State and Local Law Update

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

California: The California Court of Appeal has reaffirmed that California law does not prohibit employers from imposing a waiting period before vacation time begins to accrue, as long as the employer’s policy is clearly stated.

Delaware: A new state law regarding computer security breaches will go into effect in April, 2018.

Hawaii: Effective July 11, 2017, employees have the right to have a chaperone present during an independent medical examination for a work-related injury.

Massachusetts: The Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act ensures that pregnant workers or workers with pregnancy-related conditions (such as nursing mothers) receive reasonable accommodations and protection from discrimination and retaliation. The law will take effect on April 1, 2018.

Massachusetts has increased the employer medical assistance contributions for 2018 and 2019. The state is also imposing a new assessment, effective January 1, 2018.

Nevada: Effective October 1, 2017, employers will need to comply with the Pregnant Workers’ Fairness Act. The Nevada Equal Right Commission has issued notices that must be posted.

New Jersey: New Jersey has changed from a calendar year to a fiscal year for calculating temporary disability insurance and family leave.

New York: New York has issued guidance on the tax treatment of paid family leave contributions and benefits. Premiums are to be deducted on an after-tax basis and benefits will be taxable. Taxes on benefits will not be withheld automatically, but employees can request voluntary tax withholding from paid family leave benefits. Employers should review their payroll and reporting practices to ensure they are in compliance. The state has also issued final regulations regarding paid family leave. The guidance indicates that if an employer has a handbook, it must include information concerning paid family leave. Benefits will begin in 2018.

Oregon: Oregon has a new law regarding work schedules and rest periods.

San Francisco, California: San Francisco has passed a new ordinance requiring lactation accommodations for mothers in the workplace. The San Francisco ordinance requires more than the Federal and California laws. San Francisco requires access to a refrigerator and sink. San Francisco also requires employers to develop a written lactation accommodation policy. The policy must be distributed to all employees upon hiring, must notify employees of their right to request a lactation accommodation and identify a process for employees to request an accommodation. The ordinance provides for an undue hardship exemption.

Virginia: The Virginia Department of Labor and Industry has updated its Job Safety and Health Protection poster.

Washington: The State has released proposed rules for its paid sick leave law.


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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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