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Regulatory Roundup for July 2021: Your Guide to the Latest Changes

Please note the list below is not intended to be comprehensive. Our team is constantly monitoring for updates that may impact organizations across the country.

In this installment of our Regulatory Roundup, your monthly guide to the world of compliance, we look at changes that may affect organizations among 15 states and in our nation’s capital.

Legislative Updates by State:
Arizona
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Hawaii
Illinois
Iowa
Louisiana
Massachusetts
Minnesota
Nevada
New Jersey
Oregon
Texas
Virginia
Washington, D.C.

Arizona

Effective July 1, 2021, Senate Bill 1824 required employers to reasonably accommodate employees whose religious beliefs prevent them from getting a COVID-19 vaccination, unless that presents an undue hardship or significant cost.

California

An emergency public order required employers to provide paid leave to receive a COVID-19 vaccination to employees who have been employed by the same organization in Los Angeles for at least 60 days. The order is retroactively effective as of Jan. 1, 2021.

Colorado

On June 14, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled employers must pay employees for all earned but unused vacation pay upon separation. The court said that although the Colorado Wage Claim Act does not create an automatic right to vacation pay, it cannot be forfeited once it is earned, and any agreement purporting to forfeit it is void.

Connecticut

Effective Oct. 1, 2021, Senate Bill 56 deters age discrimination by prohibiting questions regarding age in preliminary employment applications.

Senate Bill 1019 prohibits employment discrimination against a person based on erased criminal history record information.

Effective Oct. 1, Senate Bill 1023 will allow employers to accept a new hire’s training requirement for sexual harassment if the employee completed it for another employer in the last two years.

Hawaii

On June 16, the governor signed Senate Bill 793 into law, immediately eliminating the subminimum wage previously paid to individuals with disabilities.

Illinois

Effective immediately, an amendment to the Child Labor Law (Senate Bill 696) allows a person authorized to issue employment certificates to minors to accept applications remotely. Even when applying remotely, the minor must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Iowa

Effective July 21, the Iowa Department of Revenue amended how fees, taxes, interest and penalties are paid and deposited. Under the new rule, payments previously made payable to the state treasurer now must be payable to the department.

Louisiana

Effective June 16, Senate Bill 157 exempts certain mobile workers — nonresidents of a state who work there for fewer than 25 days — from individual income tax and their employers from withholding tax.

Senate Bill 215 determined that lactation and postpartum are to be treated as any other temporary disability. The bill also removed the gender restriction from an employer’s requirement to provide disability leave beyond six weeks for pregnancy, childbirth, lactation, postpartum or related medical conditions.

Effective Aug. 1, House Bill 379 provides for liability for damages caused by sexual harassment.

Effective Aug. 1, House Bill 707 prohibits an employer from requesting or considering an arrest record or charge that did not result in a conviction, if such information is received in a background check. Employers instead are to individually assess whether an applicant’s criminal history record has a direct and adverse relationship with a job’s specific duties.

Massachusetts

The state issued a downloadable poster on its new COVID-19 emergency paid sick leave law.

Minnesota

Effective Jan. 1, 2022, Senate File 9 will require employers of 15 more employees to fulfill requests for reasonable accommodations for conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth.

Additionally, reasonable breaks must be provided for expressing breast milk, and employers will be prohibited from reducing compensation for that time.

Nevada

Nevada issued a new workplace posting — available in English and Spanish —on employee paid leave, including for those who receive COVID-19 vaccinations.

New Jersey

Effective immediately through Sept. 6, Assembly Bill 5898 allows minors age 16-18 to work up to 50 hours a week during the summer, with a parent or guardian’s permission.

Oregon

House Bill 2818 modified the definition of “compensation” for purposes of pay equity requirements, to exclude vaccine incentives, hiring bonuses and retention bonuses.

Additionally, for employees immunized against infectious diseases for which a public health emergency has been declared, “vaccine incentives” are defined as employer-provided monetary or nonmonetary incentives, including but not limited to additional paid time off or protected time off.

House Bill 3041 prohibits employment discrimination based on gender identity.

House Bill 3284 prohibited covered organizations from collecting, using or disclosing personal health data about residents who have not given their affirmative express consent to do so. Exceptions are in context of employment, to comply with a legal obligation or in particular cases found in the bill’s full text.

Effective Jan. 1, 2022, House Bill 3188 will modify the workers’ compensation definition of “worker” to include all persons paid for their services, other than independent contractors and those statutorily exempted.

Additionally, the threshold for determining when employment is “casual” will rise from a total labor cost of $500 to $1,000 in any 30-day period, regardless of head count.

Effective Jan. 1, 2022, under Senate Bill 569, employees will not be required to possess or present a valid driver’s license for employment, unless the ability to drive legally is an essential function of the job. Other forms, such as the Form I-9, will be acceptable for identification.

Texas

Effective immediately, House Bill 2073 required political subdivisions to provide paid quarantine leave to firefighters, peace officers and emergency medical technicians who may have been exposed to COVID-19 or another communicable disease while on duty.

While the worker is on quarantine leave, employers must:

  • continue all employment benefits and compensation, including leave accrual, pension benefits and health benefit plan benefits
  • reimburse the worker for reasonable quarantine-related costs, including lodging, medical and transportation
  • leave sick, vacation, holiday or other paid leave balances untouched

Virginia

The Virginia Department of Labor and Industry has updated FAQs on the state’s:

Washington, D.C.

The District of Columbia has revised its poster on temporary COVID-19 leave under the D.C. Family and Medical Leave Act. The legislation’s effective date has been extended to Sept. 30.

Please continue to follow the Paycom blog for updates that matter to you and your organization.

 

DISCLAIMER: The information provided herein does not constitute the provision of legal advice, tax advice, accounting services or professional consulting of any kind. The information provided herein should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional legal, tax, accounting or other professional advisers. Before making any decision or taking any action, you should consult a professional adviser who has been provided with all pertinent facts relevant to your particular situation and for your particular state(s) of operation.