State Employment Law Library Update

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August 2011

  

Arizona
Employment Verification, Immigration
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has filed an appeal with the US Supreme Court to overturn a ruling by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which upheld an injunction barring application of the state’s Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act.
Contending that “Arizona bears the brunt of the problems caused by illegal immigration,” the appeal contends that the states have a basic “police power” that allows them to enforce the law within their borders and that because illegal immigration has a “disproportionate impact” on Arizona, the state was permitted to take extraordinary steps.
Those steps include severe penalties against any employer that hires illegal immigrants and the grant of power to law enforcement officials to demand proof of citizenship from persons detained in stops unrelated to their prospective immigration status. Georgia, Alabama and Utah have adopted similar enforcement laws. Summaries, State Employment Law Library ¶3-9000.

Arizona
Preemployment Inquiries

Arizona has amended its background check law to add a requirement that employees and volunteers who have contact with children or vulnerable adults as part of their regular duties must have a fingerprint clearance card (Ch. 113 (H. 2396), L. 2011). Summaries, State Employment Law Library ¶3-9000.

Arkansas
Unemployment Insurance

The current maximum weekly benefit amount in Arkansas is $457, and the minimum is $82. Summaries, State Employment Law Library ¶4-1700.

California
Family, Medical and Parental Leaves

Effective January 1, 2012, leave for bone marrow or organ donation will be calculated in business days rather than calendar days. Also, California law provides that the leave of absence is not a break in the employee's continuous service for the purpose of his or her right to paid time off. Employers may condition the initial receipt of leave upon the employee's use of a specified number of earned but unused days for paid time off (S. 272, L. 2011). Summaries, State Employment Law Library ¶5-7000.

 

California
Health Insurance Benefit Coverage

On January 1, 2012, employers in San Francisco with 100 or more employees will be required to spend $2.20 per hour per covered employee on health care, up from $2.06 in 2011. In July 2006, San Francisco enacted a plan for universal health care coverage of city residents known as both the Health Care Security Ordinance (HCSO) and Healthy San Francisco. The HCSO requires private employers with at least 20 employees and nonprofits with at least 50 employees to provide health coverage at certain minimum levels or pay a fee to the city.

In 2012, employers with 20 to 99 employees will have to spend at least $1.46 per hour, up from $1.37. If employers already provide the mandated level of coverage or higher, they have no obligations under the HCSO. If employers provide a lower level of coverage than what is mandated, they can either: (a) increase the amount of coverage they provide; (b) allow the employee to be reimbursed, up to the difference, for out-of-pocket health care expenses; or (c) pay Healthy San Francisco the difference for a medical reimbursement account for the covered employee.

However, a recent report from the San Francisco Office of Labor Standards Enforcement found that 705 employers "repurposed" $50.1 million earmarked last year for the Healthy San Francisco program. State officials want to close a loophole that allows employers to put money into a health reimbursement account (HRA). If employees do not use the money during the year, the money returns to the company. City supervisor David Campos is proposing that money set aside in these accounts would remain untouched and available for future health care expenses. Business advocates are opposed to this proposal, saying it will result in job losses and business closures. A city controller's economic impact report said up to 290 jobs could be lost next year if this proposal is implemented. Summaries, State Employment Law Library ¶5-4000.

California
Minimum Wage

For the city of San Jose, the current living wage rate with health benefits is $13.59 per hour, and the rate without health benefits is $14.84 per hour; Rates under the Airport Living Wage Ordinance have also been adjusted.

For the city of Berkeley, the current living wage for Berkeley is $12.76 per hour plus a medical benefit equivalent to at least $2.12 per hour. If the employer does not provide the employee at least $2.12 per hour toward an employee medical benefits plan, the employer shall pay an hourly wage of not less than $14.88. Summaries, State Employment Law Library ¶5-1000.

Colorado
Jury Duty and Court Attendance Leave

The state has enacted a law modifying requirements for juror service acknowledgments and making conforming changes to provisions concerning employer compensation to jurors (Ch. 70 (H. 1153), L. 2011, effective August 10, 2011). Summaries, State Employment Law Library ¶6-7100.

Colorado
Unemployment Insurance

The current maximum weekly benefit amount in Colorado is $454, the alternate maximum weekly benefit amount is $500, and the minimum is $25. Summaries, State Employment Law Library ¶6-1700.

Connecticut
Health Insurance Benefit Coverage

Effective January 1, 2012, group insurers will be required to provide health insurance coverage for routine patient care costs for clinical trials for cancer and other disabling or life-threatening chronic diseases. Current law only makes provision for cancer clinical trials (P.A. 11-172 (S. 21), L. 2011). The law relating to group health insurance coverage of colorectal cancer screenings has also been amended effective January 1, 2012 (P.A. 11-83 (S. 923), L. 2011).

Additionally, effective January 1, 2012, group health insurance policies delivered, issued for delivery, amended, renewed or continued in Connecticut shall provide coverage for expenses arising from human leukocyte antigen testing, also referred to as histocompatibility locus antigen testing, for A, B and DR antigens for utilization in bone marrow transplantation (P.A. 11-88 (H. 5032), L. 2011). Summaries, State Employment Law Library ¶7-4000.

Connecticut
Preemployment Inquiries

Effective October 1, 2011, no employer or employer's agent, representative or designee may require an employee or prospective employee to consent to a request for a credit report that contains information about the employee's or prospective employee's credit score, credit account balances, payment history, savings or checking account balances or savings or checking account numbers as a condition of employment unless (1) such employer is a financial institution, (2) such report is required by law, (3) the employer reasonably believes that the employee has engaged in specific activity that constitutes a violation of the law related to the employee's employment, or (4) such report is substantially related to the employee's current or potential job or the employer has a bona fide purpose for requesting or using information in the credit report that is substantially job-related and is disclosed in writing to the employee or applicant.

Any employee or prospective employee may file a complaint with the Labor Commissioner, who is to conduct an investigation within 30 days of the complaint being filed and, if warranted, hold a hearing on the matter. An employer shall be liable to the Labor Department for a civil penalty of $300 for each inquiry made in violation of the law (P.A. 11-223 (S. 361), L. 2011). Full text, State Employment Law Library ¶7-20,030.01. Summaries, State Employment Law Library ¶7-9000.

Connecticut
Violence in the Workplace

Connecticut has enacted a law requiring health care employers to develop and implement written workplace violence prevention and response plans by January 1, 2012. New workplace violence recordkeeping requirements will go into effect for health care employers on October 1, 2011, and health care employers also must report incidents of workplace violence to local law enforcement agencies effective October 1, 2011. Exception is made if an assault or related offense is committed by a person with a disability whose conduct is a clear and direct manifestation of the disability (P.A. 11-175 (S. 970), L. 2011). Summaries, State Employment Law Library ¶7-3300.

Delaware
Health Insurance Benefit Coverage

No group or blanket health insurance policy, contract or certificate that is delivered or issued for delivery in Delaware by any health insurer, health service corporation or managed care organization which provides for hospital or medical expenses shall deny coverage to a child under the age of 19 because of a preexisting condition (Ch. 141 (H. 161), L. 2011). Summaries, State Employment Law Library ¶8-4000.

District of Columbia
Recordkeeping/Posters

The District’s current living wage and sick leave posters have been added. Summaries, State Employment Law Library ¶9-9900.

Hawaii
Crime Victims Leave

Effective January 1, 2012, employers must make reasonable accommodation in the workplace for an employee who is a victim of domestic or sexual violence, including changing contact information, screening the employee’s telephone calls, restructuring the employee’s job functions, changing the employee’s work location, installing locks or other security devices and allowing the employee to work flexible hours. The employer would not be required to make the reasonable accommodations if to do so would cause an undue hardship on the work operations of the employer (S. 229, L. 2011). Full text, State Employment Law Library ¶12-59,008 and ¶12-59,009, and ¶12-21,050.01 through ¶12-21,050.06.

Idaho
Preemployment Inquiries

The state’s background checks law has been amended with respect to school district employment and information on past job performance (H. 201, L. 2011). Summaries, State Employment Law Library ¶13-9000.

Illinois
Health Insurance Benefit Coverage

Governor Pat Quinn has signed legislation to ensure health insurance benefit equality between oral and injectable cancer drugs, allowing cancer patients more affordable treatment options and protecting them from significantly higher out-of-pocket costs. House Bill 1825 requires private health insurance plans that provide coverage for oral and intravenous chemotherapy to cover both at the same benefit level, beginning January 1, 2012 (Governor’s Press Release, July 27, 2011; H. 1825, L. 2011). Summaries, State Employment Law Library ¶14-4000.

Illinois
Human Rights Act

The Illinois Human Rights Act has been amended to provide that the Department of Human Rights will send by certified or registered mail notice of the complainant's right to sue in court or file with the Human Rights Commission, effective January 1, 2012. Upon reasonable notice to the complainant and the respondent, the Department will conduct a fact-finding conference, unless prior to 365 days after the date on which the charge was filed, the Director has determined whether there is substantial evidence that the alleged civil rights violation has been committed, the charge has been dismissed for lack of jurisdiction, or the parties voluntarily and in writing agree to waive the fact finding conference (P.A. 97-22 (H. 178), L. 2011). Full text, State Employment Law Library, ¶14-20,029.02.

 

Illinois
Labor Relations

The Project Labor Agreements Act provides that state departments, agencies, authorities, boards, and instrumentalities are to include, on a project-by-project basis, project labor agreements on public works projects when it has been determined that the agreement advances the state’s interests of cost, efficiency, skilled labor force, etc. Project labor agreements may also be used on public works projects funded in whole or in part with federal funds, if it is determined that to do so is appropriate and in furtherance of the Governor’s Executive Order No. 13502. The project labor agreement must include procedures for resolving jurisdictional labor disputes and grievances that arise before work is completed; contain guarantees against strikes, lockouts or similar actions; ensure a reliable source of skilled and experienced labor; set goals for apprenticeship hours and total hours to be performed by minorities and females under the Business Enterprise for Minorities, Females and Persons with Disabilities Act; permit selection of the lowest qualified bidder, without regard to union or non-union status at other construction sites; bind contractors and subcontractors through the inclusion of bid specifications; and include other terms as the parties deem appropriate (Public Act 97-199 (H. 2987), L. 2011, effective July 27, 2011). Full text, State Employment Law Library ¶14-63,044 through 14-63,053.

Illinois
Violence in the Workplace

The state has amended its cyberstalking law to update the definition of “electronic communication.” The term now includes transmissions through an electronic device including, but not limited to, a telephone, cellular phone, computer, or pager, which communication includes, but is not limited to, e-mail, instant message, text message, or voice mail (P.A. 303 (H. 2935), L. 2011). Summaries, State Employment Law Library ¶14-3300.

Illinois
Wage Payment

Illinois’ Wage Payment and Collection Act has been amended to provide that qualified municipalities (those with populations less than 500,000) may make deductions from employee wages or final compensation that do not exceed a specified percent of the net amount of the payment for an excess payment made due to, but not limited to, a typographical or mathematical error made by the municipality, or to collect a debt owed to the municipality. Affected employees must be afforded a hearing (Public Act 97-0120 (H. 1513), L. 2011). Full text, State Employment Law Library ¶14-46,009. Summaries, State Employment Law Library ¶14-1200.

Illinois
Workers’ Compensation

The state’s workers' comp law has been amended to increase the city population floor limiting the ability of police officers and fire fighters to be considered employees under the law. The amendment, effective August 8, 2011, provides that a member of a police or fire department in any city whose population exceeds 500,000 (formerly, 200,000) is not considered an employee under the law. Exception is made for a fire with respect to claims for any serious and permanent disfigurement (P.A. 268 (H. 1427), L. 2011).

Additionally, the state’s workers’ comp law has been amended to provide that accidental injuries incurred while an employee is engaged in a forcible felony, aggravated driving under the influence or reckless homicide do not arise out of and in the course of employment if that commission caused an accident resulting in death or severe injury (P.A. 276 (S. 1147), L. 2011). Summaries, State Employment Law Library ¶14-4300.

Indiana
Drug Testing

A person is considered to have refused an offer of suitable work and therefore ineligible for unemployment insurance benefits or extended benefits, if an offer of work is withdrawn by an employer after an individual (1) tests positive for drugs after a drug test given on behalf of the prospective employer as a condition of an offer of employment; or (2) refuses, without good cause, to submit to a drug test required by the prospective employer as a condition of an offer of employment. A test would not be considered as “positive” unless (1) a second confirmation test renders a positive result, as performed by a certified and reviewed by a licensed physician, and (2) the individual has no valid medical reason for testing positive (Public Law 12 (S. 86), L. 2011, effective July 1, 2011). Full text, State Employment Law Library ¶15-53,027 and ¶15-53,028.

Indiana
Prevailing Wages

The process for determining prevailing wage rates on public works projects is revised. To ascertain what the common construction wage is in the county where a project will be located, the awarding government agency, before advertising for the contract, is to set up a committee of five persons, comprised of: one person representing labor, to be named by the president of the state federation of labor; one person representing industry, to be named by the awarding agency; a third member to be named by the state president of the Associated Builders and Contractors; and two taxpayers who pays the tax that will be the funding source for the project and who resides in the county where the project is located, one of which is to be appointed by the owner of the project and the other to be appointed by the legislative body of the county. The law is also amended to exclude from coverage projects in which the actual construction costs are less than the following: For contracts awarded after December 31, 2011, and before January 1, 2013, $250,000; for contracts awarded after December 31, 2012, $350,000. Further, new law is enacted to provide that public works projects may not be artificially divided into 2 or more projects to avoid application of the law (Public Law 18 (S. 418) and Public Law 195 (H. 1216), Laws 2011, effective July 1, 2011). Full text, State Employment Law Library ¶15-50,001, ¶15-50,004 and ¶15-50,006.

Iowa
Unemployment Insurance

The current maximum weekly benefit amounts are $385 for an individual with no dependents, $400 for an individual with one dependent, $415 for an individual with two dependents, $436 for an individual with three dependents, and $473 for an individual with four or more dependents. Summaries, State Employment Law Library ¶16-1700.

Kansas
Unemployment Insurance

Effective July 1, 2011, the maximum weekly benefit amount in Kansas is $444 and the minimum weekly benefit amount is $111. Summaries, State Employment Law Library ¶17-1700.

Louisiana
Child Labor

Louisiana’s child labor law is amended to provide for limitations in the employment of minors as well as to make technical changes, update terms, and bring the state’s employment law in line with federal laws as it relates to minors. Also, there are updates to the provisions dealing with minors employed in the performing arts, including theatrical arts and motion picture or television productions, proof of age, delivery of employment certificates to employers, meal breaks, documentation of such breaks, and allowable hours when school is in session (Act 177 (H. 303), L. 2011, effective August 15, 2011). Full text, State Employment Law Library ¶19-45,002 and ¶19-45,032 through 19-45,103.

Louisiana
Health Insurance Benefits Coverage

The state has amended its law relating to group health care coverage of dependent grandchildren (Act 360 (H. 462), L. 2011). Summaries, State Employment Law Library ¶19-4000.

Maine
Child Labor

Effective September 28, 2011, a minor under 18 years of age enrolled in school may not be employed after 10:15 p.m. (currently, 10:00 p.m.) on a day preceding a day on which the minor's school is in session, or after 12 midnight on a day that does not precede such a school day (P.L. 174 (S. 149), L. 2011). Summaries, State Employment Law Library ¶20-1500.

Maine
Drug Testing

The state has enacted a law exempting employers subject to federally mandated drug and alcohol programs from Maine substance abuse program laws (Ch. 196 (H. 932), L. 2011). Summaries, State Employment Law Library ¶20-8600.

Maine
Fair Employment Practices

Under the Maine Human Rights Act, the definition of “service animal” is amended to include an animal that has been determined necessary to mitigate the effects of a physical or mental disability by a physician, psychologist, physician's assistant, nurse practitioner or licensed social worker; or individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a physical or mental disability, including, but not limited to, guiding individuals with impaired vision, alerting individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to intruders or sounds, providing reasonable protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, or retrieving dropped items. The term also includes a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual or other mental disability. However, other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not considered service animals for the purposes of this definition (Ch. 369 (H. 551), L. 2011, effective September 28, 2011). Full text, State Employment Law Library ¶20-20,025.03.

Maryland
Violence in the Workplace

The state has amended its Criminal Law Article with respect to harassment (Ch. 342 (H. 510), L. 2011, effective October 1, 2011). Summaries, State Employment Law Library ¶21-3300.

Massachusetts
Minimum Wage

The current living wage rate for Boston is $13.10 per hour. Summaries, State Employment Law Library ¶22-1000.

Michigan
Child Labor
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed legislation on July 12 that will allow children under the age of 18 to volunteer at county fairs and other similar agricultural events without being required to have a work permit, which will make it easier for scout troops, youth ministries and students who participate in 4-H to provide community service (Public Act 80 (H.B. 4727), L. 2011). Full text, State Employment Law Library ¶23-45,004.
Michigan
Labor Relations

The “Fair and Open Competition in Governmental Construction Act” prohibits terms or specifications in public contracts that require, prohibit, encourage or discourage collective bargaining on construction projects (Public Act 98 (S.B. 165), L. 2011). Full text, State Employment Law Library ¶23-63,077 through 23-63,083.

Minnesota
Drug Testing

The state has amended its drug testing law with respect to professional athletes (Ch. 62 (S. 1265), L. 2011). Summaries, State Employment Law Library ¶24-8600.

Montana
Workers’ Compensation

The state’s workers’ comp law has been amended to exempt from coverage workers performing temporary agricultural work for an employer under specified conditions (S. 242, L. 2011). Summaries, State Employment Law Library ¶27-4300.

Nevada
Military Leave

Nevada has enacted a law expanding the prohibition against termination of the employment of a member of the Nevada National Guard and extending the right of reinstatement to cover situations in which the termination of employment is because of the member's participation in required training, duty and meetings (Ch. 149 (A. 420), L. 2011). Summaries, State Employment Law Library ¶29-7200.

Nevada
Workers’ Compensation

The state has amended its workers’ comp law with respect to state/local government employment and exclusive remedies (Ch. 169 (A. 396), L. 2011). Summaries, State Employment Law Library ¶29-4300.

New Hampshire
Plant Closings

New Hampshire’s Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act has been amended to specify that a covered employer for purposes of the law has (1) 100 or more employees, excluding part-time employees; or (2) 100 or more employees who in the aggregate work at least 3,000 hours per week, exclusive of overtime. This amendment will take effect January 1, 2012. Current law sets the employee threshold at 75 rather than 100 (Ch. 146 (S. 121), L. 2011). Summaries, State Employment Law Library ¶30-3500.

New York
Child Labor

New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed legislation on July 21 to extend the time that work permits for child performers are valid from six months to one year from date of issuance (Ch. 172 (A. 7630), L. 2011). Full text, State Employment Law Library ¶33-45,017b. Summaries, State Employment Law Library ¶33-1500.

New York
Fair Employment Practices

No public employer shall deny employment, re-employment or any benefit of employment to any person or employee based on prospective, current or past enlistment, appointment or commission with the armed forces of the United States. Such person or employee shall be afforded full enforcement rights under the laws of New York and of the United States, including the federal Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (Ch. 152 (A. 1428), L. 2011). Summaries, State Employment Law Library ¶33-2500.

New York
Military Leave

If a public employer consolidates, abolishes, displaces, or demotes a position which is occupied by a public employee currently on active duty with the armed forces of the United States, such employer must comply with “preferred lists” and “military re-employment lists” requirements and, upon the termination of the public employee's active duty, provide full reemployment rights warranted to such employee under the federal Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994; provided, however, the right of reemployment under this subdivision does not entitle such employee to displacement rights over any person with greater seniority. Such public employer shall not abolish any position or positions solely based upon the fact that the position or positions are currently filled by an individual or individuals engaged in military duty (Ch. 152 (A. 1428), L. 2011). Full text, State Employment Law Library ¶33-58,006, ¶33-58,010 and ¶33-58,011. Summaries, State Employment Law Library ¶33-7200.

New York
Minimum Wage

The living wage for workers contracted by Nassau County is $14.61 per hour, or $12.90 per hour with health benefits, effective August 1, 2011. The law requires any county contractor who furnishes services to the county in excess of $25,000 to pay the living wage. Summaries, State Employment Law Library ¶33-1000.

New York
New Hire Reporting
Recent federal law changes now require employers to provide the hiring date when reporting newly hired or rehired employees to New York State. The hire date is the first date the employee performed services for pay. It was optional to report this date previously.
In addition, employers are now required to report if dependent health insurance benefits (family coverage) are available for their employees when they submit new hire or rehire reports. The Online Reporting section has been modified to allow for the reporting of dependent health insurance benefits for employees (https://www.nynewhire.com/index.jsp). Summaries, State Employment Law Library ¶33-1600.
New York
Recordkeeping/Posters

The Nassau County living wage posters (English and Spanish) have been updated. Summaries, State Employment Law Library ¶33-9900.

North Carolina
Disability Law

The North Carolina Persons with Disabilities Protection Act has been amended to conform to federal changes under the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 (S.L. 2011-94 (S. 384), L. 2011). Summaries, State Employment Law Library ¶34-2600.

North Dakota
Unemployment Insurance

The current maximum weekly benefit amount in North Dakota is $470. The minimum amount remains $43. Summaries, State Employment Law Library ¶35-1700.

Oklahoma
Preemployment Inquiries

The state has amended its background check law with respect to temporary public school employees (H. 1418, L. 2011). Summaries, State Employment Law Library ¶37-9000.

Oregon
Fair Employment Practices

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber has signed legislation making it an unlawful employment practice to discriminate against an individual because the individual is a victim of harassment. The law, which became effective August 2, 2011, defines “victim of harassment” as an individual against whom harassment has been committed under the public offenses statutes (Ch. 687 (H. 3482), L. 2011). Summaries, State Employment Law Library ¶38-2500.

Oregon
Family, Medical and Parental Leaves
Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber has signed legislation requiring employers of six or more employees to provide leave to employees who are victims of harassment to seek legal assistance, medical treatment, or relocate as a matter of safety. The law, which became effective August 2, 2011, defines “victim of harassment,” as an individual against whom harassment has been committed under the public offenses statutes. Under the law, employers have the right to demand certification, such as a police report or a copy of a protective order or other evidence from a court (Ch. 687 (H. 3482), L. 2011). Summaries, State Employment Law Library ¶38-7000.
Oregon
Minimum Wage

The state’s minimum wage law is amended effective January 1, 2012, to exclude an individual who volunteers as a golf marshal, if (1) the services the individual provides are limited to monitoring starting times and speed of play and informing golfers of golf course etiquette; (2) the individual is not allowed to provide volunteer golf course marshal services for more than 30 hours in a calendar week; and (3) the individual receives no wage other than golf passes for providing the volunteer golf course marshal services (Ch. 376 (H. 3030), L. 2011). Summaries, State Employment Law Library ¶38-1000.

Oregon
Unemployment Insurance

The current maximum weekly benefit amount in Oregon is $507, and the minimum weekly benefit amount is $118. Summaries, State Employment Law Library ¶38-1700.

Rhode Island
Child Support

Law relating to child support involving a child with a severe physical or mental impairment still living with or under the care of a parent beyond the child’s emancipation is amended. This law is amended to provide that if a child support order for such a child has been terminated, suspended or expired, the court shall consider such factors as the nature and extent of the child’s disability, the cost of extraordinary medical expenses, the ability of the child to earn income, the financial resources of the child, the financial resources of the parents, and the inability of the primary caregiver to sustain gainful employment on a full-time basis due to the care necessitated by the child, and has the discretion to order child support for this child prospectively based upon established child support guidelines (Ch. 233 (H. 5216) and Ch. 208 (S. 119), Laws 2011). Full text, State Employment Law Library ¶41-47,001a.

Additionally, provisions of The Uniform Interstate Family Support Act are amended to include enforcement of foreign support orders issued by a court, administrative agency or quasi-judicial entity of a foreign country that is authorized to establish, enforce, or modify support orders or to determine parentage of a child. Grammatical and technical changes are also made (Ch. 243 (H. 5957) and by Ch. 263 (S. 1019), Laws 2011, effective date pending).  Full text, State Employment Law Library ¶41-47,006b, ¶41-47,006c and ¶41-47,006e.

Rhode Island
Drug Testing

Rhode Island’s drug testing law does not apply to members of the International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers and its signatory contractors jointly participating in the IMPACT National Substance Abuse Program for purposes of pre-qualifying workers for employment on and ensuring the maintenance of designated drug free work sites (Ch. 221 (S. 699) and Ch. 324 (H. 5944), L. 2011). Full text, State Employment Law Library, ¶41-53,001. Summaries, State Employment Law Library ¶41-8600.

Rhode Island
Health Insurance Benefit Coverage

Effective on or after January 1, 2012,  group health insurers in Rhode Island will be required to provide coverage for autism spectrum disorders (Ch. 159 (H. 5275), L. 2011). Summaries, State Employment Law Library ¶41-4000.

 

Rhode Island
Preemployment Inquiries

Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, any municipal recreation department may request a background check from their local police department for any employee or volunteer serving their community (Ch. 354 (S. 690), L. 2011). Additionally, the state has amended criminal records checks laws relating to child care workers, educational services workers and youth serving agency workers (Ch. 220 (S. 691), L. 2011). Summaries, State Employment Law Library ¶41-9000.

Rhode Island
Prevailing Wages

Contractors and subcontractors awarded contracts on public works projects are required to furnish certified copies of payroll records to the director of labor and training on a monthly basis for the preceding month’s work. This law is amended to require the copy of payroll records to be submitted on a uniform form prescribed by the director of labor and training. However, certified payrolls for department of transportation public works may be submitted on the federal payroll form, provided that, when a complaint is being investigated, the director or his or her designee may require the contractor to resubmit the certified payroll on the uniform department form. In addition, contractors and subcontractors are now required to maintain onsite, for public works construction contracts of one million or more, a daily log of employees employed each day that includes, at a minimum, for each employee his or her name, primary job title, and employer. This information must be kept on a uniform form prescribed by the director of labor and training and is to be made available for inspection on the site at all times by the awarding authority and/or the director of the department of labor and training and his or her designee. The daily log requirement does not apply to road, highway, or bridge public works projects. Scheduled payments may be withheld by the awarding authority for failure to comply. In addition, the department may award a penalty of up to $500 for each day of noncompliance (Ch. 332 (S. 416) and Ch. 396 (H. 5936), Laws 2011). Full text, State Employment Law Library ¶41-50,017.

Additionally, Rules and regulations of the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training, Division of Professional Regulation, relating to prevailing wages and the payment of debts by contractors are revised, effective June 13, 2011 [Revised May 19, 2011; ERLID #6457]. Full text, State Employment Law Library ¶41-50,501.

Rhode Island
Unemployment Insurance

The maximum weekly benefit amount for TDI purposes in Rhode Island effective July 1, 2011, is $719. The minimum amount is $69. Summaries, State Employment Law Library ¶41-1700.

Rhode Island
Wage Payment

Rhode Island has enacted a law allowing certain employers to pay their employees less frequently than weekly. The Director of the Department of Labor and Training may, upon written petition showing good and sufficient reason, permit an employer and its affiliates to pay wages less frequently than weekly provided: (1) The employer or one or more of its affiliates is in the financial services or investment advisory business; (2) The employer and its affiliates have more than 2,000 employees located in Rhode Island; (3) The employer's average payroll exceeds 125% of the average compensation of all employees in the state; (4) The employer makes payment of wages regularly on a predesignated date no less than twice per month; and (5) The employer provides proof of a surety bond or other sufficient demonstration of security in the amount of the highest biweekly payroll exposure in the preceding year for the employees subject to the petition (Ch. 340 (S. 34), L. 2011). Full text, State Employment Law Library, ¶41-46,004. Summaries, State Employment Law Library ¶41-1200.

Rhode Island has also amended payroll reporting and recordkeeping requirements for public works contractors (Ch. 332 (S. 416), L. 2011). Summaries, State Employment Law Library ¶41-1200.

South Carolina
Drug Testing

Before being employed as an in-home caregiver by a licensed in-home care provider, a person shall now submit to a drug test. Additionally, an individual employed as an in-home caregiver by a licensed in-home care provider is now subject to random drug testing (H. 3012, L. 2011). Summaries, State Employment Law Library ¶42-8600.

South Carolina
Preemployment Inquiries

Before being employed as an in-home caregiver by a licensed in-home care provider, a person now must undergo a criminal record check (H. 3012, L. 2011). Summaries, State Employment Law Library ¶42-9000.

South Carolina
Unemployment Insurance

South Carolina's current maximum weekly benefit amount is $326. The state's current minimum weekly benefit amount is set in the law at $42. Summaries, State Employment Law Library ¶42-1700.

South Carolina
Whistleblower Protection

South Carolina law protects employees from retaliatory discharge or discrimination because a complaint or proceeding has been filed or instituted relating to any statutes, rules or regulations covering occupational health and safety, or because of testimony given or the exercise of any rights protected under those statutes, rules or regulations. This law is amended to provide for referral to the United States Department of Labor allegations made by a private sector employee of a violation and to provide for civil remedies (Act 50 (S. 694), L. 2011). Full text, State Employment Law Library ¶42-62,008.

Tennessee
Military Leave

State and local government employees and private employees who are members of the Tennessee State Guard and Civil Air Patrol are entitled to an unpaid leave of absence from their respective duties, without loss of time, pay, regular leave or vacation, or impairment of efficiency rating, for all periods of service during which they are engaged in the performance of duty or training in the service of this state, under competent orders (Ch. 390 (S. 1996), L. 2011). Full text, State Employment Law Library ¶44-58,010a and ¶44-58,204a.

 

Tennessee
Unemployment Insurance

Effective through December 31, 2011, Premium Rate Table 1 is in effect. Employer rates range from 0.5% to 4.5% for positive-balance employers and from 5.0% to 10.0% for negative-balance employers. An additional 0.6% premium applies to all experienced-based employers and new employers whose rates are based on industry-wide reserve ratios. Tax rates for new employers are expected in late August. Summaries, State Employment Law Library ¶44-1700.

Tennessee
Violence in the Workplace

The state has expanded the scope of its workplace violence law to allow any employer or employee who has suffered unlawful violence or a credible threat of violence to seek a temporary restraining order or injunction. Also, the definition of “unlawful violence” now includes intimidation or extortion in addition to assault, aggravated assault or stalking, and the persons against whom an employer or employee may seek a TRO or injunction now includes an organization that such individual is affiliated with (Ch. 315 (H. 1586), L. 2011). Summaries, State Employment Law Library ¶44-3300.

Tennessee
Whistleblower Protection

Law relating to whistleblower protections, prohibiting termination based solely on the refusal to participate in or to remain silent on illegal activities, is amended with regard to procedures in civil actions for claims of unlawful retaliatory discharge. The plaintiff has the burden of establishing a prima face case of retaliatory discharge. If plaintiff satisfies this burden, the burden is then on the defendant to produce evidence that one or more legitimate, nondiscriminatory reasons existed for the plaintiff’s discharge. If the defendant is able to produce evidence, the presumption of discrimination is rebutted and the burden shifts to the plaintiff to demonstrate the reason given by the defendant was not true and that the plaintiff’s discharge and stated reason for discharge were pretext for unlawful retaliation (Ch. 461 (H. 1641), L. 2011). Full text, State Employment Law Library ¶44-62,001 and ¶44-62,001a.

Tennessee
Labor Relations

Tennessee “right to work” provisions are amended to make it unlawful for any person, firm, corporation or association operating in Tennessee to execute an agreement with a union or employee organization that includes a maintenance of membership clause prohibiting employees from withdrawing from a union or employee organization prior to the agreement's expiration. As an exception, this prohibition does not apply to a city, town, municipality or county, including a county having a metropolitan form of government (Ch. 178 (H. 1605), L. 2011). Full text, State Employment Law Library ¶44-63,005 and ¶44-63,005a.

Additionally, law providing for the right of employees to designate an exclusive bargaining representative by means of a secret ballot is enacted. This law provides that all employees and employers in this state, when seeking to designate an exclusive bargaining representative through an election permitted by state or federal law, have the right to make such designation by secret ballot, when permitted by law. This law does not apply to employee representation agreements (1) entered into prior to July 1, 2011, or (2) involving both employees within and without the state when the employer conducted business within Tennessee prior to July 1, 2011 (Ch. 502 (H.B. 1747), L. 2011). Full text, State Employment Law Library ¶44-63,006a.

Texas
Child Labor

Law prohibiting the employment of minors in employments considered harmful to children due to their sexually exploitive nature is amended with regard to punishment for violations. Offenses under the Penal Code are a Class A misdemeanor, except that the offense  is a (1) a state jail felony if it is shown on the trial of the offense that the defendant has been previously convicted one time of an offense under this section; and  (2) a felony of the third degree if it is shown on the trial of the offense that the defendant has been previously convicted two or more times of an offense under this law (H. 290, L. 2011, effective September 1, 2011).  Full text, State Employment Law Library ¶45-45,062.

Texas
COBRA

With respect to individuals eligible to participate in the state employee group benefits program, “dependents” include any unmarried, adult child whose COBRA coverage has expired. Also included are certain disabled children (at least 25 years old) if, on the date the individual becomes eligible to participate in the group benefits program, the child was covered as a dependent under COBRA (H. 755, L. 2011, effective September 1, 2011). Summaries, State Employment Law Library ¶45-4200).

Texas
Military Leave

Texas has amended law pertaining to employment protections for employees who are members of the state military forces to provide for administrative review of complaints and judicial enforcement of violations (H. 1178, L. 2011). Full text, State Employment Law Library ¶45-58,001, ¶45-58,003, and ¶45-58,003ba through 45-58,003bs.

Utah
Discrimination

Utah Adjudication of Discrimination Claim rules are amended to clarify the contents of a respondent’s answer to a complaint. Also, responses to all motions shall be filed within 10 days from the date the motion was filed with the Adjudication Division, unless otherwise provided by statute or the Administrative Law Judge (R602-7-3 through R602-7-6, as amended effective June 22, 2011). Full text, State Employment Law Library ¶46-20,126.03 through 46-20,126.06.

Utah
Family, Medical and Parental Leaves

Rules covering family leave for state employees are amended to provide that employees who do not qualify for FMLA, Workers Compensation, or Long Term Disability may be granted leave without pay for medical reasons not to exceed 6 months cumulative from the first day of absence or inability to perform the employee's regular position. Also, any period of leave for an employee with a serious health condition who is determined by a health care provider to be incapable of applying for Family and Medical Leave and has no agent or designee will be designated as FMLA leave (R477-7-13 and R477-7-15, as amended July 1, 2011). Full text, State Employment Law Library ¶46-22,500.05 and ¶46-22,500.06.

Vermont
Unemployment Insurance

For the period of July 1, 2011, through June 30, 2012, rates are determined under Schedule V and range from 1.3% to 8.4%. New employers pay 1.0%, while new out-of-state employers pay as follows: 4.8% for employers involved in the construction of buildings, 6.6% for employers involved in heavy and civil construction, and 5.5% for specialty trade contractors. Summaries, State Employment Law Library ¶47-1700.

Washington
Unemployment Insurance

The current maximum weekly benefit amount in Washington is $583, and the minimum amount is $138. Summaries, State Employment Law Library ¶49-1700.

West Virginia
Child Support

Employers must notify the Bureau for Child Support Enforcement two weeks prior to issuing any bonus equal to or in excess of $100 to an employee or employees, in a manner prescribed by the Bureau, that includes the employee or employees’ name, address, social security number, date of birth and the amount of the bonus. If it is determined that there is an arrearage, an income withholding notice is to be issued to the employer. The employer is to send the amount to be withheld to the Bureau and is to notify the Bureau of the date of the withholding, the same date the employee is paid. If the employer has more than 50 employees, the employer is to submit the support withheld via electronic means in a manner as prescribed by the Bureau (Ch. 20 (H 3134), L. 2011). Full text, State Employment Law Library ¶51-47,003a and ¶51-47,003b.

West Virginia
Unemployment Insurance

West Virginia's maximum and minimum weekly benefit amounts will remain $424 and $24, respectively, for the period of July 3, 2011, through June 30, 2012. Summaries, State Employment Law Library ¶50-1700.

Wyoming
Unemployment Insurance

The current maximum weekly benefit amount in Wyoming is $444, and the minimum weekly benefit amount is $32. Summaries, State Employment Law Library ¶52-1700.