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- Sacramento, CA: County Worker Protection, Health, and Safety Act in Effect
- Colorado: Governor’s Mass Marijuana Possession Pardon
- Connecticut: Harassment Prevention Training Deadline Pushed to Jan 1, 2021
- Hawaii: Look-Back Period for Ban-the-Box Protections Revised
- Illinois: Federal Court Defines Employer Violations Under BIPA
- Maryland: Job Applicants’ Salary History Inquiries Prohibited
- Pennsylvania: Governor’s Executive Orders Responding to COVID-19 are Invalid
- Pennsylvania: Overtime Exempt Salary Threshold Increase
Sacramento, CA: County Worker Protection, Health, and Safety Act in Effect
As of October 1, 2020, the “Sacramento County Worker Protection, Health, and Safety Act of 2020” requires all businesses in the unincorporated areas of the county of Sacramento to implement employer safety protocols, including: the maintenance and implementation of specific cleaning and disinfecting protocols; the establishment of a protocol if a location is exposed to a person with a likely confirmed case of COVID-19; the provision of handwashing, sanitizing, and disinfectant supplies; the provision of face coverings and mandated wearing of face coverings, except to the extent employees can maintain the recommended physical distance from others or while using break times to eat or drink; and notifying employees of the required protocols in writing.
The Act also requires businesses in the unincorporated areas of the county with 500 or more employees to provide supplemental paid sick leave (SPSL) to their employees. Full-time employees must receive 80 hours of SPSL, and part-time employees must receive an amount of time equal to the number of hours worked on average over a two-week period. The SPSL largely mirrors the provisions of the emergency paid sick leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).
Colorado: Governor’s Mass Marijuana Possession Pardon
As of September 28, 2020, HB 1424 authorizes the governor to pardon individuals convicted of possession of up to two ounces of marijuana without following the regular pardon application process. As a result, on October 1st, the governor pardoned over 2700 convictions of low-level marijuana possession. The convictions will not be expunged but will be removed from individuals’ public records, only accessible in law enforcement and state licensing background checks notated with the governor’s pardon. Employers should no longer be able to see these convictions on background checks, and thus not consider them in the hiring process.
Connecticut: Harassment Prevention Training Deadline Pushed to Jan 1, 2021
In 2019, Connecticut passed Public Act 19-16, which greatly expanded the number of employers who would be required to provide sexual harassment prevention training. The bill went into effect October 19, 2019, with a deadline to provide training to staff hired before October 19, 2019 by October 1, 2020. Now, the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities has extended the deadline by 90 days, making the new deadline January 1, 2021. Note that employers are still required to train employees hired since October 1, 2019 within six months of hire.
Hawaii: Look-Back Period for Ban-the-Box Protections Revised
As of September 15, 2020, SB 2193 limits the look-back period for private sector employers to consider felony convictions. Previously, employers were able to consider conviction records as old as 10 years while making employment decisions. With the new regulation, employers may not consider felony convictions older than seven years or misdemeanor convictions older than five years, excluding periods of incarceration. Employers should review pre-employment materials and train managers involved in the hiring process on the revised look-back period.
Illinois: Federal Court Defines Employer Violations Under BIPA
On August 7, 2020, in Cothron v. White Castle System, Inc., a federal district court in Illinois clarified when a violation occurs under Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA). Specifically, an employer violates BIPA each time it collects, captures, or otherwise obtains an employee’s biometric information without prior informed consent, and each time it discloses or otherwise disseminates biometric information without consent. Continue to look for updates on this case as it will likely be appealed.
Maryland: Job Applicants’ Salary History Inquiries Prohibited
As of October 1, 2020, Maryland employers are prohibited from inquiring, directly or indirectly, into an applicants’ salary history. This change comes by way of an amendment (HB 123) to the 2016 Equal Pay for Equal Work Law. Employers may not rely on salary history information to screen applicants or determine wages. Employers may only utilize wage history information voluntarily provided by the applicant after an initial offer of employment with compensation has been made, and the wage information can be used only to (1) increase the initial offer or (2) confirm wage history to support a request for a higher offer. Additionally, employers are also required to provide applicants with wage ranges for open positions upon request.
Pennsylvania: Governor’s Executive Orders Responding to COVID-19 are Invalid
On September 14, 2020, in the County of Butler v. Wolf, a federal district court stated that the governor’s orders responsive to the COVID-19 pandemic violate the First Amendment, the Equal Protection Clause, and Due Process Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. Specifically, the court invalidated restrictions on gatherings, and orders closing non-life sustaining businesses and directing residents to stay home. The order is expected to be appealed. However, as the second wave of the pandemic is hitting the U.S., if the governor issues new executive orders that are consistent with the reasoning set forth in this case, they are more likely to be enforceable. Continue to look for updates on this issue.
Pennsylvania: Overtime Exempt Salary Threshold Increase
Earlier this year, Pennsylvania approved an increase in the exempt salary threshold. The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) recently published its final rule increasing the minimum salary requirement for overtime exempt employees to $35,568 per year ($684 per week) as of October 3, 2020, $40,560 per year ($780 per week) on October 3, 2021, and $45,500 per year ($875 per week) on October 3, 2022. On October 3, 2023, the salary threshold will automatically be adjusted every three years to the 10th percentile of Pennsylvania workers who work in exempt EAP classifications.
Disclaimer: This document is designed to provide general information and guidance concerning employment-related issues. It is presented with the understanding that ManagEase is not engaged in rendering any legal opinions. If a legal opinion is needed, please contact the services of your own legal adviser.
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