HR, Benefits, and Payroll Compliance Monthly Roundup
IRS Increases Mileage Rate for Remainder of 2022
For the final 6 months of 2022, the standard mileage rate for business travel will be 62.5 cents per mile, up 4 cents from the rate effective at the start of the year. The new rate for deductible medical or moving expenses (available for active-duty members of the military) will be 22 cents for the remainder of 2022, up 4 cents from the rate effective at the start of 2022. These new rates become effective July 1, 2022.
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Guidance on Caregivers
The EEOC released an update to its COVID-19 Pandemic and Caregiver Discrimination Law. Discrimination against a person with caregiving responsibilities may be unlawful under federal employment discrimination laws enforced by the EEOC. This guidance is not particularly surprising, but it does point to an increased focus by the EEOC on caretaker-related claims.
Arizona Amends Definition of “Employer” for Purposes of Harassment Claims
Beginning July 28, 2022, Arizona expanded the definition of employer for the purposes of sexual harassment claims. An employer means a person who has one or more employees in the current or preceding calendar year.
Colorado Amends Workers’ Compensation Notification and Poster
Colorado has amended its workers’ compensation notification requirements. The amendment provides that an employee must notify an employer about an injury within ten days after the occurrence of the injury. The amendment also adds a requirement that an employer who receives notice of an injury must affix the date and time of the receipt on the notice itself and make a copy available to the injured employee within seven days after receiving the notice.
Connecticut Set to Enact Ban on Employer-Sponsored Meetings
Beginning July 1, 2022, employers can no longer mandate employees to attend “captive audience” meetings (meetings that are held by an employer to pressure employees against joining a union or interrogating workers about other unions).
Delaware Enacts Paid Medical and Family Leave (PFML) Program
Beginning January 1, 2025, PFML contributions will begin to be required and in 2026, eligible employees can receive 12 weeks of paid leave for their own health conditions, to care for a family member, to bond with a new child, or to deal with a family member’s military deployment. We will be sending an e-Alert that will further detail this new requirement. Once the Delaware Department of Labor issues the final regulations.
Chicago Updates Anti-Harassment Law
Beginning July 1, 2022, Chicago revised its Anti-Harassment law to promote safer work environments. Notable updates include an expanded definition of sexual harassment, policy requirements, and required annual training. The state of Illinois already has a training requirement that is sufficient for non-managerial employees.
The city requirement will expand requirements for those with managerial responsibilities. Employees must receive training by June 30, 2023. We will be sending an e-Alert outlining additional details about this compliance requirement.
Illinois Amends One Day Rest in Seven Act and Meal Breaks
Beginning January 1, 2023, Illinois employers must provide nonexempt employees with one 24-hour day of rest in every consecutive seven-day period. In addition, after the first 7.5 hours of work, employees are entitled to an additional 20-minute unpaid meal break for each additional 4.5 hours worked. This means an employee who works a 12-hour day, will be entitled to two 20-minute meal periods, whereas prior employees would not be eligible for a second meal break unless they worked 15 hours.
Maine Expands Prohibited Race Discrimination to Include Discrimination Based on Hair Texture and Hairstyles
Beginning July 19, 2022, Maine expanded the definition of race to include traits historically associated with race. The amendment specifically includes protective hairstyles, such as braids, locks, twists, and knots.
Maine Passes New Law on Nondisclosure Provisions in Certain Employment-Related Agreements
Employers can no longer require an employee, intern, or applicant to enter into any agreement including settlement, separation, or severance agreement, that waives their right to report or discuss employment discrimination. Employers are legally allowed to use nondisclosure agreements to protect the confidentiality of proprietary information or trade secrets.
Ann Arbor, Michigan Amends Antidiscrimination Ordinance
Ann Arbor, Michigan recently amended its antidiscrimination ordinance to remove the 180-day time restraint for filing a complaint.
Minnesota Frontline Worker Pay Law Takes Effect
Beginning June 8, 2022, frontline workers can apply for Frontline Worker Pay as a way to thank those that worked on the frontlines during the COVID-19 pandemic. The application for payment will be open until July 22, 2022. For more information, there is a Frontline Worker Pay Program FAQ. Employers are required to provide notice to employees.
Mississippi Pay Equity Bill
Effective July 1, 2022, Mississippi joins many other states to enact a statewide pay equity law. This new law prohibits employers from paying an employee less than the rate of an employee of the opposite sex for equal work. Equal work is defined as a job that requires equal skill, education, effort, and responsibility, and is performed under the same working conditions.
Employers should review their pay plans and employee categories; if there is a pay differential between male and female employees who are performing similar work, employers should examine if the reason falls under a justified reason under the law.
New Mexico Paid Sick and Safe Leave Takes Effect
Beginning July 1, 2022, New Mexico employers must offer paid sick time. Please see our e-Alert for further details.
New York Permanently Enjoins Mandatory Handbook Notice on Reproductive Health Decision-Making
Employment discrimination based on an employee’s or their dependent’s reproductive health decision-making (using certain drugs or services) is prohibited. Employers are no longer obligated to include a written notice in their employee handbook; however, this may change in the future.
New York Revises Discrimination Protections for Victims of Domestic Violence
Under the New York State Human Rights Law employers are prohibited to discriminate against employees based on their domestic violence status. An amendment to the law updated policy verbiage to “status as a victim of domestic violence” rather than “domestic violence victim status”; although the definition has not changed.
Oregon Issues Final Rules on Employer Equivalent Paid Family Medical Leave Insurance Plans
Employers who wish to offer a self-administered or fully insured equivalent Paid Family Medical Leave plan must submit an application along with specific supporting documentation. Plans must be reapproved on an annual basis for three years after the original approval date.
Pennsylvania Adopts Final Rule on Tipped Employees
Beginning August 5, 2022, new tip regulations take effect. Under the new rules, Pennsylvania will follow federal rules that allow tipped employees to pool tips and share with workers who typically don’t get tips, as long as the employer does not use that as a justification to take a tip credit for the non-tipped employees’ wages. In addition, tipped employees will need to earn at least $135 a month in tips before the employer can take the tip credit and pay less than the minimum wage. The regulations also update the definition of “regular rate” for salaried employees whose hours vary from week to week to note that overtime is to be calculated based on a 40-hour work week.
Allegheny County Paid Sick Leave Amended to Create Exception for Unionized Construction Workers
Allegheny County’s Paid Sick Leave Ordinance went into effect on December 15, 2021. The ordinance was amended, effective April 15, 2022, to exclude members of a construction labor union who are covered under a collective bargaining agreement.
Texas Supreme Court Clarifies Standard for Payment of Commissions
Based on a recent Supreme Court of Texas decision, employers are reminded of the importance of having clear written employment agreements articulating how commissions will or will not be paid, including whether they will be paid after termination of employment.
Utah Changes Withholding Obligations for Nonresident Employees
Effective January 1, 2023, individuals working 20 days or less in Utah are exempt from state income tax. This law is designed to make the State’s tax laws more accommodating to nonresident, remote workers. Once the individual works 21 days or more, all wages received by the individual while working in the state will be subject to state income tax, including the first 20 days.
Utah Amends Vaccination and Testing Requirements
The state amended its COVID-19 vaccination and testing requirements to include exemption for previous infection. In addition to religious, medical, and personal exemptions, employers must provide an exemption for an employee or applicant that provides a letter stating the individual was previously infected by the virus. The new legislation does not prohibit an employer from verbally asking an employee to voluntarily disclose their vaccination status.
Washington Amends Paid Family and Medical Leave Act Again
Washington amended their PFML statute again to allow paid family leave for the purpose of bereavement under specific circumstances. In addition, this amendment also expands benefits for post-natal care, publication requirements by the Washington Employment Security Department (ESD), and provisions for employees subject to a union contract. Click here to read our full e-Alert.
Washington Expands Wage and Salary Disclosure Requirements
Effective January 1, 2023, Washington employers with 15 or more employees must include compensation and benefits details in all job postings and advertisements. A “posting” is considered any solicitation intended to recruit applicants for a particular position, which includes third-party recruitment conducted on an employer’s behalf.
Wisconsin Amends Employer Coverage Provisions in Workers’ Comp Law
Wisconsin has made statutory changes to the workers’ compensation regulations, including modifications to payments for injured workers and part-time employee wage expansion.
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