Paid Sick Time Law Approved in Elizabeth NJ

Elizabeth is the latest New Jersey city to pass a paid sick leave ordinance. The new law that will require private employers to provide sick time to employees was approved by Elizabeth voters on November 3, 2015. The city has not released a copy of the Ordinance, but it is very likely that it will be very similar to the other nine New Jersey municipalities with paid sick leave laws.

It can be anticipated that employees working in the city of Elizabeth will start earning one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked. Employers with 10 or more employees will not be required to provide more than 40 hours of paid sick time per calendar year. Employers with less than 10 employees will not be required to provide more than 24 hour of paid sick time in a calendar year.

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2016 Minimum Wage Posting Changes

With the New Year approaching, it’s that time again to be in compliance by replacing outdated postings. States with yearly minimum wage assessments tied to increases in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and states with enacted legislation that increases the minimum wage over a span of several years have released the minimum wage rates for 2016.

With a 0.3 percent decline in the CPI over the 12-month period from September 1, 2014 to August 31, 2015, several states tying their minimum to inflation have kept their current minimum wage rates. Despite the unchanged minimum wage rates, minimum wage postings have been updated for the 2016 effective year.

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OSHA Penalties Increasing Summer 2016

Earlier this month President Obama signed into law the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (Budget Act). Among other things, the act provides for mandatory increases in the penalties for violations of standards established under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. The act calls for an initial penalty adjustment that will reflect the increase in the cost of living since the last time OSHA penalties were adjusted in 1990. The amount of the “catch-up” adjustment will be measured by the percentage difference between the CPI in October 2015 and the CPI in October 1990. Beginning in 2017, OSHA penalties will be indexed to annual changes in the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

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Lawsuit Delays Pittsburgh’s Paid Sick Days Act Effective Date

The city of Pittsburgh recently passed the Paid Sick Days Act to provide paid or unpaid sick time to employees working in the City. Employers with 15 or more employees must provide employees with no more than 40 hours of paid sick time in a year. Employers with 15 employees or less must provide employees with no more than 24 hours of unpaid sick time the first year after the Act’s effective date. Thereafter, employees working for employers with 15 employees or less are entitled to accrue up to 24 hours of paid sick time per year.

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California Expands “Kin Care” Leave Law

Nearly all California employees are now covered by the state’s mandatory Paid Sick Leave law that went into effect last July. The Paid Sick Leave law (Labor Code §245) requires employers to provide employees up to three days of paid sick leave annually. Paid sick leave can be used for the diagnosis, care, or treatment, or for preventive care, of the employee’s own health condition or the health condition of a “family member.” “Family member” is defined to include the employee’s child, parent, spouse, registered domestic partner, grandparent, grandchild or sibling. It also includes biological, adoptive, or foster children, parents, stepparents, and legal guardians of the employee or the employee’s spouse or registered domestic partner.

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Handgun Rights Expanded Under the New TX Open Carry Law


During the 2015 legislative session, Texas passed a new law on handgun possession that will become effective January 1, 2016. Under the Open Carry Law, holders of a handgun license may lawfully carry their handguns in an open manner. The unconcealed handguns must be carried in a shoulder or belt holster.

Property owners and employers may choose to prohibit handguns (concealed or open carry) on their property. To prohibit handguns on their premises, an oral or written notice must be given to license handgun holders. A poster with language from Section 30.07 of the Penal Code must be posted to prohibit an open carry on the business premises. The text must be displayed in both English and Spanish, and appear in contrasting colors with block letters at least one inch in height. If property owners and employers want to prohibit both concealed and open carry handguns, two posters with language from Section 30.06 and 30.07 of the Penal Code must be displayed. To purchase these posters, click here.

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San Francisco Employers Must Plan Around the Retail Workers Bill of Rights

05064[1]San Francisco employers will need to take extra care with employee scheduling as they plan for the holidays and the busy shopping days ahead. The retail industry is often characterized by shifts assigned on short notice, scheduling workers with too few hours, treating part-time employees differently than full-time employees, and not compensating on-call employees, creating both practical and economic instabilities for workers in the industry. This year, the city of San Francisco, CA adopted the “Retail Workers Bill of Rights” aimed at stabilizing the work lives of most San Francisco retail employees.

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New York Adopts Fast Food Wage Order – Effective Dec. 31st

In the last few months, fast food workers across the nation have been seen demanding a higher minimum wage rate. In New York, Commissioner of Labor Mario J. Musolino called for a wage board to investigate the wages of fast-food employees. After more than 10 weeks of study and deliberations, the Fast Food Wage Board recommended phased increases in the minimum wage that would reach $15 per hour by 2018 in New York City and by 2021 in the rest of the state.

On September 10, 2015, Commissioner Musolino accepted the Wage Board’s report and recommendations. The accepted recommendations include: increasing the minimum wage rate to $15 for fast food employees in fast food establishments, phased-in schedules for New York City and the state, and definitions establishing the scope of covered employees and establishments.

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Sacramento Approves City Minimum Wage Ordinance

On October 27, 2015, the Sacramento City Council approved an Ordinance (Ordinance No. 2015-0036) establishing a city minimum wage rate starting at $10.50 per hour in 2017 and eventually reaching $12.50 an hour by 2020. By comparison, the statewide minimum wage rate is currently $9.00 per hour and increases to $10.00 per hour on January 1, 2016.

Sacramento’s scheduled minimum wage rates are:

  • businesses and nonprofits with more than 100 employees:
    • January 1, 2017 – $10.50 per hour
    • January 1, 2018 – $11.00 per hour
    • January 1, 2019 – $11.75 per hour
    • January 1, 2020 – $12.50 per hour
    businesses and nonprofits with 100 or fewer employees:
    • January 1, 2018 – $10.50 per hour
    • January 1, 2019 – $11.00 per hour
    • January 1, 2020 – $11.75 per hour
    • January 1, 2021 – $12.50 per hour

    After that, the City’s minimum wage rate will be adjusted in proportion to the percentage change in the annual Consumer Price Index (CPI).

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Jersey City Expands its Paid Sick Leave Ordinance

In 2013, Jersey City became the first New Jersey municipality to pass an Earned Sick Leave Ordinance. Under the law, employers with 10 or more employees are required to provide up to 40 hours of paid sick leave annually. Employers with less than 10 employees have to provide up to 40 hours of unpaid sick leave annually. Being the first city to pass an earned sick leave law in the state, it comes as no surprise that the ordinance has been modified to clarify some of the language in the Ordinance, and ensure consistency with other New Jersey Paid Sick Time Ordinances.

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