MD To Become 10th State Requiring Family Leave

The MD legislature overrode the Governor’s veto to pass a family leave law that will be effective June 1, 2023. The law will provide up to 12 weeks of paid leave to care for family members, their own medical conditions, or qualifying events due to a family member’s military deployment. Employees will received a weekly benefit based on their average weekly wages, ranging between $50 and $1,000, to be updated for inflation.

The Maryland Department of Labor will establish a paid leave fund to collects contributions from employers and employees based on their wages. Self-employed individuals also can participate in the plan.

PAGA and Arbitration Agreements

In Viking River Cruises v. Moriana, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) preempts the rule announced in the 2014 California case Iskanian v. CLS Transp. Los Angeles, LLC, which held that agreements to arbitrate or litigate individual PAGA (California Private Attorneys General Act) claims for Labor Code violations are unenforceable. The U.S. Supreme Court disagreed, holding that, under the FAA, if the employee agreed to arbitrate claims then they must arbitrate.

CO Notice Requirement at Termination

Effective May 25, 2022, an employer must provide an employee with the following information at termination:

  1. Employer’s name
  2. Employer’s address;
  3. Employee’s name;
  4. Employee’s address;
  5. Employee’s ID number or the last four digits of the employee’s SSN;
  6. Employee’s first and last dates worked;
  7. Employee’s year-to-date earnings;
  8. Employee’s wages for the last week worked; and
  9. The reason the employee separated from the employer.

The notice can provided in electronic or hard copy format at termination.

NY and ‘No-Fault’ Attendance Policies

New York passed an amendment to the Labor Code that bar employers who have “no fault” attendance policies from assessing points or disciplining employees who have used any absence that is protected under federal, state, or local law. The bar includes assessing any “points” or “demerits” under any absence policy that could subject an employee to disciplinary action. Violation of the law constitute retaliation under the Labor Law.

This amendment will go effect 90 days after it is signed into law (awaiting the Gov.’s signature at this time).

NY Amends HERO Act

New York passed an amendment to the NYS HERO Act in relation to employer violations of certain provisions allowing for workplace safety committees. Under the HERO Act, employees are permitted to form workplace safety committees that can monitor and review workplace safety practices. The amendment requires employers to recognize such a committee within five days of receiving a request from employees for committee recognition. Employers are subject to fines of up to $50 per day for failure to comply

IRS Increases Mileage Rate Through The End Of The Year

From July through December, the standard mileage rate for business travel will increase from 58.5 cents to 62.5 cents per mile. IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said that the increase is to “better reflect the recent increase in fuel prices”.

CA Privacy Law Will Cover Workers

A California privacy law that gives consumers the right to determine how personal data collected on them is used will extend to employees, including gig workers, starting Jan. 1. The rule will not apply to personal data mined in certain job application contexts.

Written by: Gordon M. Berger, Partner 

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