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State & Local Government Updates 2017_08

State & Local Government Updates 2017_08

Minneapolis and St. Paul Sick and Safe Time Ordinances

Minneapolis – http://sicktimeinfo.minneapolismn.gov – The website has both employee and employer resources regarding the ordinance. There are some frequently asked questions that are answered on the main page of the site. Employers may contact the Department of Civil Rights for further information on this ordinance at (612) 673-3000 or via e-mail to sicktimeinfo@minneapolismn.gov.

St. Paul https://www.stpaul.gov/departments/human-rights-equal-economic-opportunity/contract-compliance-business-development/earned – Employee and employer resources regarding the ordinances can be found on this site. Employees that feel their rights have been improperly denied can fill out a complaint form on this site. The website includes a map of the “St. Paul Jurisdictional Boundaries” to help employers determine if they are within the city limits and thus subject to the Employee Safe and Sick Time ordinance. Employers can contact the Human Rights and Equal Economic Opportunity department at (651) 266-8900 or via e-mail to laborstandards@ci.stpaul.mn.us for more information.

Fair Workweek/Scheduling Ordinances

Four cities have enacted or will enact ordinances requiring employers to follow certain guidelines with regards to scheduling and schedule changes. The four cities and the websites with more information are:

San Francisco (Enacted March 1, 2016) – http://sfgov.org/olse/sites/default/files/Document/FRERO%20Final%20Rules.pdf

Seattle (Enacted July 1, 2017) – https://www.seattle.gov/laborstandards/ordinances/secure-scheduling

Emeryville, CA (Enacted July 1, 2017) – http://www.ci.emeryville.ca.us/1136/Fair-Workweek-Ordinance

New York City (Law will take effect by the end of November 2017) – http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=2900928&GUID=5A7DF104-0104-463E-96FC-A7FB1FDD9B8F&Options=Advanced&Search= – No website information yet, but this provides the actual legislation information.

While these are the only four cities to enact these types of ordinances at this time, several states, including Connecticut, Minnesota, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, and Texas have similar scheduling measures pending. Many of the specifics within these ordinances are different for each city, but these rules are primarily for fast food and retail businesses. Due to the differences and the fact that these ordinances are gaining popularity across the United States, payroll professionals need to be aware of these ordinances for future changes.

Paid Family Leave Programs

Two more states and Washington D.C. have or will enact Paid Family Leave programs in their states:

Washington D.C. – The Universal Paid Leave Amendment Act of 2016 will take effect on July 1, 2020. The act allows for up to eight weeks of paid leave, six weeks of family leave, and two weeks of medical leave during a 12-month period for employees in the private sector. This will be funded by a 0.62% payroll tax on employers. Even though the program will not begin until July of 2020, the tax will begin on July 1, 2019. More information can be found at https://analysis.hrservices.conduent.com/2017/02/21/district-of-columbia-paid-family-leave-advances/.

New York – The New York State Paid Family Leave Program will begin January 1, 2018. The length of time allowed for leave will start at eight weeks, but increase to a total of 12 weeks in 2012. The coverage for Paid Family Leave will typically be added to the employer’s existing disability insurance policy. Employers may deduct a portion of the premium cost for the Paid Family Leave from an employee’s pay beginning in 2018, at the rate of 0.126%, up to a capped amount of 0.126% of the New York State Average Weekly Wage (SAWW). The SAWW is set each year by the New York State Department of Labor. More information can be found at https://www.ny.gov/programs/new-york-state-paid-family-leave.

Washington – Beginning on January 1, 2020, the state of Washington will allow up to 12 weeks for paid family or medical leave to employees. The program will be funded through an additional tax of 0.4% on the employee’s pay, beginning January 1, 2019. Of this 0.4%, employees may be responsible for up to 63% of the tax, while employers pick up the remaining 37%. Just like with Washington L&I, employers may pick up the entire cost of the tax if they choose. Employers with fewer than 50 employees are not required to pay the employer portion of the premiums, but may opt in and receive grants to cover the employees leave. If employers already have plans that are comparable to the state’s program, they can opt out of the program if they pay to have the plan reviewed.

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