LEGAL UPDATES AT THE STATE LEVEL
HIGHER WAGES, MORE
FAMILY LEAVE COMING
A new law will bring sweeping
changes to wage and leave rules.
Over a period of fve years, the bill will:
ā Raise the minimum wage to $15
ā Mandate paid family and medical
leave for Massachusetts employees.
ā Phase out Sunday and holiday pre-
mium pay for retail workers.
The frst minimum wage increase
will boost pay to $12 an hour (up $1)
beginning on Jan. 1, 2019. That’s also
the date the new Sunday and holiday
premium-pay rules will go into efect.
Beginning in 2021, most employees
in the state will get up to 12 weeks
of paid time of to care for a family
member or bond with a new child
and up to 20 weeks to address their
own serious medical issues, making
the Massachusetts program among
the most generous in the country.
New Hampshire became the
20th state in the country to prohibit
discrimination of all forms based on
A new law added “gender identity” to
the list of protected classes under the
New Hampshire Law Against Discrim-
ination, which prohibits discrimination
in employment, public accommoda-
tions and housing based on age, sex,
race, creed, color, familial status,
disability and national origin, among
other characteristics. The amended
statute, which became operational in
July, defnes gender identity as “a per-
son’s gender-related identity, appear-
ance or behavior, whether or not that
gender-related identity, appearance or
behavior is diferent from that tradi-
tionally associated with the person’s
physiology or assigned sex at birth.”
MARIJUANA LAW CHANGES
LITTLE FOR EMPLOYERS
Vermont’s recreational marijuana
law does not require employers to
tolerate the possession or use of pot
in the workplace.
The statute lifted penalties for individuals possessing limited amounts
of pot, efective July 1. However, businesses may continue to test for marijuana, though they should carefully
consider any adverse employment actions that could occur due to the risk
of disability discrimination claims. At
the same time, company leaders must
still comply with Vermont’s strict limitations on drug testing, which allow
only pre-employment screening and
testing for probable cause.
For more state and local workplace
The mayor of Lancaster, Calif., R. Rex Parris,
and legal developments,
go to shrm.org/StateResources
wants to bar employers in the city from requir-
ing workers to wear neckties, citing evidence
that they limit blood circulation to the brain.
Source: Los Angeles Times.
Americans have borrowed money
for student loans ( 60 percent
of all U.S. college grads).
is the amount of the aver-
age educational debt.
is the average monthly expense of
student loans (the second-greatest
outlay, trailing only rent or mortgage).
of borrowers would stay in a job they dislike due to their student loan obligation.
of young people would value a
student loan refnance beneft.
of companies provide student
Source: Laurel Road and SHRM.