HR Update: May 15th, 2023


Maryland Modifies its Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program

Approximately one year ago, the Maryland General Assembly passed the Time to Care Act of 2022 (SB 275/HB8). Maryland became the eleventh state (in addition to the District of Columbia) to adopt a statewide family and medical leave program (the “Program”). The Maryland General Assembly recently concluded its 2023 session and passed modifications to the Program. The governor approved the modifications on May 3, 2023. Learn More


OSHA Launches Nationwide Program Focusing on Workplace Falls

On May 1, 2023, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced a new National Emphasis Program (NEP) to prevent and reduce workplace falls. For the last 12 years, 29 CFR 1926.501 (Duty to Have Fall Protection) has topped OSHA’s list of most frequently cited standards. Despite the agency’s enforcement efforts, falls from heights remain the leading cause of fatalities and serious injuries across all industries. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the OSHA Information System (OIS), falls to a lower level accounted for 13% of all worker fatalities between 2014 and 2021. In the construction industry, falls to lower levels caused 32% of all fatalities during this same period. The NEP became effective immediately. Learn More


How Will Florida’s New Immigration Law Affect Private Employers?

On May 10, 2023, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law a new immigration bill (SB 1718) that will make sweeping changes for private employers with 25 or more employees. Passed by the Florida Senate on April 28, 2023 and by the Florida House of Representatives on May 2, 2023, this bill includes immigration-related provisions that will, among other things, require covered Florida employers to use the E-Verify system to verify a new employee’s employment eligibility. Learn More


Chicago Enacts Amendments to and Expands Requirements of its Criminal History Screening Ordinance

For nearly a decade, Chicago has maintained a “ban-the-box” ordinance restricting employer’s use of criminal records in employment screening. This ordinance largely mirrored the requirements of Illinois’ state-wide Job Opportunities for Qualified Applicants Act (JOQAA), albeit with some important differences. Illinois law on this subject has since been amended substantially, and on April 24, 2023, the City of Chicago followed suit by publishing an amended ban-the-box ordinance that takes immediate effect. Chicago’s new ordinance: (1) creates a new individualized assessment requirement; (2) requires a pre-adverse and final adverse action notice when employers are assessing criminal records; and (3) requires additional language in an adverse action notice. Learn More


CMS Plans to Unwind Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement for Healthcare Employers

On November 4, 2021, the Biden administration and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued an interim final rule which required certain workers at CMS-covered healthcare facilities to be vaccinated. Given a recent announcement by the Biden-Harris administration ending the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, CMS has stated that it will “soon end” its mandatory vaccination requirement. While no additional details have been provided at this time, CMS has indicated that additional guidance will be forthcoming after May 11, 2023, the effective date that the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency ends. Learn More


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