California July 2018 Labor Law Updates

With ever-changing labor law posting requirements, and with the constant addition of new local ordinances that also require posters, we understand the difficulty in keeping up with the trend. For your convenience, All In One Posters has dedicated a page on our website that lists some of the major additional required notices arranged by state. Some are available for purchase, but most are downloadable at no cost to you. Click on the link below for further details:

http://www.allinoneposters.com/Specific-City-and-Industry-Notices *

*Updated with the latest changes that will take effect July 1st 2018 for certain California localities.

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Court upholds OSHA finding that railroad company violated Maine employee’s whistleblower rights

BOSTON – A federal appeals court has affirmed that Pan Am Railways, Inc. must pay $260,000 in punitive and compensatory damages to – and take corrective action on behalf of – an employee who was subjected to retaliation for filing a Federal Railroad Safety Act whistleblower complaint.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigated the complaint, filed in 2011, against the North Billerica-based commercial railroad and found the railroad retaliated against the employee, who works in a rail yard in Waterville, Maine, when it charged him with dishonesty in connection with his FRSA complaint. The employee had tried to report an injury.

The department ordered the railroad to take corrective actions and pay the affected employee $10,000 in compensatory damages and $40,000 in punitive damages. Pan Am Railways appealed, and in 2014, an administrative law judge upheld the agency’s finding of retaliation and increased the amount of punitive damages to $250,000. The railroad again appealed, to the department’s Administrative Review Board, which affirmed the judge’s order. It then appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, which denied the railroad’s petition on April 21, 2017.

“This case is a strong reminder that our whistleblower laws prohibit reprisals against employees who file whistleblower complaints, report workplace injuries and illnesses, or raise awareness of hazardous safety or security conditions,” said Galen Blanton, OSHA’s New England regional administrator.

“A safe and healthy workplace is a goal we should all aspire to achieve. Discriminatory actions by employers, including but not limited to retaliation, can freeze employees into silence. Hazardous conditions can go unreported as a result, and lead to avoidable human and financial costs,” said Michael Felsen, the department’s regional solicitor of labor for New England.

OSHA enforces the whistleblower provisions of the FRSA and 21 other statutes protecting employees who report violations of various airline, commercial motor carrier, consumer product, environmental, financial reform, food safety, health care reform, nuclear, pipeline, worker safety, public transportation agency, railroad, maritime and securities laws.

Employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees who raise various protected concerns or provide protected information to the employer or to the government. Employees who believe that they have been retaliated against for engaging in protected conduct may file a complaint with the Secretary of Labor to request an investigation by OSHA’s Whistleblower Protection Program. Detailed information on employee whistleblower rights, including fact sheets, is available at http://www.whistleblowers.gov.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.

South Carolina Enacts Pregnancy Accommodation Law

Law Contains New Notice & Poster Requirement

South Carolina has enacted a new law that prohibits employers with 15 or more employees from discriminating against employees with medical needs arising from pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. In particular, the law prohibits covered employers from failing or refusing to make reasonable accommodations for employees’ medical needs arising from pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions unless it can demonstrate that the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on its business.

Notice & Poster Requirements
Covered employers must provide a written notice regarding the law to existing employees by September 14, 2018, and all new hires on or after that date. The notice must be also conspicuously posted at an employer’s place of business. The South Carolina Human Affairs Commission is expected to issue a model notice in the coming months.

Click here to read the text of the law, which is currently in effect.

 

Originally Posted by HR360

Ban on Salary History Inquiry for Vermont Employers

Effective July 1, 2018, a new law prohibits Vermont employers from inquiring about or seeking an applicant’s salary history information, including information on his or her current or past wages, salary, bonuses, or benefits. The law also bans employers from relying on an applicant’s salary history information as a factor in determining whether to interview the applicant.

Notably, the law does not prohibit:

  • After making an offer of employment that includes compensation, confirming or requesting an applicant’s salary history information if the applicant previously disclosed the information voluntarily; or
  • Inquiring about an applicant’s salary expectations or requirements.

Click here to read the law.

TN Employers May Prohibit Carrying Firearms Onto Business Property

Tennessee employers and business owners may prohibit employees and patrons from carrying firearms and weapons onto business premises. This is true even when an employee or patron possesses a lawful open or concealed carry permit.

However, in order to prohibit such firearms, employers and business owners must comply with the notice requirements set forth in Tennessee Code Annotated (“T.C.A.”) section 39-17-1359(b).

The new requirements are very specific. The notice must:

  • Be displayed in “prominent locations including all entrances primarily used by persons entering the property;”
  • Be “plainly visible to the average person entering the property;”
  • Be in English, and it also may be duplicated in any language used by persons who frequent the property;
  • Include the phrase “NO FIREARMS ALLOWED” and that phrase must be at least one inch high and eight inches wide;
  • Include the phrase “as authorized by T.C.A. § 39-17-1359” (apparently in any size you want); and
  • Include a “pictorial representation of the phrase ‘NO FIREARMS ALLOWED,’” and if you were wondering what exactly that means, the statute tells you.
    • It must include a “circle with a diagonal line through the circle and an image of a firearm inside the circle under the diagonal line.” The “pictorial representation” must be at least four inches high and four inches wide, and the diagonal line must be at a 45 degree angle from the upper left of the circle to the lower right side of the circle.

If the building or property is posted with a proper “no firearms” notice, then possession of a weapon on posted property is a Class B misdemeanor punishable by a $500 fine. Even if you are a handgun carry permit holder, you can still commit a Class B misdemeanor for possessing a weapon on posted property. However, handgun-carry permit holders are permitted to keep their firearms and ammunition locked inside their vehicles even if the property is posted in accordance with Tennessee’s so-called “guns-in-trunks” law.

To help our patrons comply, All In One Poster Company has designed this 11″ x 17″ poster that adheres to the new posting requirements. Individuals, businesses, and government entities that were already posted as no-weapons areas as of January 1, 2015 have until January 1, 2018 to replace them with signs that meet the new statute’s requirements. If, however, you are late to the “no weapons” posting party, make sure you get a compliant sign. Click on the image below to purchase.

TN No Firearms Allowed 11x17

New Massachusetts Law Limits Certain Criminal History Inquiries

Massachusetts has limited certain inquiries into criminal history.

Restricted Information
Among other things, employers with 6 or more employees are generally prohibited from requesting any information or using any job application to request a person’s:

  • Sealed or expunged criminal record; or
  • Misdemeanor conviction where the date of the conviction or completion of any period of resulting incarceration, whichever date is later, occurred 3 or more years (a change from 5 or more years) before the date of the job application or request.

These provisions are effective October 13, 2018Click here to read the law.

Posted by HR360

NYC Enacts New Sexual Harassment Training, Poster, and Information Sheet Requirements

New York City has enacted new sexual harassment trainingposter, and notice requirements for employers. Starting April 1, 2019, employers with 15 or more employees will be required to annually conduct anti-sexual harassment interactive training for all employees, including supervisors and managers. In addition, starting September 6, 2018, all employers will be required to:

  • Post an anti-sexual harassment rights and responsibilities poster in employee breakrooms or other common areas where employees gather; and
  • Distribute an information sheet on sexual harassment to employees at the time of hire and in the employee handbook.

The city is expected to release a model poster and information sheet soon.

Additional requirements applyClick here for more on the training requirement. Click here for more on the poster and information sheet requirements.

Posted by HR360

U.S. Department of Labor Cites Florida Health Facility for Exposing Employees to Workplace Violence

BRADENTON, FL – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Premier Behavioral Health Solutions of Florida Inc. and UHS of Delaware Inc., the operators of Bradenton-based Suncoast Behavioral Health Center, for failing to protect employees from violence in the workplace. Proposed penalties total $71,137.

OSHA responded to a complaint that employees were not adequately protected from violent mental health patients. OSHA cited Premier Behavioral Health Solutions of Florida Inc. and UHS of Delaware Inc., subsidiaries of Universal Health Services Inc., for failing to institute controls to prevent patients from verbal and physical threats of assault, including punches, kicks, and bites; and from using objects as weapons. Another UHS subsidiary was cited in 2016 for a deficient workplace violence program.

“This citation reflects a failure to effectively address numerous incidents over the past two years resulting in serious injuries to employees of the facility,” said Les Grove, OSHA Tampa Area Office Director.

Premier Behavioral Health Solutions of Florida Inc. and UHS of Delaware Inc. have 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education, and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.

All in One Poster Company has developed he 8-in-1 Healthcare Safety Poster, one of the most important safety posters applicable to the healthcare industry.

HomeHealthCareSafety

This poster describes various risks and safety precautions to be observed by an employee for a healthcare organization which includes the following topics:
· Emergency First Aid
· Fall Prevention
· Patient Lifting
· Latex Allergy
· Bloodborne Pathogens
· Safe Vehicle Operation
· Workplace Violence
· Hand Wash Notice

This poster is ideal for: In-Home Care Providers, Skilled Nursing or Convalescent Homes, Home Health Agencies, Assisted Living Facilities, Medical Clinics and Laboratories, Hospitals, Sanitariums, Institutions for Individuals with Mental and Developmental Disabilities, etc.

 

New York State Clean Indoor Air Act Includes Vaporizers and E-Cigatrettes

WHAT WAS ADDED: As of November 22, 2017, legislation has included electronic cigarettes, vaporizers, and similar devices to the Clean Indoor Air Act, which bans their use everywhere that smoking tobacco products are prohibited.

BACKGROUND: Effective July 24, 2003, the amended New York State Clean Indoor Air Act (Public Health Law, Article 13-E) prohibits smoking in virtually all indoor public areas including workplaces, restaurants and bars.

WHERE IS SMOKING PROHIBITED
Public Health Law, Article 13-E, Section 1399-o states that smoking shall not be permitted and no person shall smoke in the following indoor areas:

  • Places of employment;
  • Bars and Restaurants;
  • Enclosed indoor swimming areas;
  • Public transportation including all ticketing, boarding and waiting areas; buses, vans, taxicabs and limousines;
  • All places of employment where services are offered to children;
  • All schools, including school grounds;
  • All public and private colleges, universities and other educational and vocational institutions;
  • General hospitals;
  • Residential health-care facilities, except separately designated smoking rooms for adult patients;
  • Commercial establishments used for the purpose of carrying on or exercising any trade, profession, vocation or charitable activity;
  • All indoor arenas;
  • Zoos; and
  • Bingo facilities.

WHERE IS SMOKING PERMITTED
Smoking is permitted in the following areas or businesses:

  • Private homes and private residences when not used for day care; private automobiles;
  • Hotel or motel rooms rented to one or more guests;
  • Retail tobacco businesses (primary activity is the retail sale of tobacco products and accessories, and the sale of other products is merely incidental);
  • Membership associations where all duties related to the operation of the association are performed by volunteers who are not compensated in any manner;
  • Cigar bars in existence prior to January 1, 2003 (where 10% or more of total annual gross income is from the sale of tobacco products); and
  • Up to 25% of seating in outdoor areas of restaurants with no roof or ceiling enclosure may be designated smoking areas.

POSTING OF SIGNS
Public Health Law, Article 13-E, Section 1399-p Posting of Signs

“Smoking” or “No Smoking” signs, or the international “No Smoking” symbol, which consists of a pictorial representation of a burning cigarette enclosed in a circle with a bar across it, shall be prominently posted and properly maintained where smoking is regulated (prohibited or permitted) by this article, by the owner, operator, manager or other person having control of such area. ALL IN ONE POSTER COMPANY offers a NO SMOKING and NO VAPING COMBINATION SIGN that may be used in accordance with the amendment to the law that now includes electronic cigarettes, vaporizes, and similar devices.

VIOLATION AND PENALTY
The enforcement officer for a city or county health department can assess a penalty of up to $1,000 for each violation. In areas where the State Health Department is the enforcement officer, a fine of up to $2,000 may be assessed.

New Jersey Statewide Earned Paid Sick Leave Law begins October 29, 2018

Law Preempts Local Sick Leave Ordinances

A new law will generally require New Jersey employers to provide earned paid sick leave to each employee in New Jersey beginning October 29, 2018. Notably, the law preempts all local sick leave ordinances. The following chart summarizes the law and its requirements.

Which Employees and Employers Are Covered? All employers and paid employees in New Jersey.
Must an Employer Compensate Leave? Yes. An employer generally must pay an employee for earned sick leave at the same rate of pay with the same benefits as he or she normally earns. However, an employee is generally notentitled to payment of unused earned sick leave upon termination, resignation, or retirement.
How Much Leave May an Employee Accrue and Use? 40 hours
Which Life Events Qualify for Leave?
  • Mental or physical illness or injury of an employee or his or her family member.
  • Attending certain meetings or events for a child’s education or care.

 

Additional requirements and exceptions apply. Click here to read the new law.