Update: Michigan Court Stays Decision to Reinstitute Higher Minimum Wage and More Generous Paid Sick Time Laws

Recently, we issued an alert explaining that, on July 19, 2022, the Michigan Court of Claims ruled that the “adopt-and-amend” strategy the Michigan Legislature used in 2019 to enact more business-friendly minimum wage and paid sick time laws was unconstitutional. The court also reinstituted the prior versions of these laws which meant Michigan employers were immediately subject to the more generous Earned Sick Time Act and the higher $12 per hour minimum wage for most employees.

However, on July 29, 2022, the same court issued a stay of its ruling through February 19, 2023 to allow employers and the relevant state agencies time to comply with and enforce the original, reinstituted laws. Accordingly, as of the writing of this alert, employers have until February 19, 2023 to comply with the Earned Sick Time Act (which requires more paid sick time than the now-stricken Michigan Paid Medical Leave Act) and provide at least a $12 per hour minimum wage for non-tipped employees, unless an appellate court or the Michigan Legislature acts before February 19.

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Reforms to Puerto Rican Labor Law Reinstate Employee-Friendly Measures

On June 20, 2022, Puerto Rico’s governor signed into law Act No. 41-2022 (“the Act”). The Act rolls back certain changes brought about by the Labor Transformation and Flexibility Act (“LTFA”). The LTFA was enacted in 2017 in an effort to reenergize the island’s economy following its effective bankruptcy.

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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.

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Southwest Airlines Files Challenge to the Colorado Healthy Families and Workplaces Act

Southwest Airlines Co. has filed a complaint for declaratory judgment in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado challenging the application of the Colorado Healthy Families and Workplaces Act (HFWA) to its Colorado employees.

The complaint, which names Scott Moss in his capacity as the director of the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment’s Division of Labor and Statistics, along with Philip J. Weiser in his capacity as the attorney general of Colorado, alleges that the application of the HFWA to Southwest employees is preempted by the federal Airline Deregulation Act and the federal Railway Labor Act, and that it violates the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

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Philadelphia Enacts New COVID-19 Sick Leave Law

In the midst of changing mask requirements and many people believing that the pandemic is now “over,” the City of Philadelphia has enacted a new COVID-19 sick leave law. On March 9, 2022, Mayor Kenney signed into law an amended version of the 2021 Public Health Emergency Leave Ordinance (the “Ordinance”) requiring covered employers to provide paid sick leave for employees who test positive for COVID-19. This law will stay in effect until December 31, 2023.

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Summary of New California COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave – What Employers Need to Know

On February 9, 2022, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 114, which provides COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave (SPSL) for covered employees who are unable to work or telework due to COVID-19 related reasons from January 1, 2022 through September 30, 2022. SB 114 is nearly identical to Assembly Bill 84 (AB) which was passed by the California Legislature on February 7, 2022. SB 114 takes effect on February 19, 2022, (10 days after the bill is signed by Gov. Newsom) and adds Sections 248.6 and 248.7 to the California Labor Code.

Among other things, SB 114:

  • Applies to employers with more than 25 employees.
  • Establishes a new bank of COVID-19 related SPSL.
  • Broadens the reasons employees can take COVID-19 SPSL
  • Permits employers to request proof of a positive COVID-19 test as to the employee or the employee’s family member.
  • Requires retroactive payment if an employee would have been eligible for SPSL since January 1, 2022.
  • Will remain in effect until September 30, 2022.

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