NOVEMBER 2021 LEGAL UPDATE

SHARED BY OUR PARTNERS AT HR SERVICE INC.

NOVEMBER 2021 LEGAL UPDATE

FUTURE COMPLIANCE DATES

DECEMBER 31, 2021 (if on a calendar year plan): 125 POP & FSA Testing Employers who offer a 125 Premium Only Plan or Flexible Spending Account must conduct nondiscrimination testing as of the last day of their plan year to ensure that benefits are available to all eligible employees under the same terms. A good practice is to test the plan after open enrollment is complete and again at the end of the plan year. Early testing allows for modifications in plan design should discrimination testing result in a fail.
JANUARY 1, 2022: IRS Limits Increases
Effective January 1, 2022, the Internal Revenue Service and Social Security Administration made a number of cost-of-living adjustments applicable to dollar limitations for qualified retirement plans, benefit plans, and other limits for tax year 2022. See below for a recap of the adjustments. Employers should make adjustments to their payroll systems of any applicable changes and notify employees.

FEDERAL COMPLIANCE UPDATES

OSHA EMERGENCY TEMPORARY STANDARDS RELEASED, THEN PAUSED
On November 5, 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) issued an emergency temporary standard (“ETS”) that requires employers with 100+ employees to require vaccinations or weekly testing.
However, on November 6, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a stay which temporarily blocked the ETS. The 6th U.S. Circuit Court is set to review and will have the authority to uphold or lift the stay. That decision could be appealed and may ultimately end up with the Supreme Court deciding whether the ETS will stand. In the meantime, covered employers should begin preparing for the logistics of the ETS requirements in the event the stay is lifted and the ETS is enforced with short notice. The ETS — if enforced — will mandate all employers with 100+ total employees to:
• Develop and distribute a Covid-19 vaccination policy that either requires mandatory vaccinations or allows an option for unvaccinated employees to undergo weekly testing;
• Determine every employee’s vaccination status and retain copies of vaccination records of all those vaccinated (NOT subject to OSHA’s records retention requirements);
• Require all unvaccinated employees to wear masks;
• Provide up to four hours of paid time off for unvaccinated employees to receive each vaccination dose and provide a reasonable amount of paid sick leave for employees who experience side effects from a vaccination to recover;
• Provide the following to employees: oInformation about the requirements of the ETS and workplace policies and procedures established to implement the ETS;
  • The CDC document “Key Things to Know About COVID-19 Vaccines”;
  • Information about protections against retaliation and discrimination; and
  • Information about laws that provide for criminal penalties for knowingly supplying false statements or documentation.

OSHA has provided templates for a mandatory vaccination policy and for a policy with a testing option.

Employers who enact a policy with a testing option are not required to pay or reimburse for the testing costs unless otherwise required to do so under state or municipal laws.

The ETS exempts:

• Employees who do not report to a workplace where other individuals such as coworkers or customers are present
• Employees while they are working from home
• Employees who work exclusively outdoors

Employees legally entitled to and granted a reasonable accommodation due to a medical condition or sincerely-held religious beliefs that conflict with the vaccination requirement.

Employees who receive a positive COVID-19 test or are diagnosed with COVID-19 must promptly provide notice to their employer. Such employees are prohibited from returning to the workplace until they meet the criteria to return based on CDC guidelines. Employers must report any work-related COVID-19 in-patient hospitalizations within 24 hours of the employer learning about the hospitalization and must report any work-related COVID-19 fatalities to OSHA within 8 hours of learning about them.

The ETS will not apply to employers who are federal contractors/subcontractors and healthcare providers covered by other Executive Orders, as those employers are subject to stricter requirements that are currently in place.

CMS VACCINATION RULES RELEASED FOR HEALTHCARE WORKERS

Effective November 5, 2021, emergency regulations issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) require workers at healthcare facilities that participate in Medicare and Medicaid and are regulated by CMS to be fully vaccinated no later than January 4, 2022. This requires the first dose of Pfizer or Moderna or the single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine by December 5, 2021, and the second dose if applicable by January 4, 2022.

Covered facilities include hospitals, surgery centers, home health and hospice agencies, community mental health centers, outpatient rehabilitation facilities, end-stage renal 2 disease facilities, home infusion therapy suppliers, intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities, clinics, and public health agencies.

Assisted living facilities, group homes, and physician’s offices are not covered by the mandate.

The regulations apply to all current and new staff of covered facilities, regardless of their clinical responsibilities or patient contact. This includes employees, licensed practitioners, students, trainees, volunteers, contracted staff, and physicians with admitting privileges at a covered facility. Full-time telehealth workers not providing in-person services are excluded.

As with other mandates, covered employers must consider medical and religious exemptions and must document vaccination status and exemption-related information.

For additional details, see the CMS Interim Final Rule and CMS FAQ.

FEDERAL CONTRACTOR VACCINE DEADLINE EXTENDED TO JANUARY 4

On November 8, 2021, the deadline for covered federal contractors and subcontractors to be vaccinated under Executive Order 14042 was extended from December 8, 2021 to January 4, 2022, making full vaccination status (two weeks after the second dose) on or before January 18, 2022.

The Safer Federal Workforce Task Force released additional FAQs to clarify its prior guidance. The Department of Labor has published a Federal Contractor Compliance Advisor tool that includes a link for employers to determine if they are a federal contractor or subcontractor.

UPDATED GUIDANCE ON RELIGIOUS OBJECTIONS

On October 26, 2021, the EEOC updated its guidance on religious objections to COVID vaccines. Title VII requires employers to offer reasonable accommodations to those employees who profess sincerely-held religious beliefs. This has become an increasingly complex issue for employers in recent months. The EEOC has stated that employees do not need to use any specific language in making a request, simply that they must notify the employer that there is a potential conflict between their sincerely-held religious beliefs and the employer’s COVID-19 vaccination requirement.

An employer who has an objective basis for questioning either the religious nature or the sincerity of a particular belief is justified in making a limited factual inquiry and seeking additional supporting information. They may ask for an explanation of how the employee’s religious belief conflicts with the employer’s COVID-19 vaccination requirement. No one factor or consideration is determinative, and employers should evaluate religious objections on an individual basis.

An employee who fails to cooperate with an employer’s reasonable request for verification of the sincerity or religious nature of a professed belief risks losing any subsequent claim that the employer improperly denied an accommodation.

If an employer demonstrates that it is unable to reasonably accommodate an employee’s religious belief without an “undue hardship” (defined as more than a “de minimis,” or a minimal, cost to accommodate an employee’s religious belief) on its operations, then Title VII does not require the employer to provide the accommodation. Costs to be considered include not only direct monetary costs but also the burden on the conduct of the employer’s business – including, in this instance, the risk of the spread of COVID-19 to other employees or to the public. Other valid examples of undue hardship include situations which might impair workplace safety, diminish efficiency in other jobs, or cause coworkers to carry the accommodated employee’s share of potentially hazardous or burdensome work, or the number of employees who are seeking a similar accommodation (i.e., the cumulative cost or burden on the employer).

EEOC UPDATES TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE MANUAL AND GUIDANCE

On November 17, 2021, the EEOC updated its COVID-19 Technical Assistance manual. On October 25, 2021, EEOC also updated its guidance entitled “What You Should Know about COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act and Other EEO Laws.”

EMPLOYMENT PROVISIONS OF NEW INFRASTRUCTURE LAW

On November 15, 2021, President Joe Biden signed the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act into law. While this act addresses many areas including infrastructure, several key changes significantly impact employers.
• EMPLOYEE RETENTION TAX CREDIT ENDED EARLY
Retroactive to September 30, 2021, the Employee Retention Tax Credit (“ERTC”) has ended, with the exception of wages paid by a recovery startup business. The ERTC was originally set to expire January 1, 2022, but the new Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act accelerated the end of the credit.
• INDUSTRY-SPECIFIC WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT GRANT PROGRAMS
The legislation creates or expands workforce development programs at the Department of Transportation (“DOT”), Department of Energy (“DOE”) and Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) related to the surface transportation, energy efficiency, and wastewater and water utility industries. For instance:
• CREATES INDUSTRY-SPECIFIC ADVISORY BOARDS
The bill directs federal agencies to create four new advisory boards related to workforce composition and industry needs. While the advisory boards were proposed to solve problems specific to individual industries, changing demographics and talent acquisition challenges affect all industries:
• EXTENDS PENSION PLAN “SMOOTHING”
The infrastructure bill adjusts the funding stabilization percentages that were included in the American Rescue Plan Act and extends the interest rate stabilization period from 2029 to 2034. By “smoothing,” or averaging, interest rates over longer periods, the rate used to determine minimum funding can be reduced.
• WAGE RATE REQUIREMENTS
The bill requires that workers employed by contractors or subcontractors in construction, alteration or repair work on projects receiving funding under the act be paid wages at rates not less than those prevailing on similar projects in the locality, as determined by the secretary of labor in accordance with the Davis-Bacon Act.

2021 PLAN AMENDMENT DEADLINES

As the year draws to a close, employers need to evaluate employee benefit plan amendment deadlines and other crucial fourth quarter considerations. Many amendments must be completed by December 31, 2021. These may include:
• Cafeteria Plan and FSA Plan Amendments for COVID-19 Election Change and Other Relief
• Health FSA Changes – Qualified Medical Expenses
• Health FSA Change – $550 Carryover
• Group Medical Plan Changes – COVID-19 Testing, Vaccines, Telemedicine
• Retirement Plans – Hardship Distribution Amendment Deadline
• Pre-approved 401(k) and Other Defined Contribution Plans – Restatement Deadline
• Retirement Plans – Cybersecurity Compliance
• Mental Health Parity and Addition Equity Act (MHPAEA) – Comparative Analysis, Compliance
• No Surprises Act – Group Health Plan Surprise Billing, Transparency
• Tax Law Compliance – Remote and Hybrid Workers

2022 ACA AFFORDABILITY THRESHOLD

The IRS recently issued Revenue Procedure 2021-36, which details a decrease in the affordability threshold for ACA employer mandate “pay or play” purposes to 9.61% for plan years beginning in 2022. This is a reduction from a rate of 9.83% for 2021.
For a copy of Revenue Procedure 2021-36, click here: IRS Bulletin: 2021-35.

SOCIAL SECURITY ANNOUNCES 2022 WAGE BASE LIMIT

Starting January 1, 2022, the maximum earnings subject to the Social Security payroll tax will increase to $147,000. This represents an increase of $4,200 from the $142,800 maximum for 2021. The SSA also posted a fact sheet summarizing the 2022 changes, available here: SSA Fact Sheet.

2022 HSA CONTRIBUTIONS INCREASED

The IRS has released the health savings account (“HSA”) contribution limits for 2022, which represent increases from $3,600 to $3,650 for 2022 single coverage and from $7,200 to $7,300 for 2022 family coverage. Catch-up contributions remain the same at $1,000.

 

The 2022 out-of-pocket maximums for high deductible health plans will also increase from $7,000 to $7,050 for single coverage and from $14,000 to $14,100 for family coverage.

2022 ACA MAXIMUMS DECREASED

New limits for 2022 ACA out-of-pocket maximums will increase to $8,700 for individuals and $17,400 for family coverage. However, for the first time in ACA history, the maximum limits will be less for people with lower incomes. For participants whose income is between 100% and 200% of the federal poverty level (“FPL”), the ACA out-of-pocket maximum in 2022 will be $2,900 for individuals and $5,800 for family coverage. For participants whose incomes are between 200% and 250% of the FPL, the ACA maximum out-of-pocket limits will be $6,950 for individuals and $13,900 for family coverage.

2022 ANNUAL LIMITS FOR QUALIFIED RETIREMENT PLANS

*The $6,500 catch-up contribution limit for participants age 50 or older applies from the start of the year to those turning 50 at any time during the year. **Total contributions from all sources may not exceed 100% of a participant’s compensation.

Employers should update their plan designs for the new limits and make sure that their plan administration will be consistent with the new limits in 2022. Employers should also communicate all benefit plan limits to employees. For more information, consult IRS Notice 2021-61.

2022 LIMITS FOR BENEFITS PLANS

Employer-sponsored healthcare FSA and Limited Purpose FSA* – $2,850

Maximum carry-over for Health FSA plans – $570

Adoption assistance credit – $14,890

Employee health insurance expense of small employers – $28,700

Qualified transportation fringe benefit and qualified parking – $280/month

*While the IRS 2022 pretax maximum for employee health FSA contributions is $2,750, an employer may limit its employees to less than $2,750.

 

AGENCIES DELAY HEALTH PLAN TRANSPARENCY / NO SURPRISES RULES

The Consolidated Appropriations Act (“CAA”) was signed into law on December 27, 2020, and imposed a number of obligations on health plans and their service providers relating to transparency. The federal government has now extended the deadline for the enforcement of several of these rules. Among the provisions affected by this new guidance is:

• Transparency in Coverage Machine-Readable Files

The Transparency in Coverage Final Rules require group health plans to disclose information regarding in-network provider rates for covered services, out-of-network allowed amounts and billed charges for covered services and negotiated rates, and historical net prices for covered prescription drugs in three separate machine-readable files. Enforcement of these rules is delayed until July 1, 2022. Enforcement of regulations related to the publishing machine-readable files for prescription drug pricing will be deferred indefinitely, pending further rulemaking.

• Price Comparison Tools

Under the CAA, group health plans are required to offer price comparison guidance by telephone and make available a “price comparison tool” that allows a participant to compare the amount of cost-sharing that the participant would pay for a specific item or service. The deadline for the CAA price comparison tool has been delayed to go into effect for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2023.

• Advanced Explanation of Benefits

The CAA requires plans to send a participant an Advanced Explanation of Benefits notification in clear and understandable language. Under the new guidance, the Agencies will defer enforcement until regulations to fully implement the requirements are adopted and applicable.

• Provider Directory

The CAA established provider directory standards that require plans to verify the accuracy of provider directory information and to establish a procedure for responding to participant requests about a provider’s network participation status. Although these provisions are applicable with respect to plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2022, additional rulemaking will not be issued until after the effective date. Plans are expected to implement these rules using a good faith, reasonable interpretation of the statute.

MINIMUM WAGE INCREASES FOR FEDERAL CONTRACTORS

Effective January 1, 2022, the minimum wage for federal contractors under existing contracts will increase to $11.25 per hour. Effective January 30, 2022, the rate will be $15 per hour for work performed on new, renewed, and extended contracts.

NEW RULE LIMITS USE OF TIP CREDITS

Effective December 28, 2021, the DOL’s new tip credit rule limits when employers can take a “tip credit” against an employee’s wages to time the employee is actually performing tipped work or engaged in activity that “directly supports” tip-producing work.
The new rule also enacts an 80/20 rule that limits tip credit for non-tipped work if it exceeds 20% of the employees’ total work week or is done for more than 30 minutes continuously. Once an employee spends more than 20% of their workweek on directly-supporting work, the employer cannot take a tip credit for any additional time spent on such work within the same workweek. Instead, the employer must pay a direct cash wage equal to or greater than the minimum wage rate for that time.

STATE COMPLIANCE UPDATES

ALABAMA

COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates Restricted by New State Law
Effective November 5, 2021 through May 1, 2023, Senate Bill 9 restricts Alabama employers from requiring COVID-19 vaccinations as a condition of employment for any employee who has completed and submitted an exemption form.
The new law requires employers to make this exemption form readily available to all employees. It also instructs employers to “liberally construe the employee’s eligibility for an exemption in favor of the employee,” stating the “submission of the completed form creates a presumption that the employee is entitled to the exemption.”
If an employee’s request is denied, the law gives employees seven days to file an appeal. An employee whose exemption request is denied may not be terminated for failing to receive a vaccination for a period of 7 days or until a final ruling is made in the employer’s favor. Employers are also required to compensate an employee whose request has been denied at the same rate of compensation the employee received prior to submitting an exemption form for a period of at least seven days or until a final ruling is made in the employer’s favor.

Radio and TV Station Employment Units Must File EEO Public File Report
No later than December 1, 2021, radio and television station employment units (“SEUs”) located in Alabama with five or more full-time employees must file an annual Equal Employment Opportunity (“EEO”) Public File Report (“PFR”). The report must be posted on station websites and uploaded to the online public inspection file at the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC’s or Commission’s) website.

The PFR must include a summary of the SEU’s recruitment activities and initiatives between December 1, 2020 and November 30, 2021, including full-time positions filled, the recruitment sources used to advertise those job openings, and the total number of interviewees and hires produced by each recruitment source.

ARIZONA

Minimum Wage Increase
Effective January 1, 2022, the minimum wage in Arizona increases from $12.15 per hour to $12.80 per hour.
Flagstaff Minimum Wage Increase
Effective January 1, 2022, the minimum wage in Flagstaff, Arizona increases to $15.50 per hour. This rate supersedes the state minimum wage rate.

CALIFORNIA

COVID Reporting Obligation Changes
Effective October 5, 2021, AB 654 amends employer’s COVID-19 reporting obligations. Employers are now required to give notice to the local public health agency of a COVID-19 outbreak within 48 hours or one business day, whichever is later. The bill exempts community clinics, adult day health centers, community care facilities, and child daycare facilities from the COVID-19 outbreak reporting requirement.
New Computer Software Employees and Physicians Overtime Exemption Rates
Effective January 1, 2022, the minimum hourly rate for computer software employees to meet the exemption threshold will be $50.00, with the minimum monthly salary of $8,679.16 (annually $104,149.81). The current rates are $47.48 per hour, $8,242.32 monthly, and $98,907.70 annually.
Also effective January 1, 2022, the minimum hourly rate for licensed physicians and surgeons to meet the exemption will be $90.07. The current hourly rate is $86.49.
Email Notification of Required Postings Allowed
Effective January 1, 2022, California’s Labor Code will allow that any information that an employer is required to physically post may also be distributed to employees by email with the document or documents attached.
Additional Information from Janitorial Employers Required
Effective January 1, 2022, a janitorial employer’s attestation on an application for registration and renewal of registration must include:
• Whether harassment prevention training was provided by a peer trainer; and
• An explanation as to why a peer trainer was not used if a peer trainer did not provide the required training.
Expanded Health Insurance Coverage Requirements
Effective January 1, 2022, California requires health insurance policies to cover the following:
• Diagnostic and screening testing and immunizations intended to prevent or mitigate COVID-19 and other diseases without cost-sharing requirements.
• Colorectal cancer screening tests and required colonoscopies, without cost-sharing requirements.
• Adverse childhood experiences screenings. Cost-sharing requirements are allowed.
Additional Limitations on Settlement Agreements
Effective January 1, 2022, settlement agreements will be subject to greater limitations. Current law prohibits settlement agreements that address sex-based discrimination or harassment from preventing or restricting the disclosure of factual information related to a claim filed in a civil action or a complaint filed in an administrative action. The amendments expand this law to include all forms of workplace discrimination or harassment and make the law applicable to separation agreements in addition to settlement agreements.
The amendments also make it unlawful for an employer to require an employee, in exchange for a raise or bonus or as a condition of employment or continued employment, to sign a non-disparagement agreement that denies the employee the right to disclose information about unlawful acts in the workplace. Nondisclosure agreements must also include specific language explaining employees’ right to disclose such information.
Data Breach Notification Law Amended
Effective January 1, 2022, the definition of personal information under the state data breach notification law is expanded to include genetic data.
Personnel Records Retention Extended to Four Years
Effective January 1, 2022, SB 807 extends the current personnel records retention requirement to four years from the date the records were created or the date an employment action was taken. Additional retention requirements apply once a complaint has been filed.
The bill also tolls the deadline for the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (“DFEH”) to file a civil action under the Fair Employment and Housing Act while a mandatory or voluntary dispute resolution is pending. When a complaint is filed with DFEH for an alleged violation of certain laws, the time for complainants to file their own civil actions under those provisions would be tolled until either the DFEH files a civil action or one year after the DFEH issues written notice to the complainant that it has closed its investigation and elected not to file a civil action.

Wage Theft Over $950 Punishable as Grand Theft
Effective January 1, 2022, AB 1003 makes the intentional theft of greater than $950 wages from any one employee or $2,350 in aggregate from two or more employees in any consecutive 12-month period punishable as grand theft. The bill specifically authorizes wages, gratuities, benefits, or other compensation that are the subject of a prosecution under these provisions to be recovered as restitution. This bill includes independent contractors within the meaning of employee.

 

CFRA Amended to Include In-Laws
Effective January 1, 2022, AB 1033 amends the California Family Rights Act (“CFRA”) to include parents-in-law to the list of family members with serious health conditions for which an employee can take leave under CFRA.
New Employment Agreement Restrictions
Effective January 1, 2022, SB 331 prohibits non-disclosure provisions in settlement agreements involving workplace harassment or discrimination based on any protected status under the Fair Employment and Housing Act.
The new law also limits the use of non-disparagement or other contractual provisions in employment agreements, including but not limited to separation agreements, even if no civil action or complaint is filed. Any agreement that restricts an employee’s ability to disclose information related to workplace conditions must include the following language: “Nothing in this agreement prevents you from discussing or disclosing information about unlawful acts in the workplace, such as harassment or discrimination or any other conduct that you have reason to believe is unlawful.” Separation agreements that include such provisions must notify employees that they have at least five business days to consider the agreement and that they have a right to consult an attorney regarding the agreement.
Food Delivery Drivers Must Be Given All Tips
Effective January 1, 2022, AB 286 makes it unlawful for a food delivery platform to retain any portion of amounts designated as a tip or gratuity. Instead, it requires a food delivery platform to pay any tip or gratuity for a delivery order, in its entirety, to the person delivering the food or beverage, and to pay any tip or gratuity for a pickup order, in its entirety, to the food facility.
Safety Violations Presumed Enterprise-Wide if at Multiple Worksites
Effective January 1, 2022, SB 606 creates a rebuttable presumption that a workplace safety violation committed by an employer that has multiple worksites is enterprise-wide if the employer has a written policy or procedure that violates certain health and safety regulations, or the division has evidence of a pattern or practice of the same violation committed by that employer involving more than one of the employer’s worksites. In addition, each instance of an employee exposed to an “egregious violation” will be considered a separate violation for purposes of the issuance of fines and penalties. A violation is considered an “egregious violation” if one or more factors are present as outlined in the statute.
The bill also expands Cal-OSHA’s enforcement power, giving Cal-OSHA the authority to issue and enforce a subpoena if an employer fails to promptly provide requested information. Cal-OSHA may seek an injunction restraining certain uses or operations of employment if it has grounds to issue a citation.
Warehouse Distribution Employers Must Provide Written Quotas
Effective January 1, 2022, AB 701 requires employers with 100 or more employees at a single warehouse distribution center or with 1,000 or more employees at one or more warehouse distribution centers in California to provide employees with written descriptions of all quotas that apply to their respective jobs. The written description must include information such as the quantified number of tasks to be performed or materials to be produced or handled within a defined period of time and any potential adverse employment action that may result from failure to meet the quota.
Garment Industry Wage and Hour Law Changes
Effective January 1, 2022, SB 62 — also known as the Garment Worker Protection Act — requires an hourly minimum wage for garment workers by banning piece rate pay. SB 62 expands the definition of a garment manufacturer and extends the scope of liability for wage and hour violations to clothing brands. Under SB 62, entities that contract garment manufacturing are jointly liable with their manufacturers and contractors.
Garment manufacturers, contractors, and brand guarantors now must keep all contracts, invoices, purchase orders, work orders, style or cut sheets, and any other documentation related to garment manufacturing performance for four years.
Minimum Wage Increases
Effective January 1, 2022, the state minimum wage will increase to $14.00 per hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees and to $15.00 per hour for employers with 26 or more employees. These rates may be superseded by a higher local rate.
Local minimum wage increases include the following:
Belmont minimum wage will increase to $16.20
Burlingame minimum wage will increase to $15.60
Cupertino minimum wage will increase to $16.40
Daly City minimum wage will increase to $15.53
El Cerrito minimum wage will increase to $16.37
Half Moon Bay minimum wage will increase to $15.56
Hayward minimum wage will increase:
    o 25 or fewer employees, will increase to $14.52
      o  26  or more employees, will increase to $15.56
Los Altos minimum wage will increase to $16.40
Menlo Park minimum wage will be adjusted for inflation
Mountain View minimum wage will increase to $17.10
Novato minimum wage will increase:
o 25 or fewer employees, will increase to $15.00
    o 26 to 99 employees, will increase to $15.53
    o  100 or more employees, will increase to $15.77
Oakland minimum wage will be adjusted for inflation
Palo Alto minimum wage will increase to $16.45
Petaluma minimum wage will be increased to $15.85
Redwood City minimum wage will increase to $16.20
Richmond minimum wage will increase to $15.54, but is $1.50 per hour lower for employers who pay at least $1.50 per hour to a medical benefits plan
San Carlos minimum wage will increase to $15.77
San Diego minimum wage will increase to $15.00
San Jose minimum wage will increase to $16.20
San Mateo minimum wage will increase to $16.20
Santa Clara minimum wage will increase to $16.40
Santa Rosa will increase to $15.85
Sonoma minimum wage will increase: o25 or fewer employees, will increase to $15.00 o26 or more employees, will increase to $16.00
South San Francisco minimum wage will increase to $15.55
Sunnyvale minimum wage will increase to $17.10
West Hollywood Increases Minimum Wage to Highest in the US
Effective January 1, 2022, large businesses in West Hollywood with 50 or more employees will be required to raise the minimum wage from the current $14.00 per hour to $15.50. Businesses in West Hollywood with fewer than 50 employees will be required to raise the minimum wage from the current $13.00 per hour to $15.00. Hotels in West Hollywood will be required to raise their minimum wage from the current $14.00 per hour to $17.64 per hour.
Under the ordinance, employers can pay “learners” 85% of the minimum wage during their first 160 hours of employment, and certain nonprofits might be able to pay some “hardest to employ” workers performing specific transitional jobs a lower rate for up to 18 months.
In addition, the ordinance requires employers to provide at least 96 hours of combined paid sick leave, vacation, and/or personal leave per year to full-time employees and a prorated amount to part-time employees. Employees must be eligible to use accrued paid time off after the first six months of employment or consistent with company policies, whichever is sooner. Unused accrued paid time off must carry over year to year but can be capped at 192 hours unless the employer’s established policy is more generous. After an employee reaches the maximum accrued compensated time off, the employer must provide a cash payment once every 30 days for accrued compensated time off over the maximum. Employers may also offer employees the option of cashing out accrued compensated time off under the maximum but cannot require it.
In addition to paid time off, West Hollywood employers are required to provide at least an additional 80 hours of unpaid time off to full-time employees for the purpose of caring for themselves or an immediate family member once the paid time off has been exhausted. Part-time employees are entitled to a prorated amount of unpaid leave.
As with paid time off, employees must be eligible to use accrued unpaid time off after the first six months of employment or consistent with company policies, whichever is sooner. Unused accrued paid time off must carry over year to year but can be capped at 80 hours unless the employer’s established policy is more generous.
The ordinance provides for the possibility of a one-year waiver from the minimum wage increase if an employer can demonstrate that compliance would force the employer to reduce its workforce by more than 20% or curtail its employees’ total hours by more than thirty percent 30% in order to avoid a bankruptcy or shutdown.
Additional increases are scheduled for July 1, 2022, January 1, 2023, and July 1, 2023 to eventually increase to an estimated $18.77.
Employers must post the city bulletin concerning the current minimum wage rate and of employee rights under the ordinance in English, Spanish, and any other language spoken by five percent of employees. For no less than three years, employers must keep employees’ payroll records, and records showing compliance with service charge provisions.
Licenses Authorizing Subminimum Wage for Workers with Disabilities Halted
Effective January 1, 2022, California’s Industrial Welfare Commission may no longer issue to employers a special license authorizing the employment of individuals with mental and/or physical disabilities at a subminimum wage.
San Francisco to Tax Highly Paid Executives
Effective January 1, 2022, San Francisco businesses that pay their chief executive officer or highest-paid managerial employee well above the median salary for the rest of their employees will be required to pay a tax on the executive salary. The tax amount due will be based on how much more the CEO earns than the average company wage, at .1% for each 100 times more the CEO wage is than the average wage. For example, a CEO who makes 200 times more than the average company wage, the company will pay 0.2%. The tax will be capped at 0.6%.
Overtime Exemption Changes for Agricultural Workers
Effective January 1, 2022, the Phase-In Overtime for Agricultural Workers Act of 2016 (AB 1066) requires agricultural workers working more than 12 hours per day to receive overtime pay at twice their regular rate of pay.

COLORADO

Minimum Wage Increase
Effective January 1, 2022, the minimum wage in Colorado increases from $12.32 to $12.56. The minimum direct cash wage for tipped employees increases from $9.30 to $9.54.
Paid Sick Leave Law Extended to Apply to Small Employers
Effective January 1, 2022, Colorado’s Healthy Families and Workplace Act requires employers with fewer than 16 employees to provide eligible employees at least one hour of paid sick and safe time for every 30 hours worked, up to 48 hours each year.
Free Mental Health Check-Ups Mandated
Effective for large employer plans issued or renewed on or after January 1, 2022 and for individual and small group plans issued or renewed on or after January 1, 2023, HB21-1068 will require insurance plans to cover a free annual mental wellness exam.
Insurers will be required to cover a behavioral health wellness check of up to 60 minutes, which could include screenings for mental health or substance use concerns; discussion of potential medications or lifestyle changes; and referrals for further treatment. When the patient is a child, it can also include consultation with a parent about behavioral health concerns.
Employee Withholding Certificate Option
Effective January 1, 2022, employees have the option of completing new Form DR 0004, Colorado Employee Withholding Certificate, to help refine their Colorado withholding. Form DR 0004 does not replace federal Form W-4 for Colorado withholding, but employers are required to provide it to employees who ask to adjust their withholding.
An employee may want to complete Form DR 0004 if they:
• Earn most of their income from one job;
• Expect significant income from sources that will not have withholding;
• Expect to claim federal itemized deductions; or
• Expect to claim the Colorado child tax credit.
The Form DR 1098 worksheet has been updated with instructions for entering the amounts from Form DR 0004 into the existing Form DR 1098 calculation.
Radio and TV Station Employment Units Must File EEO Public File Report
No later than December 1, 2021, radio and television station employment units (“SEUs”) located in Colorado with five or more full-time employees must file an annual Equal Employment Opportunity (“EEO”) Public File Report (“PFR”). The report must be posted on station websites and uploaded to the online public inspection file at the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC’s or Commission’s) website.

The PFR must include a summary of the SEU’s recruitment activities and initiatives between December 1, 2020 and November 30, 2021, including full-time positions filled, the recruitment sources used to advertise those job openings, and the total number of interviewees and hires produced by each recruitment source.

No later than December 1, 2021, television station employment units in Colorado must also file a Schedule 396 Broadcast EEO Program Report prior to submitting a license renewal application. The Schedule 396 requires licensees to report discrimination complaints. In addition, SEUs with five or more full-time employees must provide a narrative description of their outreach efforts, identify the individual with overall EEO responsibility at the SEU, and submit Public File Reports covering the time periods of December 1, 2019 through November 30, 2020 and December 1, 2020 through November 30, 2021. Once filed, the FCC will automatically upload a copy of the Schedule 396 to the online public inspection file for each station in the employment unit.

Denver Minimum Wage Increase
Effective January 1, 2022, the minimum wage in Denver, Colorado, increases from $14.77 per hour to $15.87 per hour. The maximum tip credit is $3.02 per hour, so the minimum direct cash wage for food and beverage workers increases from $11.75 per hour to $12.85 per hour.

Minimum Wage Exemption for Agricultural Employees Repealed
Effective January 1, 2022, the minimum wage exemption for certain agricultural employees is repealed. All agricultural employers must pay all agricultural workers the Colorado minimum wage. A separate minimum wage of $515.00 per week is established for agricultural workers principally engaged in the range production of livestock.

CONNECTICUT

State FMLA Leave Expanded
Effective January 1, 2022, amendments to the Connecticut Family and Medical Leave Act (“CTFMLA”) require employers to provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid job-protected leave in a 12-month period, an expansion from the 16 weeks of leave during a 24-month period currently available. Employees are also eligible for an additional two weeks of paid CTFMLA leave for certain serious health conditions occurring during a pregnancy.

Also effective January 1, 2022, the CTFMLA will apply to a vast majority of employers, regardless of size. The act also expands the reasons an employee will be eligible for CTFMLA leave and makes leave available to employees who have been employed for as few as three months.

For additional details, see the Connecticut Department of Labor’s CTFMLA Guidance.

Radio Stations Must File Schedule 396
No later than December 1, 2021, radio station employment units (SEUs) in Connecticut must file a Schedule 396 Broadcast EEO Program Report prior to submitting a license renewal application.

The Schedule 396 requires licensees to report discrimination complaints. In addition, SEUs with five or more full-time employees must provide a narrative description of their outreach efforts, identify the individual with overall EEO responsibility at the SEU, and submit Public File Reports covering the time periods of December 1, 2019 through November 30, 2020 and December 1, 2020 through November 30, 2021. Once filed, the FCC will automatically upload a copy of the Schedule 396 to the online public inspection file for each station in the employment unit.

DELAWARE

Minimum Wage Increases
Effective January 1, 2022, the minimum wage will increase to $10.50 per hour. Effective December 29, 2021, Delaware’s subminimum wages for trainees and youths are repealed.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Paid Vaccination Leave Enacted
Effective after a 30-day congressional review period, the COVID Vaccination Leave Emergency Amendment Act of 2021 mandates that employers in the District of Columbia provide up to two hours of paid leave to employees for time spent getting a COVID-19 vaccine. If needed, employees would also be eligible for up to eight hours of paid leave during the 24-hour period following a vaccination to recover from side effects. Employees must also be provided with leave to accompany minor children to a COVID-19 vaccine appointment and to care for the child following the vaccine if necessary. An employee may take only up to 48 hours of vaccination leave in total.

The emergency act will remain in effect for a period of no more than 90 days, intended to be replaced by the COVID Vaccination Leave Temporary Amendment Act of 2021. The paid vaccination leave required is in addition to any other paid leave an employer provides an employee under an existing leave policy.


FLORIDA

Vaccination Exemptions Expanded
Effective November 18, 2021, new legislation prohibits private employers in Florida, regardless of size or industry, from implementing a COVID-19 vaccination mandate for employees unless the mandate provides for at least five individual exemptions. The law covers any full-time, part-time, or contract employee.

Any employer vaccination policy must allow an employee to opt out of the vaccination mandate for any of the following reasons:
• Medical Reasons, including pregnancy and “anticipated” pregnancy
• Religious Reasons
• COVID-19 immunity which is documented by the results of laboratory testing on the employee
• Periodic testing at no cost to employees
• Agreement to use PPE

The exemptions must be submitted to the employer on forms adopted by the Florida Department of Health (“DOH”) or on substantially similar forms. To claim an exemption based on medical reasons, the employee must produce documentation from a Florida-licensed healthcare provider (a physician, physician assistant, or advance practice registered nurse) stating that vaccination is not in the best medical interest of the employee. For a religious exemption, the employee must submit a statement declining vaccination because of a sincerely held religious belief and there is no requirement for corroborating documentation.

Template forms can be found at the following links:

Medical Exemption from COVID-19 Vaccination
Religious Exemption from COVID-19 Vaccination
Exemption from COVID-19 Vaccination Based on COVID-19 Immunity
Exemption from COVID-19 Vaccination Based on Periodic Testing
Exemption from COVID-19 Vaccination Based on Employer-Provided Personal Protective Equipment

The new law specifies that employees improperly terminated on the basis of COVID-19 vaccination mandates may be eligible for unemployment benefits. The law also establishes that unemployment benefits may not be denied or discontinued based on a new job offer that would require COVID-19 vaccination.

 

GEORGIA

Radio and TV Station Employment Units Must File EEO Public File Report
No later than December 1, 2021, radio and television station employment units (“SEUs”) located in Georgia with five or more full-time employees must file an annual Equal Employment Opportunity (“EEO”) Public File Report (“PFR”). The report must be posted on station websites and uploaded to the online public inspection file at the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC’s or Commission’s) website.

The PFR must include a summary of the SEU’s recruitment activities and initiatives between December 1, 2020 and November 30, 2021, including full-time positions filled, the recruitment sources used to advertise those job openings, and the total number of interviewees and hires produced by each recruitment source.

 

HAWAII

W-2 Deadlines
Effective January 1, 2022, the due date for employers to file copies of Forms W-2 with the state Department of Taxation is January 31 following the end of the calendar year, This was moved up from the previous due date of the last business day of February.

ILLINOIS

Minimum Wage Increases
Effective January 1, 2022, the minimum wage in Illinois increases from $11.00 per hour to $12.00 per hour. The maximum tip credit increases from $4.40 per hour to $4.80 per hour. The subminimum wage for minors increases from $8.50 per hour to $9.25 per hour.

New Group Health Plan Disclosures Required
Effective August 27, 2021, the Consumer Coverage Disclosure Act imposes new disclosure requirements on employers that sponsor group health insurance.

Employers who provide group health insurance coverage must provide all employees with a list of essential health insurance benefits regulated by the State of Illinois as well as a comparison of which of those benefits are covered by the insurance plan that is provided by that employer. This information must be provided upon hire, annually, and upon request.

For additional details and a list of the required information, see Consumer Coverage Disclosure FAQ.

Amendments to Personnel Record Review Act Take Effect
Effective January 1, 2022, amendments to the Illinois Personnel Record Review Act provide for a private right of action for an employee whose employer or former employer divulged confidential disciplinary information from the employee’s personnel records in violation of the Act. The action must be filed within three years after the date of the disclosure of the report, letter or other disciplinary action.

Illinois Human Rights Act Prohibits Association Discrimination
Effective January 1, 2022, the Illinois Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination against an individual because of their association with a person with a disability.

Secure Choice Savings Program
Amended Effective January 1, 2022, HB 117 amends the Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program, applicable to employers with 25 or more employees, to require:
• An employee of any age that has wages allocable to Illinois is eligible for enrollment in the program. Employees under age 18 may not be automatically enrolled by an employer.
• Contribution rates will automatically increase annually, up to a maximum of 10% of an enrolled employee’s wages

Effective September 1, 2022, the amendments will apply to employers with 16 to 24 employees. Effective September 1, 2023, the amendments will apply to employers with five to 15 employees.

New Restrictions on Non-Compete and Non-Solicitation Agreements
Effective January 1, 2022, all new non-compete and non-solicitation agreements in Illinois are subject to significant new restrictions.

Under the new law, non-compete agreements are prohibited with employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement and with employees earning less than $75,000 annually. Non-solicitation agreements are prohibited with employees earning less than $55,000 annually. These threshold limits will increase every five years until 2037.

Both types of agreements are also prohibited with employees who are terminated, furloughed, or laid-off due to the COVID-19 pandemic or circumstances “similar to the COVID-19 pandemic,” unless the employee is paid the same base salary at the time of termination for the entire restricted period. They are also prohibited with individuals in the construction industry, with the exception of construction employees who perform management, engineering, architectural, design, or sales functions or who are owners in any capacity for those employers.

New agreements must provide at least 14 calendar days to review the restrictions and inform employees in writing that they can consult with an attorney before entering the agreement.

Excluded from the restrictions are:
• Non-compete and non-solicitation agreement that are entered in the sale of the business context that are unrelated to employment.
• Confidentiality agreements, agreements prohibiting the use or disclosure of trade secrets, or intellectual property or invention assignment agreements. •Garden leave provisions, where the employee receives advance notice of termination, during which notice the employee continues to be employed and paid by the employer.
• Provisions prohibiting employees from reapplying for employment with the employer after they are terminated.

Coverage for Pancreatic Cancer Screening and Colonoscopy Required
Effective for policies issued, renewed, or amended on or after January 1, 2022 must provide coverage for medically necessary pancreatic cancer screenings and colonoscopies.

Victims’ Economic Security and Safety Act
Amended Effective January 1, 2022, HB 3582 amends the Victims’ Economic Security and Safety Act to entitle employees who are or have family or household members who are victims of a violent crime to take unpaid leave from work to address issues related to the violence.

Chicago Wage Payment Method Penalty Takes Effect
Effective January 1, 2022, employers that violate the wage payment method provision of the Chicago wage theft law are subject to a fine of $500. Each violation is a separate offense.

 

IOWA

New Vaccine Waiver Law
Effective October 29, 2021, HF 902 expands COVID-19 vaccination waivers for employees and allows unemployment benefits for those who lose their jobs for refusing an employer’s vaccine mandate.

Under the new law, an employer who requires an employee to receive a COVID-19 vaccine must waive the requirement if the employee requests a waiver and submits either of the following to the employer:
• A statement that receiving the vaccine would be injurious to the health and well-being of the employee or an individual residing with the employee.
• A statement that receiving the vaccine would conflict with the tenets and practices of a religion of which the employee is an adherent or member.

Employees who lose their jobs for refusing to get a COVID-19 vaccination are eligible for unemployment benefits. No previous employer’s account will be charged for unemployment benefits paid to a worker who was discharged for refusing the COVID-19 vaccination.

 

KENTUCKY

Mental Health Parity Requirements Amended
Effective January 1, 2022, HB 50 amends the state’s health care benefits law to require coverage of treatment of a mental condition under terms or conditions “that are no more restrictive than” the terms or conditions provided for treatment of a physical health condition. This is a change from the current requirement that treatment of a mental health condition must be provided under the “same” terms or conditions as treatment of a physical health condition. The amendment also provides restrictions on non-quantitative treatment limitations and requires compliance with the non-quantitative treatment limitation requirements under federal law.

LOUISIANA

Withholding Exemption for Mobile Non-Resident Employees Takes Effect
Beginning January 1, 2022, Louisiana employers are not required to withhold income taxes from wages paid to non-resident employees who work in Louisiana for 25 or fewer days during the calendar year. Certain employees are excluded from the exemption.

If the 25-day threshold is exceeded, the employer must withhold and remit tax for every day on which wages were paid for work performed in that calendar year, including the first 25 days during which the employee worked in Louisiana.

MAINE

Minimum Wage Increases
Effective January 1, 2022, the minimum wage in Maine increases from $12.15 to $12.75. The maximum tip credit increases from $6.075 to $6.37, and the amount of tips that an employee must receive each month in order to qualify as a service employee for whom an employer may claim a tip credit increases from $30 to $100.
Tip Minimums Increased
Effective October 18, 2021, LD 1489 increases the amount of tips an employee must receive to be considered a service employee from $30 per month to $175 per month. Effective January 1, 2022, this amount be increased proportionately based on increases in the cost of living.
Radio and TV Station Employment Units Must File EEO Public File Report
No later than December 1, 2021, radio and television station employment units (“SEUs”) located in Maine with five or more full-time employees must file an annual Equal Employment Opportunity (“EEO”) Public File Report (“PFR”). The report must be posted on station websites and uploaded to the online public inspection file at the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC’s or Commission’s) website.
The PFR must include a summary of the SEU’s recruitment activities and initiatives between December 1, 2020 and November 30, 2021, including full-time positions filled, the recruitment sources used to advertise those job openings, and the total number of interviewees and hires produced by each recruitment source.
No later than December 1, 2021, radio station employment units in Maine must also file a Schedule 396 Broadcast EEO Program Report prior to submitting a license renewal application.
The Schedule 396 requires licensees to report discrimination complaints. In addition, SEUs with five or more full-time employees must provide a narrative description of their outreach efforts, identify the individual with overall EEO responsibility at the SEU, and submit Public File Reports covering the time periods of December 1, 2019 through November 30, 2020 and December 1, 2020 through November 30, 2021. Once filed, the FCC will automatically upload a copy of the Schedule 396 to the online public inspection file for each station in the employment unit.
Portland Minimum Wage Increases
Effective January 1, 2022, the minimum wage in Portland, Maine increases from $12.15 per hour to $13.00 per hour. The maximum tip credit increases from $6.07 per hour to $6.50 per hour.
Rockland Minimum Wage Increases
Effective January 1, 2022, the minimum wage in Rockland, Maine increases to $13.00 per hour. The maximum tip credit increases to $6.50 per hour.

MARYLAND

Minimum Wage Increases
Effective January 1, 2022, the minimum wage for Maryland employers with 15 or more employees will increase to $12.50 per hour. The minimum wage for employees with fewer than 15 employees will increase to $12.20.
Workers under the age of 18 must be paid at least 85 % of the applicable minimum wage rate.

MASSACHUSETTS

PFML Contribution Rates and Benefit Amounts Increase
Effective January 1, 2022, the maximum weekly benefit amounts under the Paid Family and Medical Leave (“PFML”) law increase to $1,084.31 per week.
Employers with 25 or more covered individuals must remit a contribution to the Department of Family and Medical Leave of 0.68% of eligible wages. Employers may withhold up to 0.12% of eligible wages for an employee’s family leave contribution and up to 0.224% of eligible wages for an employee’s medical leave contribution. Employers must contribute the remaining 0.336% of eligible wages for medical leave (the employer share).
Employers with fewer than 25 covered individuals must remit an effective contribution rate of 0.344% of eligible wages. Employers may withhold up to 0.12% of eligible wages for an employee’s family leave contribution and 0.224% of eligible wages for an employee’s medical leave contribution. Unlike larger employers, there is no employer share of medical leave.
Minimum Wage Increases
Effective January 1, 2022, the basic minimum wage in Massachusetts will increase to $14.25 per hour. The minimum wage for tipped employees will increase to $6.15.
Sunday Premium Pay Decreasing
The Massachusetts “blue laws” that require employees in many retail establishments to be paid 1.5 times their regular rate of pay on Sundays is continuing to be phased out. Effective January 1, 2022, the premium pay rate for Sunday and holiday work will drop to 1.1 times the regular rate.
Radio and TV Station Employment Units Must File EEO Public File Report
No later than December 1, 2021, radio and television station employment units (“SEUs”) located in Massachusetts with five or more full-time employees must file an annual Equal Employment Opportunity (“EEO”) Public File Report (“PFR”). The report must be posted on station websites and uploaded to the online public inspection file at the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC’s or Commission’s) website.
The PFR must include a summary of the SEU’s recruitment activities and initiatives between December 1, 2020 and November 30, 2021, including full-time positions filled, the recruitment sources used to advertise those job openings, and the total number of interviewees and hires produced by each recruitment source.
No later than December 1, 2021, radio station employment units in Massachusetts must also file a Schedule 396 Broadcast EEO Program Report prior to submitting a license renewal application.
The Schedule 396 requires licensees to report discrimination complaints. In addition, SEUs with five or more full-time employees must provide a narrative description of their outreach efforts, identify the individual with overall EEO responsibility at the SEU, and submit Public File Reports covering the time periods of December 1, 2019 through November 30, 2020 and December 1, 2020 through November 30, 2021. Once filed, the FCC will automatically upload a copy of the Schedule 396 to the online public inspection file for each station in the employment unit.

MICHIGAN

Minimum Wage Increases
Effective January 1, 2022, the minimum wage in Michigan increases to $9.87 per hour. The minimum direct cash wage for tipped employees increases to $3.75, so the maximum tip credit an employer may claim is $6.12.

MINNESOTA

Minimum Wage Increases
Effective January 1, 2022, the minimum wage for large employers in Minnesota increases from $10.08 per hour to $10.33 per hour. The minimum wage rate for small employers and for certain youths, trainees, and summer work travel exchange visitor program participants increases from $8.21 per hour to $8.42 per hour.
Lactation Breaks and Pregnancy Accommodation Provisions Amended
Effective January 1, 2022, provisions of the Omnibus Jobs and Economic Growth Finance and Policy Bill amend employee rights related to pregnancy accommodations and compensation for lactation break.
Under the new law, employers are prohibited from reducing an employee’s compensation for time used for the purpose of expressing milk. Employers may still ask that these lactation breaks be scheduled over regularly scheduled rest or meal breaks, but they cannot dock pay if the breaks are not over scheduled breaks. These lactation rights are limited to the twelve months following the birth of the child.
The new law applies to all employers with at least 15 employees, and there are no longer any length of time or average number of hours per week an employee must satisfy to qualify for the accommodation rights and protections under the statute.
Radio and TV Station Employment Units Must File EEO Public File Report
No later than December 1, 2021, radio and television station employment units (“SEUs”) located in Minnesota with five or more full-time employees must file an annual Equal Employment Opportunity (“EEO”) Public File Report (“PFR”). The report must be posted on station websites and uploaded to the online public inspection file at the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC’s or Commission’s) website.
The PFR must include a summary of the SEU’s recruitment activities and initiatives between December 1, 2020 and November 30, 2021, including full-time positions filled, the recruitment sources used to advertise those job openings, and the total number of interviewees and hires produced by each recruitment source.
No later than December 1, 2021, television station employment units in Minnesota, must also file a Schedule 396 Broadcast EEO Program Report prior to submitting a license renewal application.
The Schedule 396 requires licensees to report discrimination complaints. In addition, SEUs with five or more full-time employees must provide a narrative description of their outreach efforts, identify the individual with overall EEO responsibility at the SEU, and submit Public File Reports covering the time periods of December 1, 2019 through November 30, 2020 and December 1, 2020 through November 30, 2021. Once filed, the FCC will automatically upload a copy of the Schedule 396 to the online public inspection file for each station in the employment unit.

MISSOURI

Minimum Wage Increases
Effective January 1, 2022, the minimum wage in Missouri increases from $10.30 per hour to $11.15 per hour. The maximum tip credit increases from $5.15 per hour to $5.575 per hour.

MONTANA

Minimum Wage Increases
Effective January 1, 2022, the minimum wage in Montana increases from $8.75 per hour to $9.20 per hour.
Off-Duty Marijuana Use Protected
Effective January 1, 2022, marijuana will be considered a “lawful product” and employers may not refuse to hire or discriminate against an individual with respect to compensation; promotion; or the terms, conditions or privileges of employment because the individually legally uses marijuana off the employer’s premises during nonworking hours. The newly signed recreational marijuana law still permits employers to take action based on the use of marijuana while working.
Radio and TV Station Employment Units Must File EEO Public File Report
No later than December 1, 2021, radio and television station employment units (“SEUs”) located in Montana with five or more full-time employees must file an annual Equal Employment Opportunity (“EEO”) Public File Report (“PFR”). The report must be posted on station websites and uploaded to the online public inspection file.
The PFR must include a summary of the SEU’s recruitment activities and initiatives between December 1, 2020 and November 30, 2021, including full-time positions filled, the recruitment sources used to advertise those job openings, and the total number of interviewees and hires produced by each recruitment source.
No later than December 1, 2021, television station employment units in Montana must also file a Schedule 396 Broadcast EEO Program Report prior to submitting a license renewal application.
The Schedule 396 requires licensees to report discrimination complaints. In addition, SEUs with five or more full-time employees must provide a narrative description of their outreach efforts, identify the individual with overall EEO responsibility at the SEU, and submit Public File Reports covering the time periods of December 1, 2019 through November 30, 2020 and December 1, 2020 through November 30, 2021. Once filed, the FCC will automatically upload a copy of the Schedule 396 to the online public inspection file for each station in the employment unit.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Radio and TV Station Employment Units Must File EEO Public File Report
No later than December 1, 2021, radio and television station employment units (“SEUs”) located in New Hampshire with five or more full-time employees must file an annual Equal Employment Opportunity (“EEO”) Public File Report (“PFR”). The report must be posted on station websites and uploaded to the online public inspection file at the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC’s or Commission’s) website.
The PFR must include a summary of the SEU’s recruitment activities and initiatives between December 1, 2020 and November 30, 2021, including full-time positions filled, the recruitment sources used to advertise those job openings, and the total number of interviewees and hires produced by each recruitment source.
No later than December 1, 2021, radio station employment units in New Hampshire must also file a Schedule 396 Broadcast EEO Program Report prior to submitting a license renewal application.
The Schedule 396 requires licensees to report discrimination complaints. In addition, SEUs with five or more full-time employees must provide a narrative description of their outreach efforts, identify the individual with overall EEO responsibility at the SEU, and submit Public File Reports covering the time periods of December 1, 2019 through November 30, 2020 and December 1, 2020 through November 30, 2021. Once filed, the FCC will automatically upload a copy of the Schedule 396 to the online public inspection file for each station in the employment unit.

NEW JERSEY

Minimum Wage Increases
Effective January 1, 2022, the state’s minimum wage for most employers will increase from $12.00 to $13.00 per hour. The minimum wage for tipped employees will increase from $4.13 to $5.13 per hour. The minimum wage for seasonal and small employers with fewer than 6 employees will increase from $11.10 to $11.90 per hour. The minimum wage for agricultural employees will increase from $10.44 to $10.90 per hour. Finally, the minimum wage for long-term care facility staff will increase from $15 to $16 per hour.

NEW MEXICO

Minimum Wage Increases
Effective January 1, 2022, the minimum wage in New Mexico increases from $10.50 to $11.50. The maximum tip credit increases from $7.95 to $8.70
Cost Sharing for Behavioral Health Services Temporarily Eliminated
Effective January 1, 2022 until January 1, 2027, SB 317 prohibits group health insurance policies that offer coverage of behavioral health services from imposing cost sharing such as through co-payments, co-insurance, or deductibles on services for the treatment, habilitation, prevention and identification of the following conditions:
• Mental illnesses,
• Substance abuse disorders, and
• Trauma spectrum disorders.
Albuquerque Minimum Wage Increases
Effective January 1, 2022, the minimum wage in Albuquerque, New Mexico increases from $10.50 per hour to $11.50 per hour. The minimum wage for employers that provide healthcare and/or childcare benefits with an annualized cost of at least $2,500 increases from $9.50 per hour to $10.50 per hour. The minimum direct cash wage for tipped employees increases from $6.30 per hour to $6.90 per hour.
Bernalillo County Minimum Wage Adjusted for Inflation
Effective January 1, 2022, the minimum wage in Bernalillo County, New Mexico will be adjusted for inflation based on the change in the Consumer Price Index for the 12-month period from September 2020 to August 2021 and rounded to the nearest five cents.
Las Cruces Minimum Wage Increases
Effective January 1, 2022, the minimum wage in Las Cruces, New Mexico increases from $10.50 per hour to $11.50 per hour. The minimum direct cash wage for tipped employees increases from $4.20 per hour to $4.60 per hour, and the maximum tip credit increases from $6.30 per hour to $6.90 per hour.

 

NEW YORK

Minimum Wage Increases
Effective December 31, 2021, the minimum wage rate for fast food companies in Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester counties increase to $15.00 per hour, up from the current rate of $14.00 per hour. Companies outside of the fast- food industry, the minimum wage will increase to $13.20, up from the current rate of $12.50 per hour.

Paid Family Leave Contribution Rate Increases
Effective January 1, 2022, the state employee paid family leave contribution rate will remain 0.511% of gross weekly wages, but the annual cap will increase to $423.71 from $385.34. The New York State Average Weekly Wage will increase to $1,594.57 per week from $1,450.17.

Cap on Paid Family Leave Taken Intermittently Amended
Effective January 1, 2022, when an employee takes paid family leave (“PFL”) in daily increments, the maximum number of days of PFL available is calculated based on the average number of days worked per week multiplied by 12 as of January 1, 2021. Previously, the law capped leave taken in daily increments at 60 days per year.

Whistleblower Protections Expanded
Effective January 2022, S.4394A / A.5144A expands who is protected by New York whistleblower law and what constitutes protected activity under the law.

Under current law, retaliation against employees is prohibited against those who disclose an activity, policy, or practice that is in violation of law, rule, or regulation and only when that violation creates and presents a substantial and specific danger to the public health or safety or concerns health care fraud. The amended law now protects employees who reasonably believe an activity, policy, or practice is in violation of law, rule or regulation or that the employees reasonably believe poses a substantial and specific danger to the public health or safety.

Individuals eligible for whistleblower protection now include not only employees, but also former employees” and “natural persons employed as independent contractors. The amendment also extends the statute of limitations from one year to two

Employers must inform employees of their protections, rights, and obligations under the new law by posting a notice. A model notice is not yet available from the New York Department of Labor.

Guidance Issued on Recreational Cannabis
Use The New York State Department of Labor recently issued guidance to assist employers in interpreting and maintaining compliance with the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act.

 

NORTH CAROLINA

Charlotte Ordinance Expands Employment Non-Discrimination Protections
Effective January 1, 2022, protections under the city of Charlotte’s non-discrimination ordinance will be expanded by adding familial status, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, veteran status, pregnancy, and natural hairstyle to the list of protected classes.

Employers are still permitted to require employees to adhere to reasonable dress or grooming standards during their hours of work due to a business necessity and that are not prohibited by federal, state, or local law. Employers are also still permitted to adhere to the conditions of a bona fide seniority system or affirmative action.

Religious organizations are exempted from the Ordinance if they require employees to adhere to the tenets of that religious organization as a condition of employment. Employees are still permitted to express sincerely held religious or moral beliefs and commitments in the workplace in a reasonable, non-disruptive, and non-harassing way as long as the expression is not in direct conflict with the essential business interests or needs of the employer.

 

NORTH DAKOTA

Payroll Depositing and Reporting Requirements Amended
Effective January 1, 2022, if an employer was required to deduct and withhold less than $1,000 from wages paid to all employees during the previous calendar year, the employer may, but is not required to, file withholding returns and pay the tax due annually. If the amount required to be deducted and withheld from wages paid to all employees during the previous calendar year is $1,000 or more, the employer must file the return and pay the tax due quarterly and by electronic means.

In addition, all employers are now required to electronically file Forms W-2 and 1099. However, the tax commissioner may waive this requirement if an employer can show good cause.

Radio and TV Station Employment Units Must File EEO Public File Report
No later than December 1, 2021, radio and television station employment units (“SEUs”) located in North Dakota with five or more full-time employees must file an annual Equal Employment Opportunity (“EEO”) Public File Report (“PFR”). The report must be posted on station websites and uploaded to the online public inspection file at the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC’s or Commission’s) website.

The PFR must include a summary of the SEU’s recruitment activities and initiatives between December 1, 2020 and November 30, 2021, including full-time positions filled, the recruitment sources used to advertise those job openings, and the total number of interviewees and hires produced by each recruitment source. No later than December 1, 2021, television station employment units in North Dakota must also file a Schedule 396 Broadcast EEO Program Report prior to submitting a license renewal application.

The Schedule 396 requires licensees to report discrimination complaints. In addition, SEUs with five or more full-time employees must provide a narrative description of their outreach efforts, identify the individual with overall EEO responsibility at the SEU, and submit Public File Reports covering the time periods of December 1, 2019 through November 30, 2020 and December 1, 2020 through November 30, 2021. Once filed, the FCC will automatically upload a copy of the Schedule 396 to the online public inspection file for each station in the employment unit.

OHIO

Minimum Wage Increases
Effective January 1, 2022, Ohio’s minimum wage will increase to $9.30 per hour for non-tipped employees and $4.65 per hour for tipped employees. This new minimum wage will apply to employees of businesses with annual gross receipts of more than $342,000 per year.
For employees at smaller companies with annual gross receipts of $342,000 or less per year and for 14-and 15-year-olds, the minimum wage will remain at the federal rate of $7.25 per hour.
Covered employers must post an updated minimum wage and overtime notice, which should be posted in a location that is easily visible and accessible by employees. The 2022 poster can be downloaded at no charge here: 2022 Minimum Wage Poster.

OREGON

Family Leave Rights Expanded
Effective January 1, 2022, HB 2474 expands family leave rights under the Oregon Family Leave Act (“OFLA”).
The amendments include:
• Expand the list of qualifying OFLA reasons to include leave to care for a child of the employee “who requires home care due to the closure of the child’s school or childcare provider as a result of a public health emergency.”
• Defines the term “family member” to include the spouse of an employee, the biological, adoptive or foster parent or child of the employee, the grandparent or grandchild of the employee, a parent-in-law of the employee or a person with whom the employee was or is in a relationship of in loco parentis.
• Allow employees who return to work within 180 days of termination of employment or a temporary leave to receive credit for previous time worked to apply to the eligibility requirements.
Non-Compete Agreement Terms Restricted
Effective January 1, 2022, Senate Bill 169 requires that any new non-compete agreement is limited to an enforcement period of 12 months, a decrease from the previous 18-month period. In addition, employees who earn less than $100,533 are exempted from new non-compete agreements. The compensation threshold will be adjusted each year to track inflation.
Use of Driver’s License for Employment Purposes Restricted
Effective January 1, 2022, employers in Oregon are prohibited from asking a prospective employee to show a valid driver’s license as a condition of employment or continuation of employment. The only exception is if the ability to legally drive is an essential function of the job or is related to a legitimate business purpose.
Hairstyle Discrimination Prohibited
Effective January 1, 2022, House Bill 2935 –also known as the CROWN Act (Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair) — amends the Oregon Fair Employment Practices Law to clarify the meaning of race to include natural hair, hair texture, hair type, and protective hairstyles for purposes of prohibited discrimination. “Protective hairstyle” means a hairstyle, hair color, or manner of wearing hair that includes but is not limited to braids, locs and twists.
Under the amendment, employers may enforce an otherwise valid dress code policy as long as it provides for reasonable accommodation based on an individual’s health and safety needs and does not have a disproportionate adverse impact on a protected class.

PENNSYLVANIA

Philadelphia Ordinance Bans Marijuana Tests
Effective January 1, 2022, a new Philadelphia ordinance prohibits employers from testing for marijuana as a condition of employment in most jobs. The new ordinance is specifically focused on prospective employees and does not limit an employer’s ability to conduct marijuana screens on current employees.
Positions excluded from the ban include:
• Any position in law enforcement;
• Any position requiring a commercial driver’s license;
• Any position requiring the supervision or care of children, medical patients, disabled or other vulnerable individuals;
• Any position in which the employee could significantly impact the health or safety of other employees or members of the public; and
• Any position that requires drug testing under a federal or state statute, regulation, or order or a federal government contract or grant.

PUERTO RICO

Vaccine Mandate Imposed
Effective November 15, 2021, Executive Order No. 2021-075 integrates prior COVID-19-related orders still in effect and adds vaccine/testing requirements for employers with over 50 employees as well as employers of all sizes in certain industries.

EO 2021-075 requires that all employees working at employers with over 50 employees as well as all municipal employees must comply with at least one of the three requirements below:
• Present evidence of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with an approved or licensed vaccine by the Federal Drug Administration or the World Health Organization.
• Present a qualified SARS-CoV-2 viral test (nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) or antigen tests) approved by the FDA and processed by an authorized health care professional, and submit to the employer the negative result of such test at least every seven days, or
• Present a positive COVID-19 result from the past three months, along with documentation of their recovery, including a letter from a certified health provider or government health official certifying that the person is recovered and ready to appear in public places.

Employees who do not meet the above requirements by December 30, 2021 shall not be allowed to work in person, and the employer require them to take sick leave or unpaid leave until they meet one of the requirements.

The EO also authorizes the Department of Health to reduce the quarantine period to a minimum of 10 days without testing, or a minimum of seven days with a negative test result from a test administered at least five days from exposure. Ten-day isolation mandates for individuals confirmed to have contracted COVID-19 remain in place. If an individual is asymptomatic or presents any moderate or light symptoms, they can end isolation 10 days after their first symptom provided they show no signs of fever without the aid of medicine for over 24 hours or prove other COVID-19-related symptoms have improved. Those with positive COVID-19 results do not have to wait to obtain a negative test result to end isolation but must adhere to the above isolation periods.

Employees or contractors who work in person in public agencies of the Executive Branch, as well as Executive Branch contractors and their employees who work in person or visit government offices, must be fully vaccinated or provide a negative COVID-19 test result (for which they are responsible in obtaining) every seven days, or a positive test result with a letter from a certified health provider or a government health official certifying the person is fully recovered and ready to appear in public places.

 

RHODE ISLAND

Temporary Caregiver Leave Increases to Five Weeks
Effective January 1, 2022, the maximum number of weeks of paid temporary caregiver leave that all Rhode Island employers must provide increases from four weeks to five weeks in a benefit year.

The job-protected leave required under the state’s Temporary Caregiver Insurance law requires employers to provide job-protected, paid leave to employees to care for a seriously ill child, spouse, domestic partner, parent, parent-in-law, or grandparent, or to bond with a newborn, adopted or foster child.
Minimum Wage Increasing
Effective January 1, 2022, Rhode Island’s minimum wage will increase from its current $11.50 to $12.25.
Radio and TV Station Employment Units Must File EEO Public File Report
No later than December 1, 2021, radio and television station employment units (“SEUs”) located in Rhode Island with five or more full-time employees must file an annual Equal Employment Opportunity (“EEO”) Public File Report (“PFR”). The report must be posted on station websites and uploaded to the online public inspection file at the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC’s or Commission’s) website.
The PFR must include a summary of the SEU’s recruitment activities and initiatives between December 1, 2020 and November 30, 2021, including full-time positions filled, the recruitment sources used to advertise those job openings, and the total number of interviewees and hires produced by each recruitment source.
No later than December 1, 2021, radio station employment units in Rhode Island must also file a Schedule 396 Broadcast EEO Program Report prior to submitting a license renewal application.
The Schedule 396 requires licensees to report discrimination complaints. In addition, SEUs with five or more full-time employees must provide a narrative description of their outreach efforts, identify the individual with overall EEO responsibility at the SEU, and submit Public File Reports covering the time periods of December 1, 2019 through November 30, 2020 and December 1, 2020 through November 30, 2021. Once filed, the FCC will automatically upload a copy of the Schedule 396 to the online public inspection file for each station in the employment unit.

 

SOUTH DAKOTA

Minimum Wage Increases
Effective January 1, 2022, the minimum wage in South Dakota increases from $9.45 per hour to $9.95 per hour. The minimum direct wage for tipped employees increases from $4.725 per hour to $4.975 per hour, and the maximum tip credit increases from $4.725 per hour to $4.975 per hour.

Radio and TV Station Employment Units Must File EEO Public File Report
No later than December 1, 2021, radio and television station employment units (“SEUs”) located in South Dakota with five or more full-time employees must file an annual Equal Employment Opportunity (“EEO”) Public File Report (“PFR”). The report must be posted on station websites and uploaded to the online public inspection file at the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC’s or Commission’s) website.

The PFR must include a summary of the SEU’s recruitment activities and initiatives between December 1, 2020 and November 30, 2021, including full-time positions filled, the recruitment sources used to advertise those job openings, and the total number of interviewees and hires produced by each recruitment source.

No later than December 1, 2021, television station employment units in South Dakota must file a Schedule 396 Broadcast EEO Program Report prior to submitting a license renewal application.

The Schedule 396 requires licensees to report discrimination complaints. In addition, SEUs with five or more full-time employees must provide a narrative description of their outreach efforts, identify the individual with overall EEO responsibility at the SEU, and submit Public File Reports covering the time periods of December 1, 2019 through November 30, 2020 and December 1, 2020 through November 30, 2021. Once filed, the FCC will automatically upload a copy of the Schedule 396 to the online public inspection file for each station in the employment unit.

 

TENNESSEE

State Prohibitions on Requiring Proof of Vaccination
Signed on November 12, 2021, new legislation prohibits many Tennessee employers from requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination from employees, job applicants and customers. The law also prohibits private businesses, governmental bodies and schools from taking adverse action against individuals who refuse to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination based on any objection, for any reason.

Healthcare providers and federal contractors or subcontractors are exempt from these prohibitions due to conflicts with federal vaccination requirements. In addition, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, residential hospice facilities, and entertainment venues are allowed to ask for either proof of vaccination or proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test to allow entry.

Under the law, employees who leave employment because of a refusal to receive a COVID-19 vaccine are not disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits.

Provisions of the new law will likely be preempted by federal law if OSHA’s ETS is enacted.

 

UTAH

Employee Vaccination Exemption and Related Rights Expanded
Senate Bill 2004 requires Utah employers to exempt employees from COVID-19 vaccination requirements where getting vaccinated would negatively impact the employees’ well-being or conflict with the employees’ sincerely held religious or personal beliefs. Exemption requests can be in the form of a statement submitted by the employee.

SB 2004 also requires employers to pay for all COVID-19 testing that is in relation to or is a condition of the employee’s presence at the workplace and prohibits them from maintaining a copy of an employee’s proof of vaccination except where otherwise required by law. The bill also prohibits employers from taking any adverse action against an employee “because of an act the employee makes in accordance” with the bill.

Given SB 2004’s direct conflict with OSHA’s ETS for employers with 100 or more employees, much of SB 2004 likely will be preempted by federal law if OSHA’s ETS is enacted.

 

VERMONT

Vermont Minimum Wage Increases
Effective January 1, 2022, the minimum wage in Vermont increases from $11.75 per hour to $12.55 per hour. The minimum direct wage for tipped employees increases to $6.275 per hour, with a maximum tip credit of $6.275 per hour worked.

Radio and TV Station Employment Units Must File EEO Public File Report
No later than December 1, 2021, radio and television station employment units (“SEUs”) located in Vermont with five or more full-time employees must file an annual Equal Employment Opportunity (“EEO”) Public File Report (“PFR”). The report must be posted on station websites and uploaded to the online public inspection file at the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC’s or Commission’s) website

The PFR must include a summary of the SEU’s recruitment activities and initiatives between December 1, 2020 and November 30, 2021, including full-time positions filled, the recruitment sources used to advertise those job openings, and the total number of interviewees and hires produced by each recruitment source.

No later than December 1, 2021, radio station employment units in Vermont must also file a Schedule 396 Broadcast EEO Program Report prior to submitting a license renewal application.

The Schedule 396 requires licensees to report discrimination complaints. In addition, SEUs with five or more full-time employees must provide a narrative description of their outreach efforts, identify the individual with overall EEO responsibility at the SEU, and submit Public File Reports covering the time periods of December 1, 2019 through November 30, 2020 and December 1, 2020 through November 30, 2021. Once filed, the FCC will automatically upload a copy of the Schedule 396 to the online public inspection file for each station in the employment unit.

 

VIRGINIA

Minimum Wage Increases
Effective January 1, 2022, the minimum wage in Virginia increases from $9.50 to $11.00. The maximum tip credit increases from $7.37 to $8.87.


WASHINGTON

Minimum Wage Increases
Effective January 1, 2022, the minimum wage in Washington increases from $13.69 to $14.49.

Employees Eligible to Place Liens on Employer Property for Unpaid Wages
Effective January 1, 2022, the Washington Wage Recovery Act will allow employees to place a lien on their employers’ property to secure unpaid wage

Employees can obtain a wage lien on claims for unpaid wages and other compensation including interest, statutory damages, liquidated damages, attorneys’ fees and costs, or statutory penalties that may be owed for violation of a local, state, or federal wage law. Under this law, unpaid wages do not include vacation or severance pay, contributions to an employee benefit plan, or paid leave except paid leave that is statutorily mandated.

Highly compensated employees are not eligible to place a wage lien. “Highly compensated employees” are defined as those who owned at least 5% of the business or who earned more than the indexed compensation threshold established by the Department of Treasury ($130,000 for 2021) in the preceding year.

Wage liens must be filed within two years from the date the wages were first due. A wage lien is not effective against good faith buyers of goods, personal property, or real property if the buyer obtains the property prior to the filing of the wage lien in good faith, for value, and without actual notice or knowledge of the lien.

The new law contains specific provisions about procedures on how to foreclose on a lien, the priority a wage lien is given over other types of liens, and form notices of wage liens. For additional information, see the Washington Wage Recovery Act.

New Payroll Tax Effective January 1
Effective January 1, 2022, SB 1323 requires Washington employers to withhold a new 0.58percent payroll tax from all employee wages to fund a state-run long-term care (“LTC”) services and support trust program. Employers must remit those tax withholdings to the state on a quarterly basis.

The withholding requirements applies to all private and public employers with a Washington employee, with the exception of the federal government and federal tribes, self-employed individuals, and employees subject to an active collective bargaining agreement in existence as of October 19, 2017.

Employees can request an exemption from the payroll tax withholding if they attest to having sufficient LTC insurance purchased before November 1, 2021 by submitting an exemption application to the Employment Security Department.

Starting January 1, 2025, employees who meet qualifying criteria will be eligible to receive up to $100 per day for approved long-term care services and support for up to one year. Approved services include nursing facilities, assisted living facilities or adult family homes, home healthcare, wheelchair ramps, emergency alert devices, Meals on Wheels, transportation, caregiver support, memory care, and other services.

For additional information about employer obligations, see the Washington Cares Fund webpage.

Washington Exempt Salary Limit Increasing
Effective January 1, 2021, the state’s salary threshold for “white-collar” overtime exemption will increase according to the employer’s size. Employers with 50 or fewer employees must pay otherwise qualified exempt employees at least $821.40 per week ($42,712 annually).

Employers with more than 50 employees must pay at least $958.30 per week ($49,831 annually). The minimum hourly pay rate for the computer professional exemption is also increasing. Employers with 50 or fewer employees must pay otherwise qualified exempt computer professional at least $37.65 per hour, or 2.75 the state’s minimum wage rate. Employers with more than 50 employees must pay at least $47.92 per hour, or 3.5 times the state’s minimum wage rate.

Washington’s minimum salary threshold will continue to increase annually through 2028.

Updated Notices for Hotel Employees Required

Seattle’s hotel employee protection laws require covered employers to display either a Notice of Rights for Hotel Employees or a Notice of Rights for Employees of Ancillary Hotel Employees poster that outlines hotel employee protections. The 2022 updates to these posters can be found on the Hotel Employee Protections webpage.

Overtime Required for Agricultural Workers
Effective January 1, 2022, agricultural employees in Washington who work over 55 hours in any one workweek must be paid one and one-half times their regular rate of pay for all hours over 55.

Seattle Minimum Wage Increases
Effective January 1, 2022, the minimum wage in Seattle for employers with 500 or fewer employees (Schedule 2 Employers) increases from $15.00 to $15.75. The minimum wage for employers with more than 500 employees (Schedule 1 Employers) increases from $16.69 to $17.27.

WEST VIRGINIA

Non-Resident Income Tax Withholding Exemption
Effective January 1, 2022, compensation paid to a non-resident is exempt from West Virginia income tax withholding if:
• The compensation is paid for work performed in West Virginia on 30 or fewer days in the calendar year;
• The non-resident worked in more than one state during the calendar year; and
• The non-resident’s state of residence provides a substantially similar exclusion or does not impose an individual income tax, or federal law exempts the non-resident’s income from West Virginia taxation.
If the number of days a non-resident works in West Virginia exceeds the 30-day threshold during the calendar year, then West Virginia income tax must be withheld and remitted for every day the employee performs work in West Virginia in that year (including the first 30 days).
The exemption does not apply to non-resident professional athletes, entertainers, or public figures

WISCONSIN

Separation Notice and Poster Now Required
Effective November 2, 2020, Wisconsin employers must post a notice regarding unemployment benefits rights and notify workers at the time of their separation about the availability of unemployment insurance (“UI”) benefits. The notice may be distributed at the time of employment termination in person or sent by email, text, or mail.
The required poster and notice can be downloaded from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development website: UI Notice and UI Poster.