Though some would argue that the new decade actually starts on 01/01/2021, most of us feel that 01/01/2020 is the beginning of the “twenties.” This new year and new decade brings new employment laws all across the country. Below are a few of which that HR professionals should be aware.
ILLINOIS: Recreational marijuana use becomes legal in Illinois as of 01/01/2020. On 12/04/2019 Governor J.B. Pritzker signed an amendment to the legislation which clarified that Illinois employers may continue to have drug-free workplaces, may continue to conduct pre-employment and random drug tests and may take action due to a failed drug test. Nevertheless, it is important that employers ensure their workplace drug policies and both reasonable and nondiscriminatory.
CALIFORNIA: AB-5 imposes sweeping amendments to the California Labor Code and Unemployment Insurance Code. The law expands and codifies the presumption that workers are “employees” and adopts the “ABC” test for classifying independent contractors. Under the ABC test workers can only be classified as independent contractors if they are free from the direction and control of the hiring entity, perform work that is outside the usual course of the hiring entity’s business and are customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation or business of the same nature as that involved in the work performed.
NEVADA: The state has mandated that private-sector employers with 50 or more employees must provide employees with up to 40 hours of paid leave per benefit year. Employees may use the leave for any reason. The accrual rate is in proportion to the number of hours worked and the law does not carve out part-time employees.
WASHINGTON: Employers will no longer be able to put in place or enforce non-compete agreements with employees earning less than $100,000 per year or independent contractors earning less than $250,000 per year. Any non-compete agreements that last longer than 18 months after the termination of employment are automatically presumed to be unreasonable.
NEW JERSEY: As of 01/01/2020 New Jersey employers may no longer ask prospective employees about their salary history during the application and interview process. In addition, salary history may not be used as a determinant in setting compensation. The underlying rationale is that setting compensation on prior salary may perpetuate an unlawful pay disparity. Employers may only determine salary compensation using lawful considerations such as specific job duties, skill, education, training and experience. The State of New York has also passed similar legislation.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: On 01/01/2000 the minimum wage in Washington DC becomes $15.00 an hour – the highest in the nation. Tipped workers must be paid at least $5.00 per hour. Each year the Washington DC minimum wage will be increased in accordance with changes in the cost of living. The minimum wage applies to all employees who work at least 50% of their time in Washington DC regardless of where they reside.