New Laws Effective July 1st, 2018
• Massachusetts’ Ban on Prior Salary Inquiries
As of July 1st, employers in Massachusetts are no longer able to ask about an applicant’s pay history when determining the salary for an offered position. This prohibition includes an employer inquiring directly or through a third party. However, applicants may still choose to disclose their pay history as long as it is voluntary. While employers may ask about salary expectations or desires, too much probing is not advised. In enacting such a ban, Massachusetts joins California, Vermont, Oregon, Delaware, and Puerto Rico where similar bans are already in place, as well as the cities of New Orleans, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and New York City. Connecticut will join this list next year with its salary history ban taking effect January 1, 2019.
• Oregon’s Predictive Scheduling for Nonexempt Employees
Employers with 500+ employees worldwide must give nonexempt employees in the food service, hospitality, or retail industries seven days’ notice of their work schedules. The employer is not allowed to alter the schedule without the employee’s consent in writing, absent a few exceptions. Penalties for noncompliance with this law can include the employer paying the employee additional hours of pay as well as civil penalties. Most of this law took effect on July 1, 2018. This law was enacted in response to concerns of hourly workers whose inconsistent work schedules created frequent personal conflicts.
• Iowa’s Amendment to Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing Laws
Private employers in Iowa are now able to take adverse employment actions based on an employee’s alcohol test result of a .02 Blood Alcohol Concentration. This is a lower standard from the previously allowed .04 Blood Alcohol Concentration. This new law may prompt some Iowa employers to consider amending their drug and alcohol testing policies to coincide with the lower concentration levels. Iowa’s drug and alcohol testing statute is notoriously complicated, and recent court filings suggest that an employer’s failure to satisfy even the most technical requirements of the statute may put Iowa employers at risk of litigation. Furthermore, employers should be aware that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (the “FMCSA”) maintains its prohibition on employees performing any safety-sensitive functions with a blood alcohol concentration of .04 or greater, with the additional requirement that employees found to have blood alcohol concentrations between .02 and .04 be removed from duty for 24 hours. Accordingly, it is important that employers subject to both laws understand the respective requirements of each.
• D.C., Oregon, and Maryland Increase Minimum Wage
Over a dozen states have increased their minimum wage this year. On July 1st, D.C.’s minimum wage increased to $13.25/hour, Oregon’s minimum wage increased to $10.75/hour, and Maryland’s minimum wage increased to $10.10/hour.