Similar bills are being considered by state legislatures in California, Georgia, Connecticut, Indiana, Maryland, Kentucky, Missouri, New Jersey, Nebraska, New York, New Mexico, Ohio, Texas, Pennsylvania and Vermont. Check back frequently for the latest updates on those bills.
By contrast, New Jersey is currently considering a law that would allow employers to share an employee’s or former employee’s credit history, work evaluations and other information in the personnel file with prospective employers or government agencies.
In most of these states, the limits to an employer’s use of credit checks apply to all employment decisions. However, the Florida and Michigan bills would only restrict use of credit history in hiring. An employer could still use a credit report for employment decisions regarding current employees.
California courts continue to limit employers’ use of arbitration agreements. This time, the Fourth Appellate District Court has determined that the new limits on arbitration agreements with employees also apply to independent contractors.
A previous California Supreme Court ruling in Armendariz v. Foundation Health Psychcare established that an arbitration agreement with an employee is only enforceable if it is mutual and does not require employees to waive rights they have under state law. Previously, many employers believed waiver of rights was the main purpose of an arbitration agreement.
The Supreme Court ruled that the employer’s “take it or leave it” attitude toward the items in the arbitration agreement made it invalid. Employees must be permitted to negotiate items in the arbitration agreement individually, without it affecting the job offer.
In order to be enforceable, a California arbitration agreement must provide for :
· A neutral arbitrator (more…)
The California legislature is considering several bills that would impact employers, including a minimum wage increase and extension of family leave rights. Another bill would protect employees who smoke medical marijuana.
Minimum Wage Increase
The California Assembly is considering AB 10, a bill that would increase the state minimum wage from $8.00 to $8.50 per hour. Even more importantly, the bill includes a provision to increase the minimum wage each year based on inflation.
Currently at $8.00 per hour, the California minimum wage is tied with Massachusetts for the seventh highest in the nation, after Washington, Oregon, Connecticut, Illinois, Nevada and Vermont. About a dozen states have annual cost-of-living increases to the minimum wage, including Florida, Arizona and Colorado.
Expanded Family Leave
If passed, the expanded CFRA would permit employees to take time off to care for an adult son or daughter, a mother- or father-in-law, grandparent, sister or brother, grandson or granddaughter, or a domestic partner with a serious health condition.
During inclement weather, many offices and businesses will close early. While last week’s post examined payment when the business is closed or remains open all day, different rules apply when the employer opts to close the workplace early.
Many states have reporting pay laws that guarantee an employee payment for a minimum number of hours when the employee reports for a scheduled shift. In those states, even if the employee works only 5 minutes, or reports to work but does no work at all, the employee is entitled to a minimum payment.
Laws vary from state to state, but many times reporting pay is not required if the employer made a good-faith effort to inform the employee in advance that the business would be closed or that the employee’s schedule has been changed. Many states also exempt employers from reporting time pay when a business is closed due to an act of God, as when a tornado or flood destroys the building.
According to SHRM, the Society for Human Resource Management, seven states plus the District of Columbia have reporting time pay laws that affect adults: California, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island. Oregon has a reporting time pay that applies to minors only.
A brief summary of reporting time pay laws by state: (more…)
Updated federal labor law posters for 2011 such as the federal minimum wage poster, the “Equal Employment Opportunity is the Law” poster and the worker safety poster affect employers in other states as well.
Employers across the nation can be fined for not prominently displaying required labor law posters in the workplace, where all employees can see them. Employees who fail to do so can be subject to fines and penalties.
One of the best ways for busy employers and HR professionals to remain in compliance with employment poster requirements is to subscribe to a reputable labor law poster service. The poster service will deliver durable, high-quality laminated posters each time a federal or state poster is updated.
Other poster updates are specific to the state of California, including updated versions of the California minimum wage poster, the employee polygraph poster and “Your Rights under USERRA (Veterans Benefits).”
In addition, some California employers are required to display additional posters in 2011. Employers who (more…)