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on January 22, 2019 Human Resources

Top Employment Law Changes to be Aware of in 2019

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2018 was a fairly successful year for many American employers and employees, with many changes affecting the job market throughout the year. Now that we are officially in 2019, we can see that many more changes are coming this year as well. Make sure you are aware of all the important changes to employee laws that will be rolling out this year, so you can stay on top of them as they come into effect.

Federal Laws

There are three employment law changes that will take effect on a federal level this year, one of which is Executive Order 13658, better known as the Contractor Minimum Wage. This law raises the minimum wage rate for federal contractors, bringing it up to $10.60 hourly for workers who are working on or in connection with covered contracts, and up to $7.40 hourly for tipped employees who work on or in connection with covered contracts. As this took effect on January 1st, it is already underway throughout the entire country.

The second one is a combination of the Moral and Religious Objection Rules to Contraceptive Coverage. These laws allow for certain employers to get rid of contraceptive coverage in their provided health plans in regards to the mandates in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. These regulations take effect on January 14th.

The third and final one has also technically already taken place as it came into effect on December 9th, 2018, however the documentation and evaluation requirements for the law will not come into effect until February 7th of this year. This law, known as the OSHA Rule on Crane Operators, is responsible for updating the standards for construction employers regarding the training, certification or licensing, and evaluation of crane and derrick operators.

State Specific Laws

While there are dozens of other employee laws coming into effect in 2019, there are a few that stand out among the rest. Two very significant laws are Connecticut's HB 5386 and Hawaii’s SB 2351, which makes it illegal for an employer to ask about an applicant’s salary history before formally offering them a job position and set wage.

Other significant ones include HB 360 from Delaware, which states that a company with 50 or more employees must provide sexual harassment training to new and existing employees within one year of January 1st, 2019, which is when the law took effect. From then on, it must be provided every two years to all employees.

California’s AB 1976 is a change that requires employers to provide a location other than a bathroom in which lactation can safely occur. Another big California law change is SB 1252, which allows both current and former employees of a company to ask for and receive a copy of their wage record.

Make sure you are staying on top of not only these laws but all other forms of workplace changes and best practices. Then, make sure everyone in your organization is aware to these changes as well.

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