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This Short List addresses the following topics:
  1. Trump Rolls Back Federal Contractor Disclosure and Employment Requirements
  2. Redwood City, CA: City Adopts New Minimum Wage Ordinance
  3. Sacramento, CA: City Requires Panic Buttons for Hospitality Industry
  4. Philadelphia, PA: Judge Blocks Parts of Pay Equity Regulations

Trump Rolls Back Federal Contractor Disclosure and Employment Requirements

On March 27, 2018, the President revoked the 2014 Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces executive order (No. 13673) that required federal contractors to comply with 14 labor and civil rights laws. This included, in part, reporting in the bidding process company violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Occupational Safety and Health Act, the National Labor Relations Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, among others.

Additionally, Executive Order No. 13673 required federal contractors to comply with paycheck transparency requirements (displaying hours worked, overtime hours, pay, and additions to and deductions from pay), and prohibited forced arbitration clauses for sexual harassment, sexual assault, or discrimination claims for federal contractor employees.  The order was originally put in place to combat labor and civil rights violations that were committed by a majority of federal contractors. Employers with federal contracts should review the revoked executive order for applicable changes.

Redwood City, CA: City Adopts New Minimum Wage Ordinance

Redwood City joins numerous other California localities in enacting is own minimum wage ordinance.  The new ordinance goes into effect on January 1, 2019, and applies to all employees who work two hours or more per calendar week within the geographic boundaries of Redwood City.

The new ordinance introduces a minimum wage increase schedule higher than California’s statewide minimum wage, meaning employers with covered employees must obey Redwood City’s more generous regulations.  The scheduled increases are:

Date New Rate
January 1, 2019 $13.50
January 1, 2020 $15.00 + CPI

Employers will be required to display a workplace notice about the ordinance at any workplace or job site where a covered employee works, and must keep payroll records for three years.  The poster has not yet been published by the city.

Sacramento, CA: City Requires Panic Buttons for Hospitality Industry

Effective March 29, 2018, the Hotel Worker Protection Act of 2018 requires hotel and motel licensees with 25 or more guest rooms to provide workers assigned to work in a guest room or restroom with a “panic button.”  A covered worker must be able to easily activate the button (or similar device) to summon prompt assistance to the employee’s location.  The “panic button” must be provided at no cost to the employee.

In addition, the Act requires the hotel licensee to develop, maintain, and comply with a written sexual harassment policy.  The policy should provide reporting mechanisms for employees to immediately report alleged sexual assault or harassment by guests.  The policy must be distributed to all employees in English and Spanish, and posted in an area conspicuous to employees.

The Act is intended to provide support and protection to employees who work alone in guest rooms.  The California legislature introduced a similar bill, in January 2018.  If approved, AB 1761 would implement a similar requirement to equip employees with a panic button, plus a mandate to maintain a “blacklist” of guests who have committed an act of violence or harassment against an employee.

Philadelphia, PA: Judge Blocks Parts of Pay Equity Regulations

Last year, the Philadelphia introduced a new Wage Equity Bill that prohibited employers from inquiring into applicants’ wage and fringe benefits history.  The Chamber of Commerce sought an injunction to block the ordinance, requesting that the judge enjoin the City from implementing two of the Wage Equity Bill’s provisions. On April 30, 2018, Judge Goldberg enjoined the City from implementing the provision that prohibits employers from inquiring into or requiring an applicant to disclose prior salary history.  However, the court denied the Chamber’s request to enjoin a second provision that prohibits employers from relying on salary history information to make compensation decisions, unless the applicant knowingly and willingly disclosed such information to the prospective employer.

As a result, Philadelphia employers are currently permitted to inquire about applicant salary history, but may not use that information when making compensation decisions.  It remains to be seen if the court’s orders will be appealed.

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.

© 2018 ManagEase

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