State & Local Employment Law Developments: Q2 2022

Alabama

Leave Benefits for Adoption: Alabama’s Adoption Promotion Act (the Act) takes effect on July 1, 2022 and requires employers with 50 or more employees to provide eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid family leave for the birth or adoption of a child. The Act also mandates that employers who provide paid leave benefits and additional leave considerations for the birth of a child provide similar benefits for adoption.

Marketplace Contractors: Effective July 1, 2022, marketplace contractors are not considered employees under workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance laws (if certain conditions are met). Marketplace contractors are persons/entities who enter into agreements with marketplace platforms to be connected with third parties seeking services — such as drivers for Uber and Lyft.

Arizona

Expansion of Employer Definition under Sexual Harassment Discrimination: Arizona enacted a change to the sexual harassment provisions of existing employment discrimination law, so that the law applies to any employers or their agents who commit sexual harassment or retaliate against someone for reporting it.

California

San Francisco Family Friendly Workplace: An ordinance will take effect on July 12, 2022 that requires employers to engage in an interactive process with employees who request a flexible or predictable working arrangement and provides additional protections for employees who make such requests.

West Hollywood Paid Sick Leave: Effective July 1, 2022, covered employers must provide up to 96 hours per year for paid sick leave, vacation or personal time. If employees use all 96 hours of paid leave in this category, they are entitled to an additional 80 hours of unpaid sick leave for the employee’s or immediate family member’s illness.

Colorado

Disclosure of Employee Mental Health Records: A Colorado law took effect on June 8, 2022 that prohibits employers from disclosing employee mental health records unless it is reasonably necessary for the medical evaluation/adjustment/adjudication of relevant claims or is ordered by an administrative law judge or the Colorado Division of Workers’ Compensation.

Agricultural Worker Heat Illness and Injury Protections: Beginning May 1, 2022, employers of agricultural workers must abide by Colorado’s heat illness and injury rules, which apply when the weather is forecasted to be 80 degrees or higher.

Screening for Juvenile Court Information: Colorado passed a law prohibiting employers from requiring applicants of any age to disclose information related to juvenile arrests, detention or any other court disposition that occurred while the applicant was subject to juvenile court jurisdiction. Limited exceptions apply.

Connecticut

Protections for Employee Freedom of Speech and Conscience: Beginning July 1, 2022, employers are prohibited from disciplining, discharging or threatening to discipline/discharge any employee for declining to listen to a speech or go to a meeting where the main purpose is conveying a political or religious opinion of the employer. Political opinions under An Act Protecting Employee Freedom of Speech and Conscience are defined to include matters relating to labor organizations.

Employment Provisions of Recreational Marijuana Law: Provisions of Connecticut’s recreational marijuana law related to employment take effect on July 1, 2022. These provisions address an employer’s rights to prohibit employee possession/use of marijuana, accommodate employee possession/use of marijuana, take adverse action against an employee for the use of marijuana, and conduct testing for marijuana. The law establishes employees’/prospective employees’ right to file a civil suit in state court within 90 days of the violation.

Protections for Victims of Domestic Violence: Connecticut enacted Public Act 22-82, which prohibits employment discrimination against victims of domestic violence and mandates that employers provide reasonable accommodation to employees for seeking services/medical attention related to domestic violence. This law will take effect on October 1, 2022.

Delaware

Paid Family and Medical Leave Law Enacted: Delaware has enacted the Healthy Delaware Families Act, which will provide up to 12 weeks of leave and benefits to eligible employees. Employer and employee contributions to the Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program will begin on January 1, 2025, and job-protected paid leave will begin on January 1, 2026.

Florida

Limitations on Employee Diversity Training: Effective July 1, 2022, Florida employers are prohibited from requiring training that promotes the idea that certain concepts constitute discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color or national origin. Such concepts may still be presented in training if it is in an objective manner that does not endorse the concepts.

Exceptions for Support of Independent Contractors in Emergency Situations: Effective July 1, 2022, Florida employers are shielded from employer misclassification lawsuits when the claims arise from certain employer actions supporting independent contractors during a state of emergency or public health emergency (such as providing PPE to independent contractors).

Georgia

New Test for Independent Contractors (Unemployment Law): Effective July 1, 2022, workers will be presumed to be employees under Georgia unemployment law unless the worker is (and will continue to be) free from the employer’s control and direction, and is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, profession or business. The law includes more details on the definition of employment, certain exemptions and civil penalties available.

Employee Firearm Rights: An amendment to Georgia firearm law took effect on April 12, 2022, prohibiting employers from conditioning employment on a prospective employee’s agreement not to enter the parking lot and access a firearm possessed and stored lawfully within the employee’s vehicle.

Illinois

Leave for Violence-Related Military Proceedings: An amendment to the Illinois Victims’ Economic Security and Safety Act took effect on May 19, 2022, permitting employees to take leave related to military legal proceedings that pertain to domestic, sexual, gender or other crimes of violence, and prohibiting employers from discrimination/retaliation based on such leave.

Expansion of Child Bereavement Leave: Illinois has expanded the Child Bereavement Leave Act to include pregnancy and fertility losses and define “covered family member” as an employee’s child, stepchild, spouse, domestic partner, sibling, parent, mother-in-law, father-in-law, grandchild, grandparent, or stepparent. These amendments will take effect on January 1, 2023.

Equal Pay Act Amendment: Illinois amended its Equal Pay Act on April 22, 2022 to clarify that employers with 100 or more (rather than more than 100) employees must obtain an equal pay registration certificate.

One Day Off in Seven Amendment: Illinois has amended its One Day Rest in Seven Act to require the provision of 24 hours of consecutive hours of rest during every sevenday period for non-exempt employees, rather than every calendar week, and provide an additional meal period of 20 minutes for each additional 4.5 hours of work after an employee works 7.5 hours. These amendments will take effect on January 1, 2023.

Chicago Sexual Harassment Ordinance: Effective July 1, 2022, employers must implement annual training on sexual harassment, a written sexual harassment policy with specific provisions, and comply with posting and recordkeeping requirements.

Maine

Anti-Discrimination Additions: Effective August 8, 2022, Maine prohibits employment discrimination based on hair texture and hairstyle and prohibits employers from requiring employees, interns or applicants to enter into agreements that limit their right to discuss workplace discrimination, retaliation or harassment.

Paid Vacation Payout: Beginning January 1, 2023, Maine private employers with 11 or more employees must pay out all unused, paid vacation accrued at the time of employee separation, unless a collective bargaining agreement provides otherwise.

Maryland

Reporting Sexual Harassment Claims: On or before July 1, 2022, Maryland employers with 50 or more employees must report to the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights about the number of times settlement was made after an allegation of sexual harassment perpetrated by an employee, the number of times a settlement was paid regarding claims alleging sexual harassment by those same employees over the last ten years, and the number of settlements made for sexual harassment allegations that include confidentiality agreements. This is the second of two reports required by the Disclosing Sexual Harassment in the Workplace Act of 2018.

Mississippi

Equal Pay: The Mississippi Equal Pay Act prohibiting wage discrimination based on sex goes into effect July 1, 2022.

New Mexico

New Mexico Required Sick Leave: The New Mexico Healthy Workplaces Act (the Act) takes effect on July 1, 2022 and requires private employers to provide employees with one hour of paid sick leave per 30 hours worked. Employees can carry over earned, accrued sick leave from year-to-year but cannot use more than 64 hours in a 12-month period, which employers may choose to frontload. The Act specifies which reasons qualify for the sick leave, notice requirements, and penalties for violating.

Bernalillo County (Albuquerque) Paid Time Off: Effective July 1, 2022, the amount of paid time off eligible employees may accrue and use increases to 56 hours in a year. Covered employers (with 35 or more employees) must provide eligible employees with earned paid time off with no restrictions on reasons for its use.

New York

New York City Salary Range Disclosure Delayed: New York City Council has amended its Salary Range Transparency Act and delayed its implementation until November 1, 2022.

Ithaca and Westchester County Salary Range Disclosure Laws: Ithaca and Westchester County have enacted laws making it an unlawful employment practice to advertise jobs without stating their minimum and maximum salaries. (Ithaca’s law takes effect September 1, 2022; Westchester County’s law takes effect November 6, 2022.)

Ohio

Activities Eligible for Overtime: Ohio amended its overtime provisions so that, beginning July 6, 2022, employers are no longer required to pay overtime for activities such as normal commuting time and de minimis time beyond an employee’s scheduled hours (with exceptions).

Cincinnati Protected Classification Additions: Cincinnati has added gender identity and expression, sex, breastfeeding status, military status, and familial status as protected classifications under its antidiscrimination ordinance. The ordinance applies to employers with four or more employees.

Oklahoma

Unemployment Benefits and Joint Employers: An amendment to the Employment Security Act will take effect November 1, 2022, clarifying that, for purposes of unemployment compensation, professional employee organizations and their clients are considered co-employers of the covered employees.

Pennsylvania

Employee Overtime Calculations and Tip Pools: Pennsylvania has updated regulations to clarify overtime calculations and when tip pooling is permitted.

Rhode Island

Employment Protections for Marijuana Use: Rhode Island legalized recreational cannabis use on May 25, 2022, and its Cannabis Act provides protections to employees who use marijuana outside of working hours (with limited exceptions).

South Dakota

Accommodations for Medical Cannabis: Effective July 1, 2022, South Dakota has amended its medical cannabis law to clarify that employers are not required to accommodate employees’ use of medical cannabis in the workplace.

Tennessee

Hairstyle Discrimination: Effective July 1, 2022, prohibited race discrimination includes hair texture and protective hairstyles associated with race.

Statute of Limitations: On June 1, 2022, the amount of time to file a discrimination complaint with the state agency increased to 185 days.

Elimination of Subminimum Wage: Effective July 1, 2022, there is no longer a subminimum wage allowable for employees with impaired capacity.

Vermont 

Statute of Limitations: A Vermont law took effect on June 1, 2022, requiring that employment discrimination and public accommodation actions be commenced within six years of the event.

Virginia

Definition of Religion: For purposes of employment discrimination law, Virginia has now defined “religion” to mean “all aspects of religious observance, practice, or belief.”

Overtime Liability Amendment: Virginia has amended its overtime law so that, effective July 1, 2022, the state’s overtime requirements will largely align with FLSA, and employers who violate the state’s requirements are liable to employees for remedies/relief provided by the FLSA.

Washington

Washington State PFML Waiting Period: Effective June 9, 2022, the waiting period for Washington State Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) must not reduce the maximum of the employee’s leave and must not apply to leave for the birth of a child.

Restrictions on Nondisclosure/Non-disparagement Agreements: Effective June 9, 2022, employers cannot include non-disclosure and non-disparagement provisions for illegal acts of discrimination, harassment, sexual assault, retaliation, and wage and hour violations.

Expansion of Bereavement Leave: Effective June 9, 2022, employees may use paid family and medical leave for the postnatal death or stillbirth of the employee’s child.

Rideshare Driver Protections: Effective June 9, 2022, drivers for rideshare services are in most situations classified as independent contractors but are eligible for minimum compensation, paid sick leave, workers’ comp coverage, and a process to appeal disputes.

West Virginia

Wage Payment Disclosure: Effective June 9, 2022, employers must provide certain written disclosures when paying employees by payment card.

For the full alert, visit the Faegre Drinker website.