INFINITI HR is happy to provide Monthly State Labor Law Updates as a service to our subscribers. These briefs provide a general description and are not meant to be all inclusive of compliance requirements. This list is not inclusive of all legislative changes for employers across the U.S. Changes may have been addressed in previous updates, which can be accessed from our blog.
This list is not inclusive of all legislative changes for employers across the U.S. Other changes may have been addressed in previous updates, which can be accessed online on our website https://inspiringhr.com/blog/
Employers are encouraged to work with their Inspiring HR Consultant before making policy changes to capture the full requirements of these laws.
Some of the notable recent and upcoming state changes in this issue are as follows:
Fast Food Accountability and Standards Recovery Act (FAST Act) – Effective January 1, 2023
The FAST Act affects fast food establishments with 100+ locations nationwide and will set industry standards in the areas of:
- Health & Safety
It will also make it illegal to discriminate and/or discharge an employee for reasons of:
- Whistleblowing (or is suspected of whistleblowing)
- Participating in proceedings related to public safety
- Refusal to work if there is a reasonable belief employer is in violation of health/safety standards
There will be a rebuttable presumption of a violation if employers take action against an employee within 90 days of receiving knowledge of one of the above activities.
Connecticut HERO Pay for Essential Workers – Effective August 1, 2022
Connecticut essential workers who worked during the COVID-19 pandemic may be eligible to receive up to $1,000 in pay under the CT HERO Pay Act. Pay is determined by the employee’s status (full-time/part-time) and annual pay amount.
To be eligible, the essential worker must have:
- earned less than $150,000 annually;
- was not able to work remotely (had to work onsite); and
- had to be employed in an essential, non-governmental position between March 10, 2020, and May 7, 2022.
“Essential Worker” Defined
- Essential Healthcare Workers are paid and unpaid employees working in a healthcare setting who had direct or indirect exposure to patients or infectious materials. The employee did not have to be directly involved in patient care but may have been exposed to infectious agents while working in a healthcare setting.
- Essential Non-Healthcare Workers are employees who are essential and worked on the front line to maintain the critical infrastructure and services and may be at high risk of exposure to COVID-19 because their work-related duties must be performed onsite where they are directly exposed to the virus.
Essential workers can apply at Connecticut Essential Worker COVID-19 Relief website Connecticut Essential Worker COVID-19 Relief (ctessentialworkerrelief.org)
CT Paid Leave Authority Amendments – Effective Immediately
Under the Connecticut Paid Leave Authority, all employers are now required to provide employees with a written NOTICE of their rights under the CT Paid Family Leave Act (CTPFL) and the CT Family and Medical Leave Act (CTFMLA). The required notice must be provided to new employees upon hire and annually thereafter. Existing employees should be provided the notice immediately and annually thereafter.
Connecticut Data Privacy Law – Effective July 1, 2023
The law applies to employers who conduct business in CT and:
- control or process personal data of at least 100,000 consumers/customers, excluding information used to complete payment transactions; or
- control or process personal data of at least 25,000 consumers and derived over 25% of their gross revenue from the sale of personal data.
Employers are required to protect data, computer files and documents containing PII from misuse by third parties. Employers who collect social security numbers are required to develop and publish a company policy that protects the confidentiality of the SSNs and prohibits unlawful disclosure of these number while limiting access to the SSNs.
In addition to protecting PII, employers are also required to destroy, erase or make unreadable all data, computer files and documents prior to disposal.
In the event an employer experiences a data breach, the company will be required to notify all affected CT consumers/customers and the state Attorney General of the breach. The notification must be made within 60 days of the breach and must include all information that was breached.
CO Agriculture Minimum Wage Changes – In Effect November 1, 2022
Agricultural employees of agricultural employers are exempt from both the 40-hour weekly and the 12-hour daily overtime pay requirements, provided that such employees receive the following:
- Weekly overtime pay, at one and one-half times their regular rate of pay, after 60 hours worked per workweek.
- in lieu of 12-hour daily overtime pay, 30 minutes for the paid rest period (rather than 10 minutes or any other duration under 30 minutes otherwise applicable to that rest period) — except that if the employer had no reason to believe an employee would exceed 12 hours until the twelfth hour worked, then the additional break time may be provided on the employee’s next workday; and
- for a workday with more than 15 hours of work, or for more than 15 consecutive hours of work without regard to the start and end time of the workday, an additional lump-sum payment equal to one hour of the Colorado minimum wage, as specified for the applicable year in the PAY CALC Order.
Thereafter, overtime rules will change as follows:
Rules can be reviewed in further detail via the Colorado Overtime and Minimum Pay Standards Order (COMPS ORDER) #38.
Maine Amends Final Wage Statue – Effective January 1, 2023
The Maine Final Wage Statue has been amended, which now recognizes accrued Paid Time Off (PTO)/Vacation as earned wages. As a result, all employers with 11 or more employees will be required to pay out all accrued but unused PTO/Vacation upon separation of employment. The payment of unused paid time off must be made in full no later than the next scheduled payday.
The amended law goes into effect on January 1, 2023.
Employers are encouraged to update their existing policies to include language regarding the payout of unused PTO/vacation.
Bloomington, Minnesota Earned Sick and Safe Time (SST) – Effective July 1, 2023
On July 1, 2023, all employers with employees working in Bloomington, Minnesota will be required to provide Earned Sick and Safe time (SST).
Any employer who has employees working in Bloomington is required to provide SST; however, to determine if the leave is paid or unpaid, the following requirements apply:
- Employers with 5 or more employees are required to provide one (1) hour of paid SST for every 30 hours worked up to 48 hours per year.
- Employers with less than 5 employees are required to provide one (1) of unpaid SST for every 30 hours worked up to 48 hours per year.
Employers are required to display a notice within the workplace, which outlines their rights and responsibilities under the law. In addition, employers are required to provide a written copy of the notice to all existing employees by the effective date of the law and upon hire for all new employees thereafter.
Employers must create a SST company policy or update their existing time off policy in accordance with the law. All existing employees, as well as new hires, must be given a copy of the policy. Employers are required to maintain SST records for each employee, which includes hours worked, available sick leave amounts, and leave used. These records must be maintained for the current calendar year plus three additional years.
New Jersey Required Notices Update – Effective Immediately
New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) and the New Jersey Family Leave Act (NJFLA) now require employers to provide a notice annually to all employees of their rights under these laws.
Employers must provide a copy of the required notices to all existing employees by December 31, 2022, and all new employees upon hire. Employers are also required to provide a copy of the notice upon request.
The notice may be provided electronically, through the Company’s intranet/website and/or a hard copy.
New York Health Care and Mental Hygiene Worker Bonus Program – Effective August 3, 2022
In an effort to reward and retain health care and mental hygiene workers, New York passed the “Health Care and Mental Hygiene Worker Bonus Program,” which provides certain front-line workers bonus pay.
To determine if your business is a “covered employer” under the law, you must:
- Bill under the state Medicaid plan;
- Bill under a home or community-based service waiver; and/or
- Bill for Medicaid through a managed care organization or managed long term care plan.
In order for an employee to eligible for the bonus pay they:
- Must be continuously employed by a covered employer for at least one vesting period;
- Must have an employee title included on the list of “Eligible Worker Titles;”
- Must have earned less than $125,000 annual base salary, not including bonuses or overtime pay;
- Must be a full-time, part-time or temporary employee or an independent contractor; and
- Must not be suspended or excluded from the Medicaid program during the vesting period.
- Employers must create an account.
- Provide covered employees with an Employee Attestation Form.
- Submit claims through the online portal for the bonus payments within 30 days of the current vesting schedule.
- Must track hours worked.
- Pay employees their bonus within 30 days from receipt from the plan.
For more information, please visit the Health Care Worker Bonus Program (ny.gov) and the FAQs section Health Care Worker Bonus Program Frequently Asked Questions (ny.gov) links.
New York Minimum Wage Increase for Home Health Care Workers– Effective October 1, 2022
New York approved a minimum wage increase for certain home health care workers, such as home care aides, personal care assistants and homemakers, nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech pathologists.
On October 1, 2022, the minimum wage will increase $2.00 per hour. In addition, the minimum wage rate will increase another $1.00 per hour on October 1, 2023, as noted below.
|Minimum Wage Home Health Care
October 1, 2022
|Minimum Wage Home Health Care
October 1, 2023
|New York City
|$17.00 per hour
|$18.00 per hour
|Long Island & Westchester County
|$17.00 per hour
|$18.00 per hour
|Remainder of NY State
|$15.20 per hour
|$16.20 per hour
In addition to the minimum wage increase, employers are required to provide home health care workers with Home Care Aides Wage Parity Notice. The notice must be provided to home health care employees upon hire.
Pennsylvania Law Update – Minimum Wage Act Changes – Effective August 5, 2022
The Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act has been updated effective on August 5, 2022. Changes affect:
- Tip Credits
- Tip Pooling
- Overtime calculations for salaried, non-exempt employees
- The updated PA Minimum Wage poster, which must be posted in your workplace
Minimum Monthly Tip Requirement Increased from $30 to $135
The PA minimum wage for tipped employees is $2.83 per hour (tipped min wage). Going forward, for an employee to qualify for the tipped min wage, the tipped employee must earn at least $135 per month in tips. Employers must review the earned tips of each employee every month and pay the difference (between the tipped min wage + tips and standard min wage) if the employee’s tips fall below $135.
80/20 Rule Has Been Adopted
If a tipped employee performs non-tipped job duties, such as folding napkins, filing dispensers and/or cleaning, these duties must not require more than 20% of the employee’s time to perform. If these duties take more than 20% of the employee’s time to perform, and/or if they spend more than 30 minutes performing these duties, the employer must pay the employee the standard min wage ($7.25 per hour) for this time.
The following rules apply to tip pooling:
- Tip pools that include any employee who is paid a tipped min wage, which is less than $7.25 an hour, may only include individuals in occupations who regularly receive tips.
- If all employees are paid at least the standard min wage or higher, tip pools may include both tipped and non-tipped employees.
- Managers, supervisors and other employees are prohibited from receiving tips from a tip pool; however, they may choose to contribute towards a tip pool if they earn tips.
- Managers, supervisors and other employees can only receive tips if they provide the entire service to customers without any assistance. For example:
- Employees must receive written advance notice of their participation in tip-pooling, which should include the tip pool amount.
- Employers must maintain records of the employees, positions and the amount distributed to each employee who participates in the tip pool.
Transaction Fees Deducted from Tips are Prohibited
All tips and gratuities paid by credit card are the property of the employee receiving them. PA law prohibits employers from deducting a credit card transaction fee from an employee’s earned tip; therefore, employees may not be charged for credit card transaction fees.
Written Notice for Service Charges
Employers are permitted to charge a service fee separate from tips for banquets, catering and other event-based businesses. If the employer charges a service fee, they must provide a written notice to the customer stating the service charge is for administration of the banquet, catering or event, and does not include a tip to be distributed to the employees providing the services. The notice must be listed in service agreement, as well as the on the banquet menu. The billing statement must include separate line items for service charges and tips.
Service charges may count towards the employer’s standard min wage obligation; however, the service charge is not treated as a tip. As a result, the service charges may not be used to reach the new $135 per month minimum tips discussed above.
Salaried, Non-Exempt Employee Overtime Rate Calculation
Previously, non-exempt salary employees who receive a fixed salary and work a fluctuating workweek were eligible to be paid their fixed salary plus ½ time their regular rate of pay for any hours worked in excess of 40 within a work week. The update prohibits the fluctuating work week OT calculation method and requires employers to pay non-exempt salaried employees their regular fixed weekly salary plus 1 ½ times their regular rate of pay for all hours in excess of 40 hours.
New Poster Required
Finally, the mandatory PA Minimum Wage Act poster has been updated to reflect the new regulations. Employers should order updated Minimum Wage Labor Law Posters.
Interested in other current employment trends? Click the link to view the recent blog: Struggling with Employee Recognition? Try Reimagining Appreciation Instead. or check back for more on human resources, payroll, insurance, and benefits.