State and Local Law Update

One of the most difficult things for human resource professionals to do is keep up with changing State and local laws related to leaves and discrimination. Below is a brief summary of some new laws of interest:

Arizona: H.B. 2114 creates a rebuttable presumption that an independent contractor relationship exists between the worker and the employing organization.

Georgia: H.B. 831 requires private employers to re-employ certain members of the National Guard of another State who have been discharged due to being called into active service.

Hawaii: Hawaii is requesting a waiver of certain health care reform requirements.

Illinois: H.B. 1260 amends the State’s Personal Information Privacy Act, which affects health insurance information.

Michigan: H.B. 4537 prohibits an employer from discriminating against, disciplining or discharging an employee who is absent from work to respond to an emergency as a civil air patrol volunteer.

Oklahoma: S.B. 1198 authorizes the Commissioner of Labor to create a new schedule of penalties and fines for violations of the Oklahoma Occupational Health and Safety Standards Act.

Pennsylvania: S.B. 3 makes Pennsylvania the 24th State to legalize medical marijuana. Unlike many State laws, Pennsylvania’s has some specific provisions regarding employment; however, a number of gray areas remain. For example, the law provides that a medical marijuana patient may be prohibited by his or her employer from performing any task the employer deems life-threatening to either the employee or any of the employees of the employer while under the influence of medical marijuana.

Santa Monica, California: The City of Santa Monica has delayed the effective date of its new paid sick leave rules to January 1, 2017. Under the amended ordinance:

  • Effective January 1, 2017:
    • Employers with 25 or fewer employees must provide employees with 32 hours of paid sick leave per year.
    • Employers with 26 or more employees must provide 40 hours of paid sick leave per year.
  • Effective January 1, 2018:
    • Employers with 25 or fewer employees must provide employees with 40 hours of paid sick leave per year.
    • Employers with 26 or more employees must provide 72 hours of paid sick leave per year.

Vermont: Effective January 1, 2017, Vermont will require employers with more than five employees to provide paid sick leave. Employers with five or fewer employees will have until January 2018 to comply. Initially, employers will have to provide full-time employees who qualify under the law with three paid sick days every year. In 2019 that will increase to five sick days.

Wisconsin: B. 517 requires employers with 50 or more employees to provide employees with up to six weeks of unpaid leave in a 12-month period to serve as an organ or bone marrow donor. Employees seeking to take this leave must provide advance notice of the need for leave and must make a reasonable effort to schedule the donation so that it does not unduly disrupt the operations of the employer.

About John Garner

John Garner has over thirty five years of experience in employee benefits. He specializes in compliance, health care reform, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA), and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). He helps clients with life, health, and disability benefits, cost containment, flexible benefits, and claim consulting.

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