement of a sexual harassment case that includes a nondisclosure agreement and many states, like New York, are enacting new laws targeting employers that hide sexual harassment settlements.

A Tale of Two Judges: Lack of Binding Precedent on Arbitration Agreements Causes Uncertainty for Rhode Island Employers

Ogletree Deakins • May 16, 2018
Can two judges on the same court reach contradictory conclusions about the enforceability of the same arbitration agreement presented to two employees in the same manner? In Rhode Island, the answer is yes, as the U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island’s recent decisions in Conduragis v. Prospect CharterCARE, LLC and Britto v. St. Joseph Health Services of Rhode Island demonstrate. These decisions underscore the leeway that trial courts in Rhode Island have when ruling on the enforceability of arbitration agreements—and the resulting uncertainty that employers face when drafting such agreements.

Are You Big Brother? You Are If You Use Electronic Monitoring!

Brody and Associates, LLC • May 16, 2018
In Connecticut, if you are an employer and engage in electronic monitoring you must post a notice to employees of the monitoring. But, what is electronic monitoring?