General Updates 12/12/2022

We hope everyone is ready for the holiday season! We want to wish you a very safe and happy holiday season. Delta has been focusing on year-end work preparation as well as benefits open enrollment for many of our clients.

Below you will find a summary from a labor attorney practitioner based out of Atlanta. He is a professional friend of mine and keeps us up to date on what is happening on both the state and federal levels.

NV Medical Marijuana Card Holders Can Sue Employers for Bias
In Freeman Expositions, LLC v. Eighth Judicial Dist. Ct., 2022 BL 429541, Nev., No. 83172, 12/1/22, the NV Supreme Court ruled that NV employers can be sued by workers for failing to accommodate their state-sanctioned use of medical marijuana outside of the workplace. The Court reasoned that:

A right to sue implied in the state medical cannabis law (NRS 678(C)). However, employees’ claims are limited to a failure to accommodate us

VT Paid Leave
VT will be offering a state-backed, voluntary paid family and medical leave program. Workers who enroll will be eligible to take up to six weeks off annually for covered reasons and receive 60% of their pay during the leave.Time off is available for a worker to tend to their own medical issues, a newborn or newly adopted child, a family member’s serious illness, or needs related to a family member’s military service.

VT state employees will have access to the new benefits starting July 1, 2023. The program will become available to private-sector employers with two or more employees one year later, and then to individual workers whose employers don’t choose to provide paid leave beginning a year after that.

MN Min Wage Increase
On January 1, 2023, the Minnesota minimum wage rate will increase from $10.33 per hour to $10.59 per hour for “large employers” (i.e., employers whose annual gross revenues are $500,000 or more) and $8.42 per hour to $8.63 per hour for “small employers” (i.e., employers whose annual gross revenues are less than $500,000).

Minnesota law also mandates that employers display various workplace posters of, among other things, the current minimum wage.

In addition to the state of Minnesota’s minimum wage rate adjustments, the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul have minimum wage rates that are set to increase—some rates in January (instead of in July, as is typically the case) and others in July.

For Minneapolis, the minimum wage rate for small businesses (i.e., one hundred or fewer employees) will increase from $13.50 per hour to $14.50 per hour on July 1, 2023. The minimum wage rate for large businesses (i.e., more than one hundred employees) will increase from $15.00 per hour to $15.19 per hour on January 1, 2023. Employers with Minneapolis-based employees are also required to display a workplace poster showing the city’s minimum wage rate.

For St. Paul, the situation is slightly more complex. For “macro businesses”—those with 10,001 or more employees—the minimum wage will increase from $15.00 per hour to $15.19 per hour on January 1, 2023. For “large businesses” (101 to 10,000 employees), the minimum wage will increase from $13.50 per hour to $15.00 per hour on July 1, 2023. For “small businesses” (six to one hundred employees), the minimum wage will increase from $12.00 to $13.00 per hour on July 1, 2023. Finally, for “micro businesses” (five or fewer employees), the minimum wage will increase from $10.75 per hour to $11.50 per hour on July 1, 2023. St. Paul employers are required to display a workplace poster showing the minimum wage rates for St. Paul-based employees.

TX Employers and Abortions
TX employers that seek abortions outside the state wouldn’t get certain tax subsidies under a bill proposed by a state lawmaker. House Bill 787, filed last week ahead of the legislative session that begins in January, was offered by Republican state Representative Jared Patterson, who represents a district in the northern Dallas suburbs.

Overtime Rule Update
US DOL intends to update overtime regulations heading into 2023.

The overtime proposal from the department’s Wage and Hour Division was expected to be released last month. The agency held stakeholder meetings throughout the summer to seek input on the rule change, which is expected to expand time-and-a-half protections to more workers.

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, workers are exempt from overtime pay if they are salaried, earn more than a certain amount per year, and work in a “bona fide executive, administrative, or professional capacity.” The salary threshold under which workers are automatically owed overtime pay is $35,568, a figure the Trump administration established in 2019.

Democrats and labor groups say the department has the authority to raise the OT salary threshold to $82,732 by 2026, but it’s unclear if the Biden administration will go that far.

NY Valid Absence Protection
On November 21, 2022 Senate Bill S1958A amended NY law to prohibit employers from “assessing any demerit, occurrence, any other point, or deductions from an allotted bank of time, which subjects or could subject an employee to disciplinary action” based upon the use of “any legally protected absence pursuant to federal, local, or state law.” In short, NY employers cannot punish an employee for taking a valid absence and cannot retaliate for an employee’s absence.

CO HFWA Now Includes Respiratory Illnesses
Colorado’s Healthy Families and Workplaces Act (“HFWA”) has been clarified by the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment’s (“CDLE”) that the Governor’s ““refocus the state’s efforts on recovery and incorporate Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), influenza, and other respiratory illnesses in Colorado into the disaster declaration,” now “means [employees] can use their 80 hours for a broader range of conditions” than just COVID, including “flu, respiratory syncytial virus (“RSV”), and similar respiratory illnesses.”

Employers Get Innovative with Compensation
An article by Joanne Sammer published earlier this month addresses how “allowing employee choice in how to receive compensation gains interest. Compensation innovation is within every organization’s reach, but what form that innovation will depend on a variety of factors. Some companies have made headlines by allowing employees to allocate their pay package as they see fit, including Netflix and Shopify. For more information on this practice rising in popularity, read the full article here.

Resources to Help your Business Address Antisemitism in the Workplace
In November, surveyed 1,131 U.S. hiring managers and recruiters about their perception of antisemitism in the workplace.

Of those surveyed – those making the hiring decisions — 29% said antisemitism is acceptable in their company, and 33% said antisemitism is common in their workplace

Below are some of the other key findings from the survey:
26% of hiring managers say they are less likely to move forward with Jewish applicants;
When asked why they are less likely to move forward with Jewish applicants, the top reasons included: they have too much power and control (38%), claim to be the ‘chosen people’ (38%), and have too much wealth (35%).
26% make assumptions about whether a candidate is Jewish based on their appearance
23% say they want fewer Jewish individuals in their industry
17% say leadership has told them not to hire Jewish individuals

Antisemitism is a clear probelm in the workplace and is something that HR professionals and lawyers should focus. These survey results companied with the the overall rise in antisemitism require immediate attention in the workplace.

Amy Epstein Gluck’s article, “How Employers Can Prevent And Remedy Antisemitism” is an informative resource to address this issue. She offers advice on how to spot antisemitism at work and offers pragmatic suggestions to combat the problem that won’t require anyone to reinvent the wheel. For some additional information, we recommend looking at this slide deck from the Anti-Defamation League.

Thanks again from all of us here at Delta and Happy Holidays!
Dave and Teresa

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