As 2015 draws to a close, our final state law round-up will provide information about minimum wage increases taking effect in 2016, some recent developments on the local sick leave law front, and other issues to take note of heading into 2016.
2016 State and Local Minimum Wage Rates
With the federal minimum wage still at $7.25, more and more states, cities and counties are taking it upon themselves to raise the minimum wage. You can find the 2016 minimum wage rates in this chart, which is current as of December 16, 2015. The clock is ticking, so make sure you are in compliance before January 1!
Sick Leave Laws
At long last, Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries released the Final Rules, which clarify and expand the provisions of the sick leave law, and issued a poster that can be used to fulfill the law’s notice requirements. Of note, the Final Rules address, inter alia, joint employer issues, the definition of family members, how to calculate an employee’s regular rate of pay, front-loading sick time, and calculating use of sick time for shifts of indeterminate lengths or on-call shifts. The Rules also clarify that sick time provided pursuant to the Oregon Family Leave Act and Domestic Violence Leave law runs concurrently with sick leave provided under the Sick Leave law.
On December 16, New Brunswick, New Jersey’s city council passed a paid sick leave ordinance that requires employers with employees in that city to provide paid sick leave. Notably, the New Brunswick law is not a copycat of the other New Jersey municipal sick leave laws—it is not as generous to employees. First, the law only applies to employers that “maintain a business location in New Brunswick” and have at least five full time equivalent employees. Second, employees working under 20 hours per week or who work from home are not eligible to accrue sick leave under the law.
Under the law, employees accrue one hour of sick leave for every 35 hours worked in the city. For employers of ten or more employees (anywhere), full time employees may accrue and use up to 40 hours of sick leave per year, while part time employees may accrue and use up to 24 hours of sick leave per year. For employers of up to nine employees, all employees may accrue and use up to 24 hours of sick time per year. The ordinance will become effective twenty days after advertised in print following passage, which is likely to be very soon.
As the new year approaches, it is a good time for employers to make sure they are in compliance with the notice requirements of the various sick leave laws. Generally the sick leave laws require employers to post a specific poster at the workplace, in English and (under most of the laws) in any language spoken by 10% or more of the workforce. California’s Department of Industrial Relations recently reminded employers about the notification requirements of the California law. Takeaway? Get those posters up! Please contact your favorite Squire Patton Boggs attorney or yours truly for copies of the required postings, or for assistance in complying with the tangled web of sick leave laws.