New Hampshire Minimum Wage Update

[caption id="attachment_14037" align="alignleft" width="276"] In 2011, New Hampshire essentially repealed the state minimum wage law in favor of the federal minimum wage.[/caption] Since 2011, the New Hampshire Minimum wage has been pegged at the same rate as the federal minimum wage, currently $7.25 per hour. New Hampshire is unique among states in that it used to have a state minimum wage higher than the federal rate, but essentially eliminated it effective August 21, 2011. New Hampshire also does not have an overtime law at the state level, meaning workers are entitled to overtime only if they are covered under the federal FLSA or the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. Five U.S. states have never had a minimum wage at the state level: Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Tennessee and South Carolina. In addition, three states have minimum wages that are lower than the federal minimum wage: Arkansas, Georgia and Wyoming. A handful of states allow very small employers to pay lower... More...

Illinois Pregnancy Accommodation Law

[caption id="attachment_14003" align="alignleft" width="224"] Pregnancy Accommodation: Pregnant employees in Illinois are entitled to accommodations under a new amendment to the IL Human Rights Act.[/caption] Effective January 1, 2015, the Illinois Pregnancy Accommodation Law provides greater protection for pregnant employees. The new amendment to the Illinois Human Rights Act applies to every employer in the state with one or more employees, just as the law concerning disability discrimination and sexual harassment does. (Some other provisions of the IL Human Rights Act apply only to Illinois employers with 15 or more employees.) The law covers workers (full-time, part-time and those on probation) and job candidates who are pregnant or who become pregnant. Illinois Pregnancy Accommodation Overview The Illinois Pregnancy Accommodation amendment requires employers to make reasonable accommodations for a pregnant employee even if her impairment does not meet the official test to be determined a “disability.” This is a change from prior disability discrimination laws, which did not cover accommodations for most... More...

California Workers Comp Reform Update

[caption id="attachment_13995" align="alignleft" width="300"] California announces a new comment period on proposed new regulations regarding workers comp.[/caption] The California Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) announced a new comment period on proposed modifications to the new reform rules until 5 p.m. on Sept. 19, 2014. Employers and other interested parties can present written comments to dwcrules@dir.ca.gov. The DWC has made a number of technical changes to the WCIS regulations based on prior comments. These include adding a reference to the pre-2014 Official Medical Fee Schedule to ensure that information is not lost during the transition. In addition, the DWC has broadened ICD diagnosis data collection to include both ICD-9 and ICD-10 data. It has also clarified reporting procedures for some types of lump-sum payments.  Complete proposed changes can be viewed at https://www.dir.ca.gov/dwc/rulemaking/dwc_rulemaking_proposed.html. The California Workers Comp Reform law or Senate Bill 863 passed in 2012, has presented both challenges and benefits. The intention of the law was to limit costs while... More...

Maryland Minimum Wage Increase 2015

[caption id="attachment_13992" align="alignleft" width="300"] On January 1, 2015 the Maryland minimum wage increases to $8.00 per hour.[/caption] Effective January 1, 2015 the Maryland minimum wage increases to $8.00 per hour in the first of a series of rate hikes for workers. In a second increase, on July 1, 2015 the state minimum wage goes up to $8.25 per hour. Additional increases will occur in steps, until the Maryland minimum wage reaches $10.10 in 2018. The minimum wage for tipped employees in Maryland remains at $3.63. Schedule increases in the Maryland minimum wage include an increase to $8.75 in July 2016 and to $9.25 in July 2017. On July 1, 2018 the final step will increase the state minimum wage to $10.10 per hour.  The law does not include an annual increase after 2018, although that measure was originally proposed by Governor Martin O’Malley (D). Some counties within the state have already implemented higher minimum wages. Montgomery and Prince George’s counties... More...

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