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 Minimum Wage Reminder

A number of jurisdictions in California are increasing the minimum wage effective July 1, 2017, including Emeryville, Los Angeles (City and County), Pasadena, Sacramento, San Francisco and San Leandro. Most of these increases have been scheduled for some time and official notices already include the required information. For example, here is a link to the City of Los Angeles poster.


The Industrial Commission has issued new guidance on Arizona’s paid sick leave law that starts July 1, 2017. An employer’s non-Arizona employees are not included in an employer’s count of total employees for purposes of the paid sick time law. Paid sick time must be carried over to the following year, subject to usage limitations based on employer size.


The California Supreme Court has provided clarity on the State’s “day of rest” requirements that should make it easier for employers. In the case of Mendoza v. Nordstrom, California’s Supreme Court said that periods of more than 6 consecutive days of work that stretch across more than one workweek are not necessarily prohibited. The court also said that the exemption for employees working shifts of 6 hours or less applies only to those employees who never exceed 6 hours of work on any day of the workweek. If on any day an employee works more than 6 hours, a day of rest must be provided during that workweek, subject to whatever other exceptions might apply. The court held that an employer causes its employee to go without a day of rest when it induces the employee to forgo rest to which he or she is entitled. An employer is not forbidden from allowing an employee, fully apprised of the entitlement to rest, independently to choose not to take a day of rest.

The California Labor Commissioner’s Office has issued new guidance clarifying the State’s paid sick leave law.

Cook County and Chicago, Illinois

There are inconsistencies between the final Cook County regulations on paid sick leave and the draft City of Chicago regulations, including how the frontloading of paid sick leave should be calculated for employees covered under the Family and Medical Leave Act. Another inconsistency involves the rounding up of sick leave that is carried over.

New York

The New York Workers’ Compensation Board has issued revisions to its proposed rules for implementation of the New York Paid Family Leave Law.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court has upheld a 2015 trial court ruling that the City of Pittsburgh did not have the authority under State law to enact it paid sick day’s ordinance.

San Francisco, California

San Francisco has issued answers to new Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about its paid parental leave ordinance. Among other things, the new FAQs clarify that to receive the benefits under the ordinance, employees must also apply for the California Paid Family Leave benefits.


Effective January 1, 2018, Vermont will require accommodations for pregnancy-related conditions.

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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