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Legislative Updates

    LEG. UPDATES:

     

      As you may have heard, the General Assembly voted to override Gov. Hogan’s veto of HB 1.  The law is scheduled to go into effect on February 11, 2018 unless the General Assembly chooses to delay its implementation, possibly by 90 days.  This law applies to all employers in Maryland (including a unit of State or local government), regardless of size.  Employers with 15 or more employees will be required to provide employees with paid leave and employers with fewer than 15 employees will be required to provide unpaid leave for those same reasons.  The number of employees is calculated by using the average monthly number of all employees (including full-time, part-time, temporary, and seasonal) who were employed during the immediately preceding 12 months.

    Employers must allow employees to earn sick and safe leave at a rate of at least one hour for every 30 hours worked, up to 40 hours a year.  Employees may carry over earned sick and safe leave from year-to-year, although the carryover amount may be capped at 64 hours. The total amount of sick and safe leave that an employee may actually use in a year may also be capped at 64 hours.  Employers may use Paid Time Off (“PTO”) plans to meet their obligations so long as their PTO plans comply with the requirements of this new law.

     

     

    Montgomery County

    Montgomery County’s Council voted to pass a $15-an-hour minimum wage that would take effect by 2024. The measure would be enacted in phases depending on the number of workers employed by businesses.

    Large employers — those with 51 or more employees  would have to reach the $15-an-hour rate by July 1, 2021.

    Mid-sized employers — those with between 11 and 50 employees — would have to hit the $15-an-hour mark by July 1, 2023,

    and small employers would have until July 1, 2024.

     

     

    Maryland Legislation

    HR Advocacy Day in Annapolis

     

     

     

    Federal News:

    FLSA

    Changes from December are still on hold under the injunction

    The DOL submitted a “request for information” on the overtime rule on July 26. An RFI is a tool typically used by the DOL to seek public input on new rules or changes to existing rules.  Among other issues, the DOL is requesting input on whether:

    • The $455 per week threshold should be increased based on the rate of inflation
    • Salary thresholds should be set based on state, metropolitan area, or the size of the employer.
    • Different salary threshold should be set for the executive, administrative, and professional employee exemptions.
    • Salary threshold and the highly compensated employee total annual compensation level should be automatically updated on a periodic basis.

    Employers have through September 25, 2017 to submit comments to the DOL regarding its RFI at www.regulations.gov, using the Regulatory Information Number (RIN) 1235-AA20.

    Immigration Reform

    • The President has made a budget request seeking $15 million to expand the Federal E-Verify program on national level, perhaps requiring its use for all employers.
    • He requested to hire 10,000 more immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to assist with compliance.
    • He also directed a full review of the H-1B visa program as part of a continued push to clamp down on companies that hire foreign labor instead of American workers.
    • A new I-9 form was released and needs to be implemented no later than September 18, 2017.

    Health Care

    Both parties have indicated next steps may include bipartisan efforts to fix ACA. Specific plans and a timeline have not been discussed yet.

     

     

    FLSA “EAP” Regulations Still On Hold – On Tuesday, November 22nd a Texas judged issued preliminary injunction that applied nationwide and effectively put the Department of Labor’s overtime regulations on hold.  The US Department of Labor subsequently filed an appeal to that ruling and asked the court to refrain from considering whether a final injunction would be issued until their appeal was heard. On January 3, 2017 the court declined the DOL’s request. Stay tuned to what the new Administration may bring to this sequence of events.  This is at least the third DOL regulation that has recently been delayed (See Persuader Rule below and previous “Blacklisting Rule”).

    OSHA’s Recordkeeping Rule – After some delays the new rules have now taken effect.  Enforcement of the new anti-retaliation provisions took effect December 1, 2016.  The new electronic recordkeeping requirements took effect January 1, 2017.  For more information, click here

    EE0-1 Report – On September 29th the EEOC announced that the new pay data collection and reporting rule (new EEO-1 reporting requirements) will take effect March 31, 2018. Click here for more information.

    Persuader Rule – On November 16th a judge issued a final injunction blocking implementation of the DOL’s Persuader rule. The new rule originally took effect April 25, 2016. But on June 27th a nationwide preliminary injunction was issued putting implementation on hold. The injunction is now final.  Click here for more information.