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HR News Alerts

Oregon Amends Family Leave Law to Allow Organ and Tissue Donations

Posted on July 11, 2019
Amendment Becomes Effective on Jan. 1, 2020.
Oregon recently amended its Family Leave law to include donating a body part, organ, or tissue as a “serious health condition” that is covered by the law. This means eligible employees will be able to take a leave of absence under the law for purposes of donation, including preoperative or diagnostic services, surgery, post-operative treatment, and recovery.


Nevada Adopts Employee Paid Leave Law

Posted on July 11, 2019
New Law Becomes Effective Jan. 1, 2020.
Beginning on Jan. 1, 2020, private employers with 50 or more employees in Nevada will be required to provide paid leave to all employees, except for temporary, seasonal and on-call workers.

When this law becomes effective, employees will accrue 0.01923 hours of paid leave for every hour of work they perform. Employees will be able to use this paid leave for any reason and will be compensated at the wage rate they receive at the time they use their paid leave. Employees must notify their employers of their intent to use this leave as soon as practicable.

Employers can limit the paid leave an employee can use to 40 hours during the year. However, employers may allow employees to carry over up to 40 hours of unused paid leave to the following year. The new law also requires employers to display a workplace poster that explains this new law to employees and to maintain a record of all accrued and used paid leave for 1 year.

Find out more information on Nevada’s paid leave.


EEO-1 Component 2 Online Filing System Opens July 15

Posted on July 11, 2019
Employers Must Submit 2017 and 2018 Data by Sept. 30
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has announced that the online filing system for EEO-1 Component 2 data will be available for all filers July 15, 2019, when system login information will also be sent to employers via regular mail and email.

EEO-1 filers must submit Component 2 data (on compensation and hours worked) for calendar years 2017 and 2018 by Sept. 30, 2019. The web page for the filing system has been updated with employer FAQs and links to additional employer resources, such as a sample pay data collection form, an instruction booklet for filers, and a user’s guide. The EEOC has also set up a help desk, which may be reached at or 877-324-6214.

The EEO-1 filing requirement generally applies to private employers with 100 or more employees and certain federal contractors.


Illinois Legalizes Recreational Marijuana

Posted on July 09, 2019
New Law Takes Effect Jan. 1, 2020
On June 25, 2019, Illinois joined ten other states and the District of Columbia in legalizing recreational marijuana use. The Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (CRTA), which becomes effective Jan. 1, 2020, will allow individuals age 21 and over to purchase, possess, use and grow limited amounts of marijuana for recreational purposes in the state.

The CRTA also amends the state’s Right to Privacy in the Workplace Act to include marijuana as a “lawful product.” However, the law specifies that employers may still:

  • Ban marijuana from their workplaces;
  • Prohibit employees from being under the influence of marijuana while they are working or on call; and
  • Adopt “reasonable zero tolerance” or “drug free workplace” policies.

Employers in Illinois should become familiar with the CRTA and ensure they have compliant workplace policies in place, especially if they take adverse actions based solely on the fact that an individual tests positive for marijuana.

Find out more information


Connecticut Expands Sexual Harassment Training to All Employees

Posted on July 09, 2019
Two-Hour Requirement Becomes Effective Oct. 1
Beginning Oct. 1, 2019, Connecticut employers with 3 or more employees must provide 2 hours of sexual harassment training to all employees. Employees hired after October 1 are required to receive the training within 6 months of hire. Previously, training was required only for supervisors working for employers with 50 or more employees.

The new law tasks the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities with developing official training materials employers can use to satisfy this requirement.

Employers with fewer than 3 employees will need to provide this training to all supervisory employees by Oct. 1, 2020, and to all new supervisory employees within 6 months of assuming a supervisory position.

Employers will be required to provide periodic supplemental training on sexual harassment at least every 10 years.
The new law also contains a notice requirement.


Executive Order Signals Changes to HDHPs, FSAs, and ‘Eligible Medical Expenses’

Posted on July 08, 2019
New Guidance and Proposed Regulations Expected
Among the issues addressed by President Trump’s June 24 executive order on health care transparency were expanding access to high deductible health plans (HDHPs) and flexible spending accounts (FSAs), as follows:

  • Within 120 days of the order, the Treasury Department must issue guidance to expand patients’ ability to select HDHPs that can be used alongside health savings accounts (HSAs), and that cover low-cost preventive care, before the deductible, for medical care for chronic conditions.
  • Within 180 days of the order, the Department must issue guidance to increase the amount of FSA funds that can be carried over at the end of the year.

Also within 180 days of the order, the Department is to propose regulations to treat expenses related to “certain types of arrangements, potentially including direct primary care arrangements and healthcare sharing ministries,” as eligible medical expenses under section 213(d) of the tax code, which concerns tax deductions for expenses related to medical care.

Read these and other directives contained in the order.
© 2019 HR 360, Inc.


Oklahoma Bans Marijuana in the Workplace

Posted on July 08, 2019
Smoking regulations now apply to all marijuana products.
Oklahoma has amended its smoking laws to prohibit smoking or vaping marijuana products in public areas and workplaces. Learn more about this bill.


Nevada Increases Minimum Wage

Posted on June 27, 2019

Hourly Rate to Reach $11 or $12 by 2024, Depending on Health Benefits Offered
Nevada has adopted a law that will increase its minimum wage rate to $12 per hour by 2024. The schedule below indicates the gradual increases that will lead to this new minimum wage rate, which begin on July 1, 2020. The minimum wage rate in Nevada varies depending on whether the employer offers certain health benefits. Click here for additional information.

Effective Date Offers Health Benefits Does NOT Offer Health Benefits
July 1, 2019 $7.25 $8.25
July 1, 2020 $8.00 $9.00
July 1, 2021 $8.75 $9.75
July 1, 2022 $9.50 $10.50
July 1, 2023 $10.25 $11.25
July 1, 2024 $11.00 $12.00


Alabama Enacts Law to Reduce Wage Gaps, Bar Salary History Requirements

Posted on June 26, 2019
New law becomes effective Sept. 1, 2019
Alabama has adopted a new law that prohibits employers from discriminating against job applicants who fail to provide a salary history.

The new law also prohibits employers from paying a different wage to employees based on their sex or race when they perform similar work, unless the difference is based on a system that accounts for seniority, merit, quantity or quality of production, or another differential not based on race or sex.


Oregon Extends Anti-Discrimination Protections

Posted on June 21, 2019
New law becomes operative on October 1, 2020
On June 11, 2019, Oregon adopted a new law that will:

  • Require employers to adopt a written policy to prevent discrimination and sexual assault; and
  • Prohibit employers from requiring employees or job applicants to sign agreements that prevent discussing or disclosing conduct that would be considered discrimination or sexual assault.

The law also requires the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) to draft a model policy and procedures that employers can use to satisfy this requirement. Employers should monitor the BOLI website for a notification once these sample materials are published.

Finally, the law also provides an exemption for employees who have been victims of discrimination or sexual assault. These employees can enter into limited non-disclosure agreements if specific conditions are met. Click here for more information.


Connecticut’s Minimum Wage Rate Will Increase to $15 by 2023

Posted on June 21, 2019
First Wage Increase Will be on Oct. 1, 2019
Connecticut has adopted a schedule to gradually increase the state’s minimum wage rate to $15 per hour by 2023. Because the law implements these changes over the next 5 years, the law also includes a provision that enables the state to adjust the increase schedule during times of decreased economic productivity in the state.

The employer’s share of wages for bartenders and other tipped employees in the hotel and restaurant industries will remain unchanged at $6.38 for hotel and restaurant staff, and $8.23 for bartenders, though employers will need to make up the difference if these employees’ tips are not sufficient to meet the increasing minimum wage rates for the state.
© 2019 HR 360, Inc.


Massachusetts Delays Paid Family and Medical Leave

Posted on June 20, 2019
Employers must begin collecting contributions on Oct. 1, 2019.
Massachusetts has officially delayed by 3 months the implementation of the states paid family and medical leave law. Under the new law, employers must begin withholding contributions from employee earnings to fund this employee benefit on Oct. 1, 2019, instead of July 1, 2019.

Similarly, employers will need to transfer these deductions to the state by Jan. 31, 2020 instead of Oct. 2019. To compensate for the 3-month delay, the state has also raised the contribution tax from 0.63% to 0.75% of an employee’s first $132,900 in wages.

Employer notification requirements have also been extended from June 30, 2019 to Sept. 30, 2019.

Finally, employers that offer paid leave benefits that equal or exceed those required by state law now have until Dec. 20, 2019 to apply for an exemption.


Nevada Employers Can’t Deny Employment Because of Positive Marijuana Test

Posted on June 19, 2019
New Law Effective January 1, 2020
Nevada has adopted a new law that prohibits employers from failing or refusing to hire an applicant because of the applicant’s positive marijuana drug test result. The law takes effect on Jan. 1, 2020.

However, an exception to the rule applies when:

  • The applicant is applying for a position as a firefighter or emergency medical technician;
  • Federal or state law requires the employee to submit to drug tests to operate a motor vehicle;
  • The employer determines that using marijuana in the position the applicant is applying for could adversely affect the safety of others; or
  • The rule is inconsistent or in conflict with:
    • Federal law;
    • Requirements of a federal grant; or
    • An employment contract or collective bargaining agreement.

The new law also provides that if an employer requires an employee to take a drug test within the first 30 days of employment, the employee has the right to pay for an additional drug test to rebut the results of the first test.


Colorado Limits Criminal History Inquiries

Posted on June 19, 2019
Job Postings and Applications may not Exclude Applicants with Criminal Histories
Effective Sept. 1, 2019, job postings, advertisements, and application forms from Colorado private employers with 11 or more employees may not include language saying that individuals with criminal histories may not apply. This requirement becomes effective for all Colorado employers on Sept. 1, 2021. The new law also bans statements in application forms requiring applicants to disclose their criminal histories.

Limited exceptions apply when required by federal, state or local laws. Click here for more.

In addition, effective Aug. 2, 2019, employers cannot require an applicant to disclose any information that is part of an expunged or sealed record. Applicants with such records may say that the record does not exist and deny that the expungement ever occurred, or (regarding a sealed record), that they were ever criminally charged.

Employers cannot deny an application only because the applicant refused to disclose expunged information or conviction records that have been sealed. Click here for more.
© 2019 HR 360, Inc.


Final Rule Allows HRAs that Reimburse Individual Health Premiums

Posted on June 17, 2019
Change to Take Effect for 2020 Plan Years
A new final rule lets all employers offer health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) to pay for employees’ individual health insurance policy premiums, if certain conditions are met. Currently, many employers are prohibited from offering such HRAs. The rule was released by the U.S. Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and the Treasury on June 13; it takes effect for plan years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2020.

In general, the final rule permits an HRA to reimburse premiums for individual health insurance policies only if:

  • Individuals verify their enrollment in individual health insurance coverage;
  • The HRA is offered on the same terms to all employees within a class (with limited exceptions);
  • The employer does not offer the same employee both a traditional group health plan and the HRA;
  • Participants can opt out of the HRA annually; and
  • Employers provide eligible participants with a written notice describing the HRA’s terms and its interaction with the premium tax credit.

The final rule also allows employers to offer “Excepted Benefit HRAs” in conjunction with traditional group health plans, if certain conditions are met.

For more information, see Questions and Answers prepared by the Department of Health and Human Services.


HIPAA Enforcement Guidance Issued for Business Associates

Posted on June 13, 2019
New HHS Fact Sheet Addresses Direct Liability
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has issued a fact sheet explaining when a business associate can be directly liable for compliance with the HIPAA Privacy, Security, Breach Notification, and Enforcement Rules.

The fact sheet states that OCR is authorized to take enforcement action against business associates only for:

  1. Failing to provide HHS with records and compliance reports, cooperate with investigations and reviews, and provide HHS access to protected health information (PHI) and other compliance information;
  2. Retaliating against anyone for filing a HIPAA complaint, participating in an investigation, or opposing a HIPAA violation;
  3. Failing to comply with the Security Rule;
  4. Failing to notify a covered entity or other business associate of a breach;
  5. Impermissible uses and disclosures of PHI;
  6. Failing to disclose a copy of electronic PHI to either a covered entity, an individual, or an individual’s designee (whichever is specified in the business associate agreement);
  7. Failing to make reasonable efforts to limit PHI to the minimum necessary to accomplish the intended purpose of the use, disclosure, or request;
  8. Failing to provide an accounting of disclosures in certain circumstances;
  9. Failing to enter into compliant business associate agreements with subcontractors that create or receive PHI on their behalf; and
  10. Failing to take reasonable steps to address a material breach or violation of the subcontractor’s business associate agreement.

Click here to review the new fact sheet. Frequently asked questions on business associates are also available.


Colorado Extends Smoking Prohibitions to Electronic Products

Posted on June 12, 2019
New Law Becomes Effective July 1, 2019.
Colorado has amended its workplace smoking prohibition to include a ban on electronic smoking devices, effective July 1. The amendments also repeal the exception for employers whose establishments are not open to the public and employ no more than 3 people and clarify that smoking restrictions apply to tobacco and any other product intended for inhalation, whether synthetic or natural, including marijuana.


Colorado Prohibits Wage Discrimination and Salary History Inquiries

Posted on June 05, 2019
New Law Becomes Effective January 1, 2021.
On May 22, 2019, Colorado enacted the Equal Pay for Equal Work Act. Under the law, employers will no longer be able to:

  • Pay different wages to employees who perform similar work, based solely on the employee’s sex; or
  • Seek the salary or wage rate history of job applicants.

The Act also creates new responsibilities that employers will need to meet when posting job openings, and employer recordkeeping requirements for employees’ work history, including compensation.


Sexual Harassment Training is Now Mandatory in Washington

Posted on June 03, 2019
Effective dates: January 1, 2020, for hotels and motels with 60 or more rooms, January 1, 2021, for other affected employers.
A new law in Washington requires hotels, motels, retail establishments, security guard entities and property service contractors to:

• Adopt a sexual harassment policy; and
• Provide mandatory sexual harassment training to managers, supervisors, and employees.

Hotels and motels with 60 or more rooms must meet these requirements by January 1, 2020. Other affected employers must comply by January 1, 2021.
The new law also includes additional related, reporting requirements for property service contractors.

Click here for more.


Colorado Requires Employers to Notify Patrons of Tip-Pooling Practice

Posted on June 03, 2019
New Law Effective Aug. 2, 2019
Beginning August 2, 2019, employers can implement a tip-pooling system among their employees only if they notify each of their patrons, in writing, that a tip pooling or sharing arrangement exists in the establishment. Acceptable written notification forms include:

  • A notice in the menu
  • A table tent
  • A notice in the receipt

Click here for more.

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