Connecticut Adopts Salary History Inquiry Ban

New CT Law Effective January 1, 2019

Effective January 1, 2019, a new law generally prohibits Connecticut employers from inquiring about a prospective employee’s wage and salary history unless it is voluntarily disclosed. Notably, the law does not prohibit an employer from inquiring about other elements of a prospective employee’s compensation structure as long as such employer does not inquire about the value of the elements of such compensation structure.

Click here to read the law.

Posted by HR360

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New Jersey Releases Discrimination Poster to Providing Protections to Nursing Mothers

On January 8, 2018, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed new legislation amending the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination to add breastfeeding as a protected class under the law. The Amendment, which takes effect immediately, makes it unlawful to discriminate or retaliate against an employee that the employer knows, or should know, is either breastfeeding or expressing milk for her infant child.

Our New Jersey Labor Law Posters now include the updated posting that was just released last week.

Maine Sexual Harassment Training Guide Now Available

Maine has released a sexual harassment training checklist, which certain employers must use to develop a sexual harassment training program.

Checklist
In accordance with a previous law, Maine has developed a compliance checklist covering the sexual harassment training requirements noted below in the “Background” section. Covered employers must use the checklist to develop a sexual harassment training program, and must keep a record of the training (including a record of employees who have received the required training) for at least 3 years. These requirements are currently in effect.

Background
In workplaces with 15 or more employees, employers must conduct a sexual harassment education and training program for all new employees within one year of commencement of employment that includes certain information. Employers must also conduct additional training for supervisory and managerial employees within one year of commencement of employment that includes specific information. Click here (§ 3) for more details.

Originally posted by HR360

California Immigrant Worker Protection Act (AB 450) Template Now Available

California – Assembly Bill 450, signed by Jerry Brown on October 5, took effect January 1, 2018 and adds new provisions to the Government Code. To help employers comply with the notification and posting requirement, the bill required the Labor Commissioner to create a template by July 1, 2018 and is now available. Click HERE, then click on California to view and download the Notice of Inspection of I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification Forms.

What Employers Need to Know

1.) Beginning January 1, 2018, both public and private employers (and their agents) are prohibited from providing voluntary consent to an immigration enforcement agent to enter nonpublic areas of a place of labor unless the agent provides a judicial warrant.

2.) The law also prohibits employers (or their agents) from providing voluntary consent to an immigration enforcement agent to access, review, or obtain the employer’s employee records without a subpoena or court order.

Employers Must Post New Notice on July 1, 2018

3.) Employers will have to post to current employees a notice of inspection of Form I-9 (and any other employment records) by an immigration agency within 72 hours of receiving the federal notice of inspection, in the language the employer normally uses to communicate employment information.

4.) Employers, upon reasonable request, must also provide an affected employee (employees identified by the immigration agency as ones who may lack work authorization) with a copy of the notice of inspection of Form I-9s.

Immigration Inspection Deficiency Notice

5.) After an inspection, employers will have to provide the affected employee and the employee’s authorized representative a copy of the written immigration agency notice (the “Notice of Suspect Documents” or NSD) within 72 hours of receipt, including the result of such inspection if an employee is impacted, and obligations of the employee and employer as a result. This notice must be hand-delivered if possible, otherwise by mail and email, and should contain:

  • A description of any deficiencies identified in the notice;
  • The time period for correcting deficiencies;
  • The time and date of any meeting with the employer to correct deficiencies;
  • Notice that the employee has the right to representation during any meeting scheduled with the employer.

Violation Citation and Fines

6.) The California Labor Commissioner or Attorney General has the exclusive authority to enforce these provisions and can impose penalties of $2,000 up to $5,000 for a first violation, and $5,000 up to $10,000 for each subsequent violation under the law.

For a list of Frequently Asked Questions, visit https://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/AB_450_QA.pdf

An updated Massachusetts Equal Pay Act (MEPA) will go into effect on July 1, 2018

In 1945, Massachusetts became the first state in the country to pass an equal pay law. But the gender pay gap persists in Massachusetts and across the country.  In Massachusetts, on average, women working full time earn only 84.3% of what men earn. The gap is even larger for some women of color.

On July 1, 2018, an updated equal pay law will go into effect in Massachusetts, providing more clarity as to what constitutes unlawful wage discrimination and adding protections to ensure greater fairness and equity in the workplace. The statute, Chapter 177 of the Acts of 2016An Act to Establish Pay Equity, amends the Massachusetts Equal Pay Act, M.G.L. c. 149, § 105A (“MEPA”).

MEPA generally provides that “No employer shall discriminate in any way on the basis of gender in the payment of wages, or pay any person in its employ a salary or wage rate less than the rates paid to its employees of a different gender for comparable work.” The law defines “comparable work” as work that requires substantially similar skill, effort, and responsibility, and is performed under similar working conditions.

MEPA permits differences in pay for comparable work only when based upon:

  1. a system that rewards seniority with the employer (provided, however, that time spent on leave due to a pregnancy-related condition and protected parental, family and medical leave, shall not reduce seniority);
  2. a merit system;
  3. a system which measures earnings by quantity or quality of production, sales, or revenue;
  4. the geographic location in which a job is performed;
  5. education, training or experience to the extent such factors are reasonably related to the particular job in question; or
  6. travel, if the travel is a regular and necessary condition of the particular job.

Importantly, MEPA makes clear that employees’ salary histories are not a defense to liability. Moreover, an intent to discriminate based on gender is not required to establish liability under the law.

Massachusetts has issued new guidance regarding its amended equal pay law. An outline of the guidance is presented below.

New Guidance 
The new guidance contains information on the following topics:

  • Covered employers and employees
  • Definitions of key terms (e.g., “comparable work” and “wages”)
  • Permissible variations in pay
  • The prohibition against restricting employees’ wage discussions
  • The prohibition against seeking salary history information
  • A checklist and guide for employers to assess compliance with the law

Click here to read the guidance. Additional resources, including a fact sheet and pay calculation tool, are also available.

NOTE ON POSTING REQUIREMENT: At this moment, the state has not required or published a poster or posting requirement.

Background 
Employers are generally prohibited from discriminating in any way based on gender in the payment of wages, or from paying a person a salary or wage rate less than the rates paid to its employees of a different gender for comparable work. However, variations in wages are generally not prohibited if based upon certain factors.

The law also generally prohibits employers from requiring that an employee refrain from inquiring about, discussing, or disclosing his or her own wages or another employee’s wages, and from seeking the wage or salary history from a prospective employee or a current or former employer.

The amended law, which takes effect July 1, 2018, contains additional details and prohibitions. Employers may also wish to view the state’s equal pay provisions that are in effect prior to July 1, 2018.

Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act Takes Effect April 1, 2018

The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act amends the current statute prohibiting discrimination in employment, G.L. c. 151B, §4, enforced by the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD).

The Act, effective on April 1, 2018, expressly prohibits employment discrimination on the
basis of pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, such as lactation or the need to express breast milk for a nursing child. It also describes employers’ obligations to employees that are pregnant or lactating and the protections these employees are entitled to receive. Generally, employers may not treat employees or job applicants less favorably than other employees based on pregnancy or pregnancy-related conditions and have an obligation to accommodate pregnant workers.

Under the Act:

  • Upon request for an accommodation, the employer has an obligation to communicate with the employee in order to determine a reasonable accommodation for the pregnancy or pregnancy-related condition. This is called an “interactive process,” and it must be done in good faith. A reasonable accommodation is a modification or adjustment that allows the employee or job applicant to perform the essential functions of the job while pregnant or experiencing a pregnancy-related condition, without undue hardship to the employer.
  • An employer must accommodate conditions related to pregnancy, including post-pregnancy conditions such as the need to express breast milk for a nursing child, unless doing so would pose an undue hardship on the employer. “Undue hardship” means that providing the accommodation would cause the employer significant difficulty or expense.
  • An employer cannot require a pregnant employee to accept a particular accommodation, or to begin disability or parental leave if another reasonable accommodation would enable the employee to perform the essential functions of the job without undue hardship to the employer.
  • An employer cannot refuse to hire a pregnant job applicant or applicant with a pregnancy-related condition, because of the pregnancy or the pregnancy-related condition, if an applicant is capable of performing the essential functions of the position with a reasonable accommodation.
  • An employer cannot deny an employment opportunity or take adverse action against an employee because of the employee’s request for or use of a reasonable accommodation for a pregnancy or pregnancy-related condition.
  • An employer cannot require medical documentation about the need for an accommodation if the accommodation requested is for: (i) more frequent restroom, food or water breaks; (ii) seating; (iii) limits on lifting no more than 20 pounds; and (iv) private, non-bathroom space for expressing breast milk. An employer, may, owever, request medical documentation for other accommodations.
  • Employers must provide written notice to employees of the right to be free from discrimination due to pregnancy or a condition related to pregnancy, including the right to reasonable accommodations for conditions related to pregnancy, in a handbook, pamphlet, or other means of notice no later than April 1, 2018.
  • Employers must also provide written notice of employees’ rights under the Act: (1) to new employees at or prior to the start of employment; and (2) to an employee who notifies the employer of a pregnancy or a pregnancy-related condition, no more than 10 days after such notification.

As of today, there has not been any mandatory posters associated with this update that will be included in our posters. All in One Poster Company will continued to monitor this labor law update.

The foregoing is a synopsis of the requirements under the Act, and both employees and employers are encouraged to read the full text of the law available on the General Court’s website here:
https://malegislature.gov/Laws/SessionLaws/Acts/2017/Chapter54.

If you believe you have been discriminated against on the basis of pregnancy or a pregnancy-related condition, you may file a formal complaint with the MCAD. You may also have the right to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission if the conduct violates the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, which amended Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Both agencies require the formal complaint to be filed within 300 days of the discriminatory act.

Originally published by MCAD

California Transgender Rights Included In Our 2018 All In One Labor Law Posters

California Law Effective January 1, 2018

A new law in California adds posting and sexual harassment training requirements for certain employers. A summary of the law is listed below.

New Posting Requirement
Under the new law, every employer must post a notice (developed by the state) regarding transgender rights in a prominent and accessible location in the workplace.

General topics covered by this poster include:

  • Definitions of certain terms such as transgender, gender identity, gender expression and gender transition.
  • The importance of allowing an employee to dress in accordance with the employee’s gender identity and expression.
  • A discussion on the right of employees to use restrooms, locker rooms and other similar facilities corresponding to their gender identity.

“We expect this posting requirement to increase understanding of the law and assist California employers in providing safe and inclusive work environments,”
– Kevin Kish, Director of DFEH.

New Sexual Harassment Training Requirements
Under current law, employers with 50 or more employees must provide at least 2 hours of classroom or other effective interactive training and education regarding sexual harassment to all supervisory employees in California within 6 months of their assumption of a supervisory position. A covered employer must provide sexual harassment training and education to each supervisory employee in California once every 2 yearsClick here (§ 12950.1) for more details.

Under the new law, covered employers must also provide training inclusive of harassment based on gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation as a component of the training and education specified above. The training and education must include practical examples inclusive of harassment based on gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation, and must be presented by trainers or educators with knowledge and expertise in those areas.

Additional provisions are contained in the text of the new law. The law is effective January 1, 2018.

These notices can be obtained free of charge from the California Department of Industrial Relations.

  • For the convenience of our customers, we will be including the new Transgender Rights In The Workplace notice in our 2018 California & Federal Combination Posters.
  • Also, to aid in sexual harassment training, we are also offering the newly updated California Sexual Harassment Notice as a laminated poster available in 3 different sizes. Displaying a poster signifies compliance and is evidence for the training provided.
  • The newly updated California Industrial Welfare Commission (IWC) Wage Order Posters are also available as a 24″ x 39″ laminated poster. This poster that contains updates for January 2017 and January 2018 is what regulates the working conditions as well the hours and wages of a particular industry or occupation group. It is required by California Labor Code 1183 (d) and enforced by the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE).