Pay Matters! July 2019

 

Welcome to Pay Matters, our monthly roundup of all the payroll and compliance news that you must know.

Stay informed and in compliance with our monthly payroll alerts and insights.

Paid Leave Laws Sweep the Nation

A wave of Paid Leave Laws is sweeping across the nation as an increasing number of states and localities are requiring employers to provide their employees with paid leave. Below are some of the latest changes.

Maine

On May 28, Maine passed the first Paid Leave bill that allows employees to take paid leave for any reason, including vacation.

Under the law, employers with 10 or more employees for more than 120 days a year must accrue paid leave at a rate of 1 hour for every 40 hours worked, capped at 40 hours per year.  The accrual will begin on the first day of employment, and employers may not allow employees to take accrued leave until they have been employed for 120 days.

Employees who take paid leave must be paid at the same rate as they were paid immediately prior to the leave and must be offered the same benefits they had prior to the leave, including health insurance.

The law prohibits localities and other subdivisions from passing paid sick leave legislation.

The law is silent on many questions including carryover of accrued leave, payout when employment ends, and benefit amounts for multi-rate and commissioned employees.

More guidance is expected prior to the law’s effective date of January 1, 2021. For the text of the law click here.

Colorado

On May 30, Colorado’s Family Medical Leave Insurance Program was signed into law. The law paves the way for the creation of a paid medical leave program that will provide partial wage replacement benefits for workers who take leave to care for a new child or to take care of their own serious health condition or that of a family member.

Leave benefits are scheduled to commence in 2024, as follows.

  • July 1, 2020, the Family and Medical Leave Program will be established;
  • January 1, 2023, the Family and Medical Leave Program funding will begin
  • January 1, 2024, the Family and Medical Leave Program will start paying benefits.

For more information click here.

Nevada

Effective January 1, 2020, Nevada private employers with 50 or more employees must accrue 0.01923 hours of paid sick leave for every hour worked, capped at 40 hours per year. Employees are eligible to take leave on the 90th day of employment and do not have to provide a reason to their employer.

For more information click here.

Massachusetts

Massachusetts has delayed the start of contributions to its Paid Family and Medical Leave Program.

On June 11, Governor Charlie Baker  and the state legislature released a statement delaying the start of contributions  by 3 months. Payroll deductions and employer contributions were originally to begin July 1, 2019, but will now begin October 1, 2019, giving employers more time to prepare. The statement also noted that technical changes will be adopted to clarify the program’s design.

To accommodate the delay in program funding, the total contribution rate is increased from 0.63 percent to 0.75 percent of employee qualifying earnings.

Benefits for eligible employees will still be available beginning January 1, 2021, as planned.

For more information on the PFML Act click here.

Viventium will continue to monitor MA PFML changes and will update you on the latest developments.

Westchester, NY

Effective October 30, 2019, employers in Westchester County must provide paid leave to both full time and part time employees who are victims of domestic violence or human trafficking. This is in addition to the Westchester Earned Sick Leave law that took effect earlier this year, requiring Westchester employers with 5 or more employees to  provide paid sick leave.

Uniquely, the Safe Time Leave for Victims of Domestic Violence and Human Trafficking does not require accruals. Paid leave is available on an as- needed basis, up to 40 hours per year to all workers employed in the county for more than 90 days in a year. Employers may request reasonable documentation to support the employee’s need for safe time.

Employers are required to give every employee a copy of his/her rights under the law within 90 days of the law’s effective date or the employee’s start of employment, whichever is later. Employers must also display a poster in English, Spanish, and any other language the county deems necessary.

For more information click here.

Minimum Wage

Maryland

Maryland is following the trend of increasing minimum wage to $15 per hour.

Minimum wage for large employers (15 or more employees) will increase according to the following schedule:

  • January 1, 2020: $11.00
  • January 1, 2021: $11.75
  • January 1, 2022: $12.50
  • January 1, 2023: $13.25
  • January 1, 2024: $14.00
  • January 1, 2025: $15.00

For employers with 14 or fewer employees, the schedule for the rate of increase is:

  • January 1, 2020: $11.00
  • January 1, 2021: $11.60
  • January 1, 2022: $12.20
  • January 1, 2023: $12.80
  • January 1, 2024: $13.40
  • January 1, 2025: $14.00
  • January 1, 2026: $14.60

In addition, as of June 1, 2019 amusement and recreational facilities must pay employees minimum wage and overtime.

For more information click here.

Nevada

Nevada enacted its first significant change to minimum wage in over a decade. On June 12, Governor Steve Sisolak signed legislation to increase minimum wage by 75 cents each year beginning July 1, 2020 until reaching $12 per hour.

As of July 1, 2020 employers offering qualified health benefits must pay  a minimum of $8 per hour and employers who do not offer qualified health benefits must pay a minimum of $9 per hour.

For more information click here.

Additional state increases

Several other states and localities increased their minimum wage effective July 1, 2019. In the following chart, please note that alternate minimums may apply depending on employer size, location, and industry. It is always the employer’s responsibility to ensure compliance with minimum wage requirements.

JurisdictionJuly 1, 2019 Minimum Wage Per Hour
New Jersey$10.00 (up from $8.85)
District of Columbia$14.00 (up from $13.25)
Oregon$11.25 (up from $10.75)
Alameda, California$13.50 (up from $11.00)
Emeryville, California$16.30 (up from $15.69)
Fremont, California$13.50 (up from $12.00)
Los Angeles, California$14.25 (up from $13.25).
Los Angeles County, California$14.25 (up from $13.25).
Malibu, California$14.25 (up from $13.25).
Milpitas, California$15.00 (up from $13.50)
Pasadena, California$14.25 (up from $13.25)
San Francisco, California$15.59 (up from $15.00)
San Leandro, California$14.00 (up from $13.00)
Santa Monica, California$14.25 (up from $13.25)
Chicago, Illinois$13.00 (up from $12.00)
Cook County, Illinois$12.00 (up from $11.00)
Portland, Maine$11.11 (up from $10.90)
Montgomery County, Maryland$13.00 (up from $12.25)
Minneapolis, Minnesota$12.25 (up from $11.25)
Portland, Oregon Urban Growth Boundary$12.50 (up from $12.00)
Oregon Non-Urban Counties$11.00 (up from $10.50)

 

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