As the COVID-19 pandemic presses on, privacy and security matters continue to be at the forefront for federal and state legislature. We recently reported that Washington D.C. updated its data breach notification law. Now, the Vermont legislature also amended its data breach notification law, with significant overhauls including expansion of
Articles About Vermont Labor And Employment Law.
In a landmark ruling, the Vermont Supreme Court recently held that a patient had standing to sue both the hospital at which she was a patient and the employee who attended to her, for negligent disclosure of her personal health information to a third-party. Neither the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) nor Vermont law provide for a private cause of action for damages arising from a medical provider’s disclosure of information obtained during treatment.
Vermont’s “An act relating to the prevention of sexual harassment” makes numerous changes to state law related to sexual harassment. The act provides expansive protections for both current and prospective employees and creates new restrictions and obligations for employers. The changes go into effect on July 1, 2018.
Vermont’s recreational marijuana law, which goes into effect on July 1, 2018, lifts penalties for individuals possessing limited amounts of marijuana. However, the new law does not require employers to tolerate marijuana possession or use in the workplace. Further, employers may continue to test for marijuana, though any adverse employment actions must be considered carefully for the risk of disability discrimination claims.
Vermont’s recreational marijuana law will take effect on July 1, 2018. (Click here for our previous blog summarizing this law and its impact on employers). On June 14, 2018, the Vermont Office of the Attorney General published the Guide to Vermont’s Laws on Marijuana in the Workplace. The Guide provides employers with an overview of the changes to Vermont’s marijuana laws, and summarizes existing employment laws relating to drug testing in the workplace.
The categories of individuals protected under Vermont’s anti-discrimination statute (21 V.S.A. §495) has been expanded to include crime victims.
On May 11, 2018, Vermont Governor Phil Scott signed legislation restricting employers from making salary history inquiries. The new law, H. 294, effective July 1, 2018, prohibits asking a prospective, current, or former employee about or seeking information regarding his or her compensation history. For these purposes, compensation includes base compensation, bonuses, benefits, fringe benefits, and equity-based compensation. Under the new law, employers are also prohibited from requiring that a prospective employee’s current or past compensation satisfy minimum or maximum criteria for employment. If an employer discovers a prospective employee’s salary history, the employer may not determine whether to interview the prospective employee based on this information.
Beginning July 1, 2018, employers in Vermont will be prohibited from requiring a prospective employee to disclose his or her salary and benefit history under legislation (H.B. 294) signed by Governor Phil Scott on May 11, 2018.
Vermont’s Governor Phil Scott signed a recreational marijuana law on January 22, 2018. The law is the first recreational marijuana law to be enacted by a state legislature without a ballot initiative. It will take effect on July 1, 2018.
The law prohibits an employer from requesting “criminal history record information,” including arrests, convictions, or sentences, on the initial employment application form, unless the individual is applying for a position for which state or federal law creates a mandatory or presumptive disqualification for employment, based on convictions for certain offenses, or the employer is subject to an obligation imposed by state or federal law not to employ an individual convicted of certain offenses.
On May 3, 2016, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin signed a bill into law that prohibits most employers from requesting criminal history information on an employment application. The law adds a new section to the state statutory provisions on “unlawful employment practices.” Vermont’s new law continues the nationwide “ban-the-box” trend and follows closely on the heels of similar legislation enacted in other jurisdictions, including Austin, Texas, Portland, Oregon, and New York City.1
Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin has made the Green Mountain State the most recent state in the nation to implement statewide “ban the box” legislation. Connecticut may soon follow, once Governor Dannel Malloy has sign legislation passed by the state legislature on May 4, 2016.
On March 9, 2016, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin signed House Bill 187 into law, making Vermont the third state in New England and the fifth state in the United States – after California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Oregon – to enact a state-wide paid sick leave law. Beginning on January 1, 2017, Vermont employers must allow employees to accrue and use at least 24 hours (or three days) of earned sick time in a 12-month period. Beginning January 1, 2019, employers must allow employees to accrue and use at least 40 hours (or five days) of earned sick time in a 12-month period.
If you were to ask most employers whether reporting is a core function of employee benefit plan administration, they would likely say yes, particularly as many are currently in the middle of completing IRS Forms 1094-C and 1095-C. On top of the numerous reporting requirements for group health plans imposed by IRS and other federal agencies, a number of states, including Vermont, have enacted laws that add a layer of state reporting obligations for plans, including self-funded group health plans. In what is clearly welcome news for employers and plan sponsors, this added state law burden has been lessened by yesterday’s Supreme Court decision in Gobeille v. Liberty Mutual Ins. Co., No. 14-181.
Vermont is close to becoming the fifth state, after Connecticut, California, Massachusetts, and Oregon, to mandate that employers provide their employees sick leave benefits.