As the new year approaches, employers across the United States scramble to become compliant with local and state employment laws.
These laws typically carry heavy penalties, often double the cost of damages and they often assume employer guilt without heavy documentation on the employer’s part.
This article first appeared on the SwipeClock blog.
The purpose of this article is to provide a brief overview of many of the employment-related laws that take effect.
California Employment Laws in 2018
Employers in California will need to abide by the Equal Pay Act (AB 46), which has been amended to include both public and private employers. Employers will also be prohibited against requesting salary information to applicants (AB 168) and ban the box (AB 1008) prohibits employers from asking for criminal history until after a job applicant has a conditional offer of employment.
A new anti-discriminatory law (AB 1710) prohibits discrimination against service members. California’s Parental Leave (SB 63) has been updated to include employers with 20+ employers and employees with 12 weeks of unpaid leave.
California’s new laws (SB 396) also include prohibition against discrimination for gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation. Emeryville’s new advanced scheduling ordinance starts a hard enforcement on January 1, 2018.
Delaware Employment Laws 2018
In Delaware, employers will be prohibited against screening job applicants based on their pay history (HS 1). They will also be banned from seeking an applicant’s pay history for both the applicant’s current and previous jobs.
Illinois Employment Laws in 2018
Starting January 1, employers will be prohibited against disciplining an employee who responds to an emergency text or phone call during working hours when their volunteer emergency services are needed.
Massachusetts Employment Laws in 2018
The new Equal Pay Act (SB 2119) prohibits paying a lower rate to employees of a different gender who has comparable work. It also bans salary history inquiries for new applicants and bans employers from prohibiting sharing wage information.
Additionally, SB 3680 requires employers to make reasonable accommodations for pregnant employees and employees who need to pump breast milk.
Minnesota Employment Laws in 2018
St Paul recently released their final rules for sick and safe time ordinance. The law is already in place.
Nevada Employment Laws in 2018
Employers in Nevada must now grant up to 160 hours each year to employees who are victims of domestic violence. The law includes family members so employees who have a family member who is a victim must also be provided with leave. In addition, employers must reasonably accommodate these employees with modified work hours or new work numbers.
New York Employment Laws in 2018
Paid Family Leave goes into effect in 2018, and phases in over the next 3 years. Employees get up to 8 weeks of paid leave in 2018 and will get up to 12 weeks once it’s completely phased in. New York City prohibits employers from requesting an applicant’s salary history (No 1253).
The city also expanded its Sick Leave Law to include Safe Time to victims of domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault and human trafficking. Additionally NYC also passed a series of Secure Scheduling Laws for fast food and retail employees.
Ohio Employment Laws in 2018
A new law in Ohio requires employers to electronically submit quarterly contribution, payroll, and wage reports. SwipeClock makes this easy!
Oregon Employment Laws in 2018
A new Oregon law (HB 3008) prohibits employers from compelling employees to falsify documents regarding hours worked and compensation received. Employers who violate th is law are subject to private action, payment of actual damages, penalties, fees and costs. Using SwipeClock’s timekeeping software makes this a non-issue for employers.
In addition Oregon also amended their paid sick leave law to allow caps on accrual and add additional clarifications. Lastly Oregon became the first state to pass restrictive scheduling laws for all large employers in retail, hospitality and food services.
Puerto Rico Employment Laws in 2018
Puerto Rico passed two equal pay laws (16-2017 and 61-201). These laws ban employers from seeking salary history from applicants and prohibit pay discrimination among employees performing comparable work. They also require government contractors to comply with the equal pay laws.
Rhode Island Employment Laws in 2018
Rhode Island passed a paid sick leave law that allows up to 24 hours of paid sick leave in 2018. The sick leave accrual increases over the next few years.
Vermont Employment Laws in 2018
Pregnancy Accommodations became mandatory in Vermont with HB 136, which makes it illegal for employers to refuse to provide reasonable accommodations for pregnant employees.
Washington Employment Laws in 2018
Paid Family Leave is an important law for employers to prepare for. Although it doesn’t start in 2018, employers should start preparing for the law. It will provide up to 12 weeks of protected leave, but it doesn’t completely correspond to Federal FMLA.
Employers will need to understand the law and train managers around it. Additionally the state’s paid sick leave law starts on Jan 1 and will allow employees to earn 1 hour of sick leave for every 40 hours worked.