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Local and State Employment Law Update: COVID-19, Pay Transparency and Criminal Records | SmithAmundsen LLC

Here are some of the latest status updates –

INDIANA

Indiana Code 24-4.9-3-3, which addresses “reasonable” delays in reporting data security breaches, was amended by HB 1351 to impose a forty-five (45) day limit to report violations of certain personal information. Effective July 1, 2022, employers must notify Indiana residents, including employees and applicants, no later than forty-five (45) days after discovering a breach of certain personal information.

MASSACHUSETTS

Massachusetts’ COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick Leave Program ended March 15, 2022. However, employers can continue to seek reimbursement for eligible leave expenses taken between May 28, 2021 and March 15, 2022 until March 15, 2022. as of April 29, 2022.

MINNESOTA

The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry has launched a new web page and released fact sheets outlining the state’s sick and safety leave law (which requires some employers to allow employees to s absence to care for a sick or injured family member or to address abuse or harassment):

  • Covered employers include those (i) who have at least 21 employees at a single location and (ii) who provide personal sick leave benefits in the event of absence from work due to illness or injury. ‘an employee.
  • Covered employees include those who (i) have worked for the employer for at least 12 months; and (ii) worked at least half-time in the past 12 months.
  • Unless an employer provides paid time off for their employee’s illness or injury, sick leave must not be paid under the law.
  • Employers are not required to pay employees for accrued paid time off, sick time, or vacation when they leave employment (although a policy or contract stating that unused time will be paid may be enforceable) .

NEW YORK

Effective May 15, 2022, employers advertising jobs in New York City must include a bona fide salary range for each advertised job, promotion and transfer offer. According to the Pay Transparency FAQ published by the Commission on Human Rights, covered employers are expected to follow the new law when advertising positions that can or will be filled, in whole or in part, in New York City, whether from an office, in the field, or remotely from the employee’s home. So if a New York City employer is looking to fill a position with remote work that can be done in the city, a salary range must be disclosed, regardless of the candidate’s geographic location and where the work is finally done.

Under the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL), a private right of action may be brought within three years for compensatory and punitive damages, counsel and costs. The Commission is also authorized to impose civil penalties of up to $125,000 and up to $250,000 for willful violations. Covered employers may also be required to modify advertisements and postings, create and update policies, conduct training, provide notices or entitlements to employees or applicants, and engage in other forms of positive measures.

A possible amendment to the aforementioned law has been tabled. If passed, it would (i) exclude companies with less than 15 employees, (ii) allow job postings that do not specify positions, (iii) exempt remote positions that can be performed outside of New York and (iv) would delay the effective date of the law until November 1, 2022.

UTAH

Utah’s Genetic Testing Privacy Act was amended under Utah SB 144 to protect employees and applicants from illegal genetic testing. As of May 4, 2022, employers cannot request or require employees or applicants, or their relatives, to undergo genetic procedures as part of a hiring decision. According to these amendments, “genetic procedures” include therapies, treatments or medical procedures aimed at interfering with inherited DNA or normal DNA functions.

WASHINGTON

Washington SB 5761 amends state salary disclosure provision. Effective January 1, 2023, employers must immediately disclose pay scales or salary ranges in job postings for specific available positions.

Washington HB 1795 renders provisions of agreements between employers and employees void and unenforceable, whether to prevent the disclosure or discussion of conduct, or the existence of a settlement involving conduct, that employees reasonably believe to be unlawful discrimination , unlawful harassment, unlawful retaliation, wage and hour violation, or recognized as contrary to a clear public policy mandate. Agreements may contain provisions prohibiting disclosure of the settlement amount.

WISCONSIN

Wisconsin clarified the “substantially related test” to assess applicants with criminal records showing domestic violence. On March 10, 2022, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that an employee may be lawfully terminated or not hired due to a domestic criminal record, if “the circumstances conducive to furthering criminal activity” are “substantially” related to work.

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