As we move into 2021, many states have passed and are planning on passing new laws relating to employment law. Most of these laws are going to affect each entire state, while some are limited to certain cities. While many of these new laws are being put into place because of the pandemic, there are still plenty that not related. Below are some employment and labor laws that will affect Georgia, Maine, Nevada, Massachusetts, Oregon, Washington, and New York.
As of January 1, 2021, Georgia will allow individuals with certain criminal records to petition to have their records sealed. This will make it illegal for employers to use an employee’s criminal history to take action against that employee for their actions. Another law that was passed and put into effect as of January 1, 2021, is a law relating to wage and hour. This law will limit the number of wages that can be garnished for student loan repayment to 15% of garnishees weekly disposable earnings.
The state of Maine passed two laws that are effective as of January 1, 2021. Both laws are related to time off. The first law allows employees to accrue one hour of paid leave for each time they work a 40-hour week. Employees in Maine can accrue up to 40 hours each year. This only applies to companies that have more than 10 employees. The second law protects employers by making it so that there are certain procedures for employees accruing paid leave. Employees must provide notice when they need to use leave, scheduling use of leave, and penalizing denial of paid leave.
The state of Nevada passed two laws that will go into effect on January 1, 2021. The first law is related to health insurance and employee benefits. This law establishes requirements for getting a certificate of authority for self-funded multiple employer welfare arrangements. The second law is related to employee safety training. This law expands the scope of mandatory safety training to include employees who are working in locations that are mostly used for trade shows, conventions, and other related activities.
As of January 1, 2021, companies that are private now will have to provide certain covered individuals with paid family and medical leave, which will all be funded through a payroll tax.
OregonThe city of Portland, Oregon is prohibiting private companies from using facial recognition technology in public areas.
The state of Washington is taking a new stance on criminal background checks. The idea is that this is going to keep employers from denying employment to a care provider or licensing to an early childhood educator who previously was charged or convicted of child abuse or neglect. This law protects individuals who were convicted of child abuse or neglect. The law strictly applies to individuals who were convicted, but since then have obtained a certificate of parental improvement. Another law that will be put into place in 2021 applies to the city of Seattle, Washington. This law will tax all employers that are doing business within the city limits of Seattle.
Effective on April 5, 2021, the state of New York will now give employees who have chosen direct deposit to now receive confirmation of that direct deposit electronically instead of paper pay stubs.
With most of these laws already in effect, it will likely lead to more employment related lawsuits. With states like Massachusetts creating new regulations around paid family and medical leave, there may be an uptick in FMLA employment law cases.
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