State and Local Law Update

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

California

The California Department of Labor Standards Enforcement has updated its answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) to address how grandfathered plans can comply with the State paid sick leave law. The FAQs also say that the paid sick leave law does not impact how employers are required to compensate employees under existing paid time off plans for leave other than paid sick leave. The FAQs also address the impact of State paid sick leave on employer attendance policies.

Georgia

A new law effective July 1, 2017, requires certain employers to allow their employees to use up to five days of paid sick leave to care for immediate family members.

Los Angeles, California

The City of Los Angeles has updated its paid sick leave poster. The city has also updated its FAQs regarding paid sick leave to clarify that the paid sick leave ordinance does not apply to exempt employees. The FAQs also address how employers must calculate sick leave, the application of the law to employers with 25 or fewer nonexempt employees and the notice requirements. The updated FAQs provide that an employer’s size is based on covered employees (individuals who perform as least two hours of work in a particular week within the City of Los Angeles). The updated FAQs also specify that employers can use different sick leave methods for different classes of employees.

The city’s Office of Wage Standards (OWS) has also published a new form for employers to use to request a determination that their policy qualifies for the limited exemption for existing sick leave plans.

Every covered employer must post in a clearly visible place at any workplace or job site where any covered employee works, the notice published by OWS informing employees of the current minimum wage rate and of their rights under the Minimum Wage Ordinance (MWO—which includes the paid sick leave requirement).

Notices must be provided in English and any language spoken by at least 5 percent of the employees at the workplace or job site. Every covered employer must provide each covered employee the employer’s name, address and telephone number in writing. The required Los Angeles MWO Notice can be found on the OWS website in multiple languages. Failure to post the notice is subject to a fine of up to $500 for each day that the notice is not posted.

There are also $500 per day fines for failure to allow access to payroll records, failure to maintain payroll records for four years, failure to allow access for inspection of books and records or to interview employees, failure to provide the employer’s name, address and telephone number in writing, failure to cooperate with an investigation and failure to post a notice of correction to employees. There is a fine of up to $1,000 per day per employee for retaliation for exercising rights under the MWO.

San Diego, California

The City of San Diego has updated its FAQs to clarify that the sick leave ordinance does not apply to salaried employees.

West Virginia

A new law effective July 1, 2017 requires employers with more than 15 employees to provide employees who are members of the West Virginia wing of the Civil Air Patrol with up to 10 days of unpaid leave per calendar year for emergency mission training and up to 30 days of unpaid leave per calendar year for emergency mission response.


John Garner

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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