The backstitch HR law blog is a monthly series where we provide the latest updates on upcoming and recently in-effect legislation. Here are short snippets of State, Federal, and Global changes in HR and employment law, so your organization can be prepared for changes this month.
California has modified its Ban the Box law, enhancing protections. It expanded applicants to include existing employees who wish to be considered for other positions within their company as well as existing employees of a company that has gone through a change in ownership or management. It also expands the definition of employer to include joint employers, other entities that act as an agent of the employer in evaluating workers and staffing agencies. These new definitions go into effect October 1.
Starting October 1, SB 2 allows service workers to utilize PTO for a wellness day, where they attend to emotional and psychological well-being in lieu of attending a regularly scheduled shift.
Maryland's SB 591 modified its Labor and Employment Article 3-716, a ban on noncompetes, to include workers that make equal to or less than 150% of the state minimum wage. The current minimum wage in Maryland is $13.25/hour, but it will be increasing to $15/hour in 2024. This new noncompete ban goes into effect October 1.
Beginning October 1, the Genetic Information Privacy Act establishes new rules of consent in collecting and distributing genetic information. Among other things, organizations may not disclose an individual's genetic data to employers or organizations offering health insurance without express consent from the data subject.
Workers in Montana may be granted an independent contractor exemption that allows them, among other things, to not need a personal workers' comp insurance policy and waive all rights and benefits from the Workers' Compensation Act. SB 22 amends a section to include automatic presumption of an independent contractor status even without a certificate, if a worker meets certain requirements. These include the worker representing in writing that they are in possession of a exemption certificate, the worker providing a forged or fraudulent certificate and the exemption certificate expiring while still working the contract, as long as it has not been expired for over 120 days. This new language goes into effect on October 1.
On October 15, New York City amends its Earned Safe and Sick Time Act to define the hours of provided paid leave based on employer size. Employers of 100 or more must provide 56 hours of paid leave, while those between 5 to 99 must provide 40 hours. Employers cannot set waiting periods for this leave, and must provide a written safe and sick leave policy that describes the benefit and how to use it. The amount of accrued, used and total leave must be communicated through a paystub or electronic system.