Keeping up with the dynamic landscape of employment laws can be a daunting task. However, being informed is key to ensuring a harmonious workplace and avoiding potential legal conflicts. This conversational blog post aims to simplify the upcoming changes to state laws across the United States, in areas such as paid leave, marijuana use, workplace gun laws, salary history inquiries, and unpredictable scheduling.
July 2023: A Series of Changes Across States
July 1st marks the beginning of a wave of changes. In Minnesota, both the prohibition of noncompete agreements and new paid sick leave requirements come into effect. Bloomington, in particular, will experience this change. Meanwhile, the District of Columbia is introducing the Cannabis Employment Protections Amendment Act. Simultaneously, Georgia will implement a new voting leave law.
In Florida, employers will now be required to use E-Verify for their hiring process. Iowa is amending its child labor laws, while Hawaii is extending employers’ rights to prohibit firearms on company property. Further north, Maryland is making moves towards legalizing recreational marijuana use.
For working mothers, Minnesota will broaden protections and pregnancy accommodations. Virginia, in a healthcare-driven initiative, will require employers with 50 or more employees to provide unpaid leave for organ and bone marrow donation. The state will also implement new nondisclosure requirements and an organ donor leave law. Finally, in Washington, employers will face new vehicle search restrictions starting July 23.
August 2023: Equality and Recreational Rights Take the Forefront
Minnesota leads the pack again, amending its Human Rights Act’s definition of race to include traits associated with race, such as hair texture and hair styles. The state will also permit and protect off-duty recreational marijuana use. In Colorado, changes are centered on anti-discrimination laws and nondisclosure agreements, with an expansion of permitted use of paid sick leave.
September to December 2023: Equal Pay and Paid Leave Initiatives
September 2023 will witness the implementation of a statewide pay disclosure law in New York. Oregon will begin providing paid family leave benefits. As the year comes to a close, Colorado requires the issuance of Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) notifications before December 31.
Looking Ahead: 2024 and Beyond
Looking further ahead, California and Colorado will protect off-duty cannabis use by employees in 2024. Illinois will make significant strides towards equal pay and universal paid leave, with Maryland following suit by increasing the state minimum wage to $15 an hour.
Fast forward to 2025, Delaware is expected to start contributions to its paid family and medical leave law. A year later, in 2026, both Delaware and Maryland are projected to begin benefits under their respective paid family and medical leave laws.
By staying informed about these changes, employers can better equip themselves to remain compliant and foster a positive work environment. This blog post provides a general summary and is not intended as legal advice. Employers should consult with a legal professional to understand how these changes may affect their business. Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Lisa Smith, SPHR, SCP
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