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New York Adopts Equal Pay Law

August 16, 2019

New Law Becomes Effective Oct. 8 Beginning Oct. 8, 2019, New York state law will prohibit employers from paying different wages to employees solely because they belong to a protected class. This means that employers must pay the same wages to employees who perform substantially similar work. However, the law also allows wage differentials based …

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Maine Passes Expansive Paid Employee Leave Law

August 15, 2019

New Law Becomes Effective Jan. 1, 2021 Enacted May 28, 2019, Maine’s earned employee leave law allows employees to earn paid leave that may be used for any reason. Effective Jan. 1, 2021, this law allows eligible employees to earn 1 hour of paid leave for every 40 hours worked, up to 40 hours per …

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California Expands Definition of Racial Discrimination

August 2, 2019

Expanded Definition Becomes Effective on Jan. 1, 2020 Employers in California are already prohibited from discriminating against individuals based on their race. However, in order to clarify what constitutes racial discrimination, the California legislature has added that racial discrimination also includes discriminating on the basis of traits and characteristics that are historically associated with race. …

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Oregon Adopts Pregnancy Accommodation Law

July 31, 2019

New Law Becomes Effective Jan. 1, 2020 Beginning Jan. 1, 2020, employers with 6 or more employees will need to provide reasonable accommodations to limitations an employee may experience because of the employee’s pregnancy, childbirth or related medical condition (including lactation). Employers will also be prohibited from denying employment opportunities to, taking adverse employment actions …

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ACA Affordability Contribution Rate Set at 9.78% for 2020

July 26, 2019

New Figure Marks Decrease from 2019 Under the employer shared responsibility (“pay or play”) provisions of the Affordable Care Act, applicable large employers—generally those who have 50 or more full-time employees (including full-time equivalent employees)—may be subject to a penalty if they do not offer affordable coverage that provides minimum value to their full-time employees …

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New Jersey Adds Protections for Medical Marijuana Users

July 24, 2019

New Law Became Effective July 2 New Jersey has amended its medical marijuana law to protect employees from adverse employment actions if they use cannabis for a qualifying medical condition. In addition, the new provisions require employers with drug-testing policies to notify employees and job applicants who have positive test results for cannabis that: They …

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New Law in Maine Provides Veterans Medical Leave

July 23, 2019

A new law (PDF) in Maine, effective Sept. 19, 2019, will require employers to allow veterans to take time away from work to attend a scheduled appointment at a medical facility operated by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. Employers that provide paid leave must allow veteran employees to use this paid leave for …

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Connecticut Enacts Paid Family and Medical Leave Law

July 19, 2019

Employers Must Begin Collecting Employee Contributions By Feb. 1, 2021. On June 25, 2019, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont signed Public Act 19-25 into law, establishing a statewide paid family and medical leave program. This new paid family leave program will be funded through a mandatory payroll tax on employees of 0.5% of income, beginning in …

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HDHP Preventive Care Benefits Expanded

July 19, 2019

Expansion Allows Coverage Without a Deductible for Some Chronic Conditions A new IRS notice (PDF) expands the list of preventive care benefits that may be covered by a high deductible health plan (HDHP) without a deductible, or with a deductible below the minimum deductible for an HDHP. Except for preventive care benefits, an HDHP can …

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Reminder: PCORI Fees Due July 31

July 15, 2019

Fees Apply to Employers Sponsoring Certain Self-Insured Plans As a reminder, employers that sponsor certain self-insured health plans are responsible for Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) fees. Fees for plan years that ended in 2018 are due July 31, 2019. Employers must report and pay the required PCORI fees annually via IRS Form 720. For …

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