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on January 13, 2020 Human Resources HR Law

Employment Law Changes for 2020, Part 2

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Welcome to the backstitch HR law blog, a series where we provide the latest updates on upcoming and recently in-effect legislation. Our blog series will provide short snippets of State, Federal, and Global changes in HR and employment law, so your organization can continue to stay up to date in the legal world.  

This article covers the new changes in individual states laws going into effect on January 1, 2020. For the first half, read Part 1 of the 2020 HR Law Changes here


Minnesota is amongst one of many states to increase its minimum wage. However, it also has a tiered structure depending on organization size. Minimum wage for employers with annual revenues under $500,000 will increase from $8.04/hour to $8.15/hour, while large employers with annual revenues $500,000 or greater will increase from $9.86/hour to $10/hour.


Missouri is incrementally increasing its minimum wage by to $12/hour in 2023. For 2020, the new minimum wage is again increased by eighty-five cents, from $8.60/hour to $9.45/hour. 


Montana will also increase its minimum wage, from $8.50/hour to $8.65/hour.


Nevada will become the first state to ban drug tests for marijuana. Specifically, AB 132 will  prevent employers from refusing to hire candidates who test positive for marijuana use. Exemptions include firefighters, emergency medical technicians, operators of motor vehicles and jobs that can affect the safety of others. Federal positions and other jobs funded by a federal grant are also exempt. Collective bargaining agreements can still call for testing. Hires within 30 days are also allowed to retake their drug test. 

New Jersey

Employers are not longer allowed to screen hiring candidates based on their salary history, or to set criteria regarding their previous wages. However, internal transfers, federal laws, background checks and questions regarding previous commission-based jobs are exempt. Employers may receive permission to confirm salary history after an employment offer has been made. 

New Jersey will increase its minimum wage by one dollar from $10/hour to $11/hour.

New Mexico

New Mexico is among the states increase its minimum wage, from $7.50/hour to $9/hour. 

New York

Paid Family Leave will be slightly modified in January 1, 2020. Employees on paid family leave are eligible for 60% of their average weekly wage, up from 55%. This is capped at $840.70, which is 60% of the current statewide average weekly wage, an increase from the 2019 cap of $746.41. The law now includes farm laborers, who are eligible for the 10 week leave. 

Statewide, New York will raise its minimum wage from $11.10/hour to $11.80/hour. The state allows for local minimum wage, and in New York City, minimum wage will be increased for small businesses of 10 employees or fewer from $13.50/hour to $15/hour. Long Island will also increase theirs from $12/hour to $13/hour. 


Ohio minimum wage will increase from $8.55/hour to $8.70/hour.


HB 1095 has redefined the state's definition of an independent contractor. Instead of the ABC test, Oklahoma will now utilize the IRS 20 Factor Test, or Common Law Rules, which are more lenient. 


Oregon's HB 2992 will amend the state's noncompete laws to require employers to provide a copy of a signed noncompete to employees within 30 days of the employee's termination. Any noncompete that misses the 30 day deadline will be considered invalid. 

Rhode Island

Rhode Island's Sick and Safe Leave will be updated in 2020. Since taking into effect in 2018, Rhode Island's Healthy and Safe Families and Workplaces Act requires that employers of 18 or more employees must provide sick leave. The Act started with 24 hours of paid leave in 2018 and increases the cap annually until it reaches 40 hours in 2020

South Dakota

South Dakota's minimum wage will increase by twenty cents from $9.10/hour in 2019 to $9.30/hour in 2020. 


Similar to other states, Tennessee will also adopt the IRS 20 Factor Test to determine if someone is an employee or an independent contractor. However, the law does not apply to any leased-operators or owner-operators of motor vehicles. 


The State of Vermont will increase its minimum wage from $10.78/hour to $10.96/hour.


HB 2664 requires that employers must now provide an official pay stub during each payment period. Specifically, the pay stub must include the name and address of the employee, the number of hours worked in the pay period, and the pay. Currently, Virginia employers only need to provide a written statement of the gross wages earned during the pay period upon an employee's request. HB 2664 does not apply to the agriculture industry, which may still use the optional written statement. 


Since January 1, 2019, Washington required that employers and employees to pay into the new Washington Paid Family and Medical Leave. On January 1, 2020, employees are now able to apply for benefits and collect their payouts. 

The Washington Noncompete Law places new restrictions on noncompete clauses. First, noncompetes must be disclosed prior to the hire of the employee. Should a noncompete come into effect a significant time after employment, then during the hiring process, it must be disclosed that a noncompete clause may appear sometime in the future. They are not enforceable to employees making less than $100,000 in total pay a year. For independent contractors, that minimum is $250,000. The pay thresholds are only valid for 2020, as it will be increased annually to adjust for inflation. They may also only be enforced if at time of termination due to firing, the employee is still compensated the full value of their salary during the enforced duration of the noncompete, which itself may not be longer than 18 months. These noncompetes are only applicable to the State of Washington. Finally, there is a special franchisor clause, where employees of one franchisee cannot be barred from working at a separate franchisee of the same franchisor. 

Washington will increase its minimum wage from $12/hour to $13.50/hour. 

Make sure your company will be compliant with these new updates to avoid costly penalties and lost productivity. Follow this series to ensure your company is compliant with the many employment law changes happening in the future. 

Liang Deng

Chief of Staff

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