Stokes Wagner Law Firm
Stokes Wagner

The State of California recently passed SB-83, which extends Paid Family Leave benefits from six to eight weeks for claims that start on or after July 1, 2020.

CA’s Paid Family Leave program (“PFL”) is a state disability insurance program. PFL provides up to eight weeks of wage replacement benefits to employees who take time off work to care for a seriously ill child, spouse, parent, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, or domestic partner. PFL can also provide eight weeks for benefits to employees who take time off to bond with a minor child within one year of the birth or placement of the child in connection with foster care or adoption.

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Last year the Miami Beach City Commission passed a law requiring all hotels within the City of Miami Beach to provide certain employees with panic buttons by September 15, 2019. Modeled after Chicago’s 2018 safety-button ordinance, the new law applies not only to housekeepers or room attendants but also to minibar attendants and room service servers. Will your property be ready?

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On August 9, the National Labor Relations Board released three proposed new rules designed to ease employees’ ability to avoid unionization or decertify unions.

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Georgia’s Smoke-Free Air Act and Atlanta’s current smoking ordinances allow smoking only in establishments that deny access to minors or have a private room for smokers with an air-handling system separate from the main air system. The Atlanta City Council has voted to amend the ordinance to abolish these two smoking exceptions for smoking indoors. The amended ordinance’s main purpose is to protect Atlanta citizens from secondhand smoke which, according to the City Council, causes the same diseases as directly using tobacco products.

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In January 2020, Nevada will become the first state to bar employers from refusing to hire a prospective employee due to a positive drug test for cannabis. The new law carves out some exceptions for employees who operate a motor vehicle or whose cannabis use could adversely impact the safety of others but protects all other job applicants.

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The City of Chicago becomes the latest city to pass predictive scheduling legislation, also known as the “Fair Workweek Ordinance.” Effective July 1, 2020, this Ordinance requires certain employers to give most workers early notice of their schedules and to pay employees whose schedules are changed after they receive notice.

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The EEOC collects workforce data from employers with more than 100 employees (a lower threshold applies to federal contractors). The data collected is used for several purposes, including enforcement, employers’ self-assessment, and for research. Historically, such employers have been required to file annual Employer Information Reports (“EEO-1 Component 1 Reports”) disclosing the number of employees by job category, race and gender.

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The California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”) is set to take effect January 1, 2020. Since the announcement, employers have been raising concerns about whether the provisions of the act will include personal data collected from job applicants and employees. In May of 2019, the Assembly passed Assembly Bill 25 (“AB 25”), which explicitly narrowed the definition of “consumer” to exempt a business’ applicants and employees, among others. Just this week, the Senate significantly amended AB 25 by sunsetting the employee exemption on January 1, 2021.

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On July 10, 2019, Governor Cuomo signed two new bills that expand New York State’s equal pay Labor Law § 194. These new bills specifically (1) expand the scope of New York State’s equal pay law to all protected classes and (2) prohibit employers from asking an applicant about their prior salary history.

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The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) announced that it will be collecting data on pay and hours worked from 2017 and 2018. The deadline for employers to submit this information to the EEOC is September 30, 2019.

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