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April 2018 - Compliance Round Up

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Compliance Round-Up: 2018 So Far


New Paid Sick Leave


Washington: The state of Washington’s paid sick leave law went into effect on January 1st, requiring that employees accrue paid sick leave at a rate of 1 hour for every 40 hours worked. Employees can start using their accrued sick leave beginning on the 90th day of employment and if they have unused sick leave of 40 hours or less, it must be carried over to the next year.


Maryland: Maryland has a new paid sick leave law that was effective February 11th. A few Maryland counties already had paid sick leave laws and the new state law bans local leave laws that were enacted after January 1, 2017.  This would include the Prince George’s County’s, though Montgomery County, which was passed in Oct 2016 would remain intact. The state law defines a list of who is not covered, including certain temporary workers. Given the complicated nature of paid sick leave law compliance, Avionté would encourage employers to discuss the Maryland requirements with legal counsel to determine the impact to their business.


Rhode Island: Rhode Island paid sick leave law was passed in 2017 and will go into effect July 1st, 2018. Employees accrue paid sick leave at a rate of 1 hour for every 35 hours worked and may use up to 24 hours of leave in 2018.  The amount of leave an employee can use will go up to 32 hours in 2019 and 40 each year following.  As with many other paid sick leave laws, new employees have a 90-day waiting period before they can use the sick leave.


Austin, TX: Austin became the first city in Texas to pass a paid sick leave law.  The law is scheduled to go into effect October 1st, 2018 and will require employers with 5 or more employees to accrue sick leave of one hour for every 30 hours worked for eligible employees. Employers may prohibit employees from using the sick and safe leave during the first 60 days of employment if the term of employment will last at least one year.



Salary History Bans


California: The statewide ban, effective January 1st, 2018, prohibits employers from seeking an applicant’s pay history, and if the employer already has that information, it cannot be used to determine the new employees pay.


San Francisco, CA: Effective on July 1st, 2018, the San Francisco law will also ban employers from disclosing an employee’s salary without their consent.


Massachusetts: The statewide ban goes into effective July 1, 2018 and prohibits employers from asking for salary information, though they can confirm salary history if volunteered by the applicant or after an offer has already been extended to the applicant.


Michigan and Wisconsin: While the salary history ban is trending in various states and localities, both Michigan and Wisconsin are going against the grain by banning salary bans. The laws for both states prohibit a local governmental body from enacting salary history ban laws.


DOL Opinion Letter

The Department of Labor released two new opinion letters on April 12th. The first clarifies their position on 15-minute FMLA-protected breaks. The DOL found that the 15-minute break throughout the day required by the employee’s health condition were not compensable. Opinion letter on breaks can be found here.

The other provided guidance on travel time under FLSA for non-exempt employees working irregular work schedules. The letter provides two methods that employers can use to reasonably determine the normal work hours. Opinion letter on breaks can be found here.

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