Stay up-to-date with the most current regulations released from the Department of Labor.

OHIO
Uniformity of Laws Mandated
Effective March 2017, Senate Bill 331 mandates uniformity of laws across the state affecting wage-hour; paid sick and safe leave and other fringe benefits; and scheduling of employee work hours and expressly prohibits cities and counties from adopting laws in these areas that differ from those enacted at the state and federal level.

Under the new law, cities and counties in Ohio are prohibited from legislating or regulating the following areas of employment for private employers:

  • Requiring fringe benefits for employees.
  • Whether an employer will provide advance notice of initial, new or changes to an employee’s work schedule, including whether an employer will provide predictive schedules.
  • The amount of notice an employee receives for work schedule assignments or changes to them, including any addition or reduction of hours, cancellation of a shift, or changes in the day or time of a shift.
  • Minimizing the fluctuation of the number of hours an employee is scheduled to work daily, weekly and monthly.
  • Providing additional hours to current employees before employing additional workers.
  • The number of hours an employee is required to work or be on call.
  • The time an employee is required to work or be on call.
  • The location where an employee is required to work.
  • Additional pay for reporting time when work is no longer available, being on call or working a split shift.

The new law also prohibits cities and counties from adopting a minimum wage rate that exceeds the federal or state minimum.

Licensed Concealed Carry
Effective March 2017, Senate Bill 199 expands the areas in which an individual with a valid concealed handgun license can possess a firearm. The new law expressly authorizes an individual with a valid license to possess a firearm in a privately owned vehicle while parked on company property and prohibits an employer from disciplining an employee for doing so.

Valid license holders are also permitted to possess a firearm in a daycare facility unless proper signage is posted.

Under the new law:

  • Businesses and property owners can prohibit firearms within the workplace and on their property (other than in a personal vehicle) if proper signage is posted.
  • An employee may not possess a firearm or ammunition in a company-owned or company-leased vehicle where the employer prohibits such possession.
  • While possession of a firearm is generally prohibited in school safety zones, an individual with a valid concealed handgun license can possess a handgun within a motor vehicle while in a school safety zone.
  • An individual with a valid concealed handgun license can possess a firearm in an airport terminal, so long as the license holder is not beyond a passenger or property screening checkpoint or in a location where access is restricted through certain security measures by airport authorities or a public agency.

An example of a posting provided by the Ohio Attorney General can be downloaded here: Posting.

KENTUCKY
Right-to-Work Law FAQs
Effective January 7, 2017, the Kentucky Right to Work Act became the topic of strong debate between the business and union community. Below are answers to Frequently Asked Questions regarding the legislation.

What is a right-to-work state and why does it matter to me?
A right-to-work state is a state that has enacted a law that makes it unlawful for an employer or union to force an employee to join a union or pay dues or fees to the union in order to keep their job. The Kentucky Right to Work Act allows employees the freedom to choose whether to join a union and whether to pay union dues and fees. Provisions in existing labor contracts requiring employees to pay dues or fees will remain in effect until the contract expires.

Now that Kentucky is a right-to-work state, does this mean the union no longer represents the employees and that the employer is now non-union?
No. The union will continue to represent the employees as it did before the law was passed and employers must continue to recognize and bargain with existing unions.

Does this mean the labor contract is no longer in effect?
No. The labor contract will remain in effect until the contract expires or until new contract terms are negotiated by the union and the employer.

Can union members just resign their union membership now that the right-to-work law has passed?
Yes, if a member chooses to do so. Even if the labor contract contains a union security clause requiring an employee to join and remain a union member to keep his or her job, the employee may resign the union membership at any time by notifying the union in writing that he or she has elected to resign the union membership effective immediately. If the employee decides to resign the union membership, he or she should read the union’s Constitution and determine to whom the written resignation should be sent. After resigning, the employee is no longer subject to union rules, discipline, fines, special assessments, and the like.

If members resign their union membership, will they still have to pay union dues?
No, a resigned member is not required to pay union dues. However, if the labor contract has a union security clause, the member must pay to the union an “agency fee” as long as the current labor contract is in effect. An agency fee is the member’s share of the amount that the union can prove it spends as costs of collective bargaining, contract administration, and grievance adjustment. The member must notify the union and the employer in writing that he or she chooses to exercise the right to pay only an agency fee, that he or she will not pay for the union’s political activities and that he or she objects to the use of the payment for purposes other than collective bargaining, contract administration, and grievance adjustment. If the member decides to pay only an agency fee, he or she should review the union’s Constitution and determine to whom at the union should be notified of the decision.

When the current labor contract expires, will employees still have to pay an agency fee?
No. After the current labor contract expires, employees will not be required to pay any monies whatsoever to a union to get a job or keep their job.

Can employees be required to join a union after the current labor contract expires?
No.

If an employee voluntarily remains a union member, can he or she stop paying dues to the union?
As long as an employee is a union member, he or she must continue to pay all dues, fees, assessments, and the like that are required by the union’s Constitution.

If employees have other questions or would like more information, who can they call?
They can contact the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation and obtain free information at (800) 336-3600. The Foundation has established a task force to assist employees who have questions and to defend their rights under the new law.

Paycheck Protection Act Passed
Effective January 7, 2017, the Paycheck Protection Act prohibits employees from being enrolled in a union without their written request. It also requires that employees authorize in writing or electronically the deduction of any union dues or fees.

CALIFORNIA
Paid Sick Leave Required in Santa Monica
Effective January 1, 2017, Santa Monica City employers are required to provide paid sick leave to employees who work at least two hours per week within the city limits. Small businesses with 25 or fewer employees must provide employees with at least 32 hours of leave. Larger businesses with 26 or more employees must provide at least 40 hours of leave. Those requirements will increase to 40 hours for small businesses and 72 hours for large businesses on January 1, 2018.

The paid sick leave accrual rate is the same as the state law’s accrual rate — requiring employers to provide employees with 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked.

Employees may carry over any sick leave they have accrued up to their accrual limits, but employers are not required to pay employees for any unused hours of paid sick leave at the end of the employment relationship.

The required employer posting for the new leave law is available here: Posters

NEW JERSEY
Morristown Issues Paid Sick Leave Employer Resources
Morristown, New Jersey, has released resources regarding the Paid Sick Leave Ordinance that went into effect January 11, 2017. Resources on the city website include FAQs, sample posters and a sample written notice required to be distributed to all current employees as well as new employees at the time of hire. Employers must also display the notice/poster in a conspicuous place in each establishment where employees may work. Resources are also provided in Spanish in the event Spanish is the first language for at least 10 percent of an employer’s workforce.

Download the free resources here: Posters and FAQ links

NEW YORK
New York Releases Revised Proposed Cybersecurity Regulations
Effective March 1, 2017, Revised Proposed Regulations amend the regulatory minimum standards for protecting customer information and information systems of the financial services industry.

In addition to minor wording changes throughout, the Revised Proposed Regulations substantially revise the sections on exemptions, internal reports of the Chief Information Security Officer (“CISO”), third-party service providers, encryption, notices to the Superintendent, penetration testing, and the transitional periods.

The original proposal’s exemptions have also been expanded to exempt entities with fewer than 1,000 customers (including independent contractors), changed the requirements from which these entities would be exempt, and added limited exemptions for covered entities that do not “directly or indirectly operate, maintain, utilize or control any Information Systems” and that do not, and are not required to, “directly or indirectly control, own, access, generate, receive or possess Nonpublic Information.”

PUERTO RICO
“Labor Transformation and Flexibility Act” Signed
The “Labor Transformation and Flexibility Act” (House Bill 453), which was signed into effect in late January 2017, changes the definition of daily overtime, establishes a uniform rate of overtime, allows flexible work schedules under certain circumstances, provides new severance formula for unjust dismissals, shortens some statute of limitations, and eliminates operating restrictions and special compensation applicable to covered retail industries on Sundays and certain holidays.