State & Local Employment Law Developments: Q4 2021

The fourth quarter of 2021 continued the trend of increasing regulation of the workplace by state and local governments. Although it is not possible to discuss all state and local laws, this post provides an overview of recent and upcoming legislative developments to help you and your organization stay in compliance. (Please note that developments related to issues such as minimum wage rates and COVID-19 are not included.)

California

For information regarding new California laws for 2022, please refer to our firm’s legal update on the subject.

Colorado

Paid Sick Leave Law Includes Smaller Employers: Effective January 1, 2022, Colorado’s Healthy Families and Workplaces Act (HFWA) requires employers with fewer than 16 employees to adhere to the same sick leave rules that larger employers began complying with in January 2021.

Connecticut

Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) Act: Effective January 1, 2022, the PFML Act amends the Connecticut Family and Medical Leave Act to reduce the definition of covered employer from one with 75 or more employees to an employer with one or more employees.

Illinois

Kin Care Leave Law Amendment: Effective December 10, 2021, employees of an employer subject to Title II of the Railway Labor Act are no longer exempt from Employee Sick Leave Act (ESLA) coverage.

Victims’ Economic Security and Safety Act (VESSA): Amendments to VESSA that become effective January 1, 2022 include making employees entitled to take leave if they or a covered family or household member are a victim of a crime of violence.

Chicago Domestic Worker Written Contract: Effective January 1, 2022, an employer of domestic workers is required to provide a written contract setting forth the wage and work schedule agreed upon between employer and employee.

Personnel Record Review Act Amendments: Effective January 1, 2022, an individual may file a complaint or commence an action alleging an employer or former employer disclosed confidential disciplinary action.

Association Discrimination: Effective January 1, 2022, discrimination based on disability is expanded to include discrimination against an individual because of the individual’s association with a person with a disability.

Illinois Noncompete and Nonsolicitation Agreement: For an overview of changes coming January 1, 2022 regarding noncompete and nonsolicitation agreements, please refer to our firm’s legal update on the subject.

Massachusetts

Retail Worker Overtime Rate Decrease: Effective January 1, 2022, Massachusetts retail employees who work on a Sunday or on a state holiday will be paid a holiday premium rate of 1.1 times their regular rate.

Paid Family and Medical Leave Program (PFML): The yearly updates to PFML contribution rates and benefit limits take place on January 1, 2022. The maximum benefit to eligible individuals will be raised to $1,084.31, and the employer contribution rate will be decreased to .68%.

New York

Paid Family Leave Amendments: Effective January 1, 2022, New York State’s Paid Family Leave (PFL) will eliminate the 60-day cap per 52-week period for employees who work more than five days per week, and the annual contribution cap will increase to $423.71.

Paid Family Leave for Siblings: Effective January 1, 2023, for purposes of PFL, the term “family member” will include siblings.

Expansion of Whistleblower Protections: Effective January 26, 2022, New York expands retaliation protections to those who report unlawful or dangerous business practices.

North Carolina

Charlotte, North Carolina Non-Discrimination Ordinance: Effective January 1, 2022, it will be unlawful for an employer of any size to discriminate against an individual in any employment matter based upon the individual’s race, color, gender, religion, national origin, ethnicity, age, familial status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, veteran status, pregnancy, natural hairstyle or disability.

Washington

Earnings Requirement for Noncompete Agreements: Effective January 1, 2022, a noncompete agreement is enforceable only if the minimum employee earnings meet certain requirements.

For the full alert, visit the Faegre Drinker website.