Do you have employees in Massachusetts, Oregon, Los Angeles or Emeryville, California? Read on and get ready.
Last week, the Oregon legislature passed a paid sick leave bill that is expected to be signed into law by Governor Kate Brown. The law would require employers with employees in Oregon to provide up to 40 hours of sick time to employees—paid sick time if the employer has 10 or more employees working anywhere in Oregon (6 employees if the employer is located in (which includes having an office, store, restaurant or establishment in) a city with a population of more than 500,000) and unpaid leave if the employer has fewer than 10 employees working in Oregon. Most notably, however, the proposed law provides that it preempts “all charter and statutory authority of local governments as defined in ORS 174.116 to set any sick leave requirements.” The law thus would trump Portland and Eugene’s sick leave laws.
If you have employees in Los Angeles, and haven’t already heard, on Saturday, June 13, the mayor signed a law that will raise the minimum wage for workers in the city to $10.50 an hour in July 2016 (July 2017 for businesses with 25 or fewer employees). The Los Angeles minimum wage will gradually increase to $15/hour by 2020. Employers with employees working in Emeryville, California have three weeks (until July 2, 2015) until a new law goes into effect, raising the minimum wage and establishing paid sick leave provisions going beyond those of the California Health Workplaces, Health Families Act, which goes into effect on July 1, 2015. The law raises the minimum wage to $14.44 ($12.25 for small employers, defined as those who have 55 or fewer employees who work two hours or more a week in Emeryville). Los Angeles and Emeryville join the California cities of San Francisco, Oakland, Richmond and San Jose in raising the minimum wage during 2015 (see our prior post here). California’s state minimum wage is set to go up to $10.00/hour on January 1, 2016.
Finally, while Massachusetts’ new sick leave law goes into effect on July 1, employers who have existing time off policies (as of May 1, 2015) that allow employees to earn and use at least 30 hours of paid time off will be deemed to be in compliance with the law through the end of 2015, pursuant to the “Safe Harbor for Employers with Existing Paid Time Off Policies” issued by the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office. Note that employers must allow all employees to earn and use paid sick leave; any employees not currently covered by an existing paid time off policy must be allowed to accrue and use sick leave just as full-time employees or, if applicable, must be granted a prorated lump sum paid time off amount. Employers with existing paid time off plans meeting the safe harbor requirements have until January 1, 2016, to achieve full compliance with the law.