Your Monthly Overview of State Updates
A Compliance Alert from CEDR HR Solutions, a MedResults Network Preferred Vendor Partner
Below is an overview of the states that have recently passed law changes. Please read carefully as you may be affected and will need to update your employee handbook depending on what state you’re in. The following updates need to be made immediately:
- Vermont Paid Sick Leave Minimum Increase – January 1, 2019: Vermont employers should already be providing paid sick leave to their employees, as the state sick leave law went into effect almost two years ago. The law initially required all employers to provide at least 24 sick leave hours per year, but that increased to 40 hours on January 1, 2019.
- NYC Requires Greater Accommodations for Nursing Mothers – March 18, 2019: A new amendment requires employers to make greater accommodations for nursing mothers, including having a designated lactation room meeting specific requirements.
- Connecticut Offering Mandatory Retirement Plans for Employees – Effective January 1, 2019: CT has created a state-sponsored retirement benefit program for employees. Read more about the status of this program, and how it impacts you as an employer
- Illinois had several updates that have been included below:
- Expense reimbursements – increased obligation to reimburse employee expenses; Mileage: If you require your employee to drive their car, you need to reimburse mileage. Note that this is for business travel and NOT for regular commutes to work. Remote work: If you have an employee who works from home, you may need to reimburse them for a portion of their Internet and cell phone costs.
- Sexual harassment prevention – mandatory poster and handbook policies; The law has been expanded, and now requires employers to have specific information about sexual harassment in their written policies, and to display a new sexual harassment poster.
- Nursing mothers – right to take paid breaks during the workday; the law clarifies that employees have the right to take breaks to pump for up to one (1) year after the child’s birth, and that those breaks need to be paid time.
- Military rights – employees in the military get increased protection; All Illinois employers are now subject to the Illinois Service Member Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (ISERRA), which took effect January 1, 2019. This law goes beyond the existing protections of federal law.
- Equal pay rights – expansion of this law to address race as well as gender; Since 2003, Illinois has prohibited all employers from paying women less than men. Now the Equal Pay Act has been amended to clarify that employers are also prohibited from paying African-American employees less than non-African-American employees for the same or substantially similar work.
- Cook County sick leave – some towns are opting back into the law; The Cook County sick leave law caused great confusion for months back in 2017, as many municipalities with home rule authority voted to opt out of the law – and then sometimes opted back in. The dust still has not settled, as 2018 saw some towns opt back into the law. Then the November 6th ballot included a voter question on the law, with the results showing overwhelming support for it. This has caused some towns to reconsider their opt-out status, so employers in Cook County should be on the lookout for potential changes.
It’s very important that you consider updating your policies for these new laws, and if an issue arises related to these laws, it’s critical to have access to HR professionals to advise you. That’s why the CEDR Solution Center exists. For a low, one-time fee for a custom employee handbook and a monthly membership fee, you can gain access to unlimited HR support AND automatic handbook updates.
If you have any questions or if you need guidance on your current employee handbook or creating a new one, email CEDR at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their MedResults Member landing page RIGHT HERE.
CEDR HR Solutions is a Preferred Vendor Partner of the MedResults Network and offers discounts on employee handbooks and HR support!