State legislatures have been busy this session passing laws that affect employers across the country. Here is a quick roundup of some of the newly passed legislation in today's EBI Screening News Weekly Wrap.
New York Requires Paid Sick Leave for All
A new state law now requires all private employers in the state of New York to provide paid sick time to every single employee. There are no exceptions. Part-time, students, seasonal workers – they are all included.
The amount of time required varies depending on how many employees you have. The majority of companies must provide 40 hours of paid sick leave a year, but those with more than 100 employees must provide 56 hours. Workers started accruing the hours on September 30th, but they will not be able to start using them until January 1, 2020.
The new law does not apply to government agencies.
New Jersey Covers Essential Workers
New Jersey quickly passed a law that allows essential employees to claim worker’s compensation benefits if they contract COVID-19 while on the job. The law is retroactive to March 9th and covers everyone from first responders and medical personnel to employees in newly ‘essential’ jobs like store clerks, childcare providers, and even construction workers.
As long as the employee works on-site and not from home, there will be the presumption that a COVID-19 infection is work related. Employers can rebut this if they have evidence that the disease was contracted outside of the workplace, but if they can’t, the employee will receive benefits.
California COVID-19 Exposure Notification Law
California’s governor signed several COVID-19 related bills into law this month. One requires employers to quickly inform employees if they have been exposed to the virus.
If an employee was in the workplace before testing positive for COVID-19, their employer has just one business day from learning about the positive test to notify everyone who might have been exposed.
There is an exception for health facilities, and the new law does allow California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) to shut down a business if it presents an “imminent hazard” for exposing the community to the virus.
Maryland’s Salary History Ban Takes Effect
Maryland’s new salary history ban is now in effect. There are two parts to this law. The first prohibits employers from asking job applicants for their salary history, so the information is not used to make employment or compensation decisions.
The second piece requires employers to give applicants a pay range for a position if the candidate asks for it.
The changes are amendments to the state’s Equal Pay for Equal Work law. Nearly 20 states have similar bans on the books.