Requirements and Responsibilities of E-Verify

Even as some states limit employers’ use of the federal E-Verify program to confirm the employment eligibility of new hires, a recent study shows low compliance rates in states where employers are legally mandated to use E-Verify.

If accessibility is a factor, employers may soon have a new tool to make compliance easier. Last week, the USCIS E-Verify program announced that it is testing a new mobile app that allows users to create and manage cases on their iPads. To participate, interested persons must email the USCIS by May 4, 2016. The USCIS has also announced a new E-verify statistics webpage that provides interactive state-and-industry usage information.

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Quebec Minimum Wage Increase Effective Now

Good news for workers earning minimum wage in Quebec. Yesterday, May 1, 2016, workers started receiving an increase in their pay. For years, the province has increased the minimum wage rate each May 1st. The majority of workers are entitled to the minimum wage rates, which are set by the Government of Quebec. This year, the minimum wage rate has increased from $10.55 per hour to $10.75 per hour. The wage rate for employees who earn tips has also increased from $9.05 per hour to $9.20 per hour.

To stay compliant, Compliance Poster Company will offer two Quebec poster updated options – a new Quebec All-On-OneTM Labor Law Poster or a Quebec Minimum Wage Peel ‘N Post.

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District of Columbia Considers $15 Minimum Wage Rate

fight for fifteenThe “Fight for 15” movement, which aims at raising the minimum wage rate to $15.00 per hour for low wage workers, continues to gain momentum across the country. This month, the District of Columbia joined the conversation with the introduction of new legislation that would increase the minimum wage in the District to $15.00 per hour by 2020, and would increase the minimum wage during each successive year starting July, 2021 in proportion to the increase, if any, in the Consumer Price Index for the previous calendar year. The legislation also proposes to progressively increase the minimum wage for tipped employees to $7.50 an hour by 2022 and to 50% of the minimum wage in each year thereafter. Currently, the DC minimum wage rate is $10.50 per hour and will increase to $11.50 per hour on July 1, 2016. The minimum wage rate for tipped employees is currently $2.77 per hour.

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Nebraska Adopts the Workplace Privacy Act

internet-social-accountsNebraska is the latest state to adopt a law that protects employees’ online privacy. Under the Workplace Privacy Act (bill 821), employers are prohibited from accessing an employee or applicant’s personal internet account. Employers cannot require employees or applicants to access their accounts in the employer’s presence nor require them to accept an invitation to join a group affiliated with the employee or applicant’s personal internet account. If employees or applicants refuse to disclose the login information, employers cannot take adverse action against them, or fail to hire them. However, if the employer has specific information about potentially wrongful activity taking place on the personal internet account or information about an unauthorized download or transfer of the employer’s private proprietary information, private financial data, or other confidential information, the employer can request access to the internet accounts.

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Oregon Minimum Wage Rate Increasing Through 2022

Portland Urban Growth Boundary

Portland Urban Growth Boundary

Oregon employers are accustomed to an annual increase in the state’s minimum wage rate because of the adjustment made for inflation each January 1. This year was different. For the first time in recent history, Oregon’s minimum wage did not increase on January 1. Instead, Governor Kate Brown signed into law a bill increasing the minimum wage rate in installments over the next seven years. The first installment takes effect July 1, 2016.

Initially, in the urban area of Portland and in midsize counties, the minimum wage rate will increase from $9.25 per hour to $9.75 per hour. In rural areas the minimum wage rate will increase from $9.25 per hour to $9.50 per hour. By July 1, 2022, the minimum wage rates will reach to $14.75 per hour inside Portland’s urban growth boundary, $13.50 per hour in midsize counties and $12.50 per hour in rural areas. Each year thereafter, the minimum wage rate will increase based on the increase in the Consumer Price Index over the prior year.

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New York Passes a $15 Minimum Wage Increase and Family Medical Leave Policy

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has recently signed the 2016-2017 state budget, adopting a minimum wage rate increase to $15.00 per hour over the next few years and a paid family leave policy.

Minimum Wage

Employers in the state of New York should be prepared to increase their employees’ minimum wage rate starting this December.  Depending on where the employer is located and how many employees they have, the minimum wage rate will increase in annual increments until it reaches $15.00 per hour. Under the law, New York was divided into the following three areas:

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Primer on California’s Expanded Paid Family Leave and Disability Benefits Law

05705[1]Under California law, workers covered by State Disability Insurance (SDI) have two benefits available to them: Disability Insurance (DI) and Paid Family Leave (PFL). These programs provide short-term partial wage replacement benefits to workers when they need to take time off for themselves or to care for a family member. Currently, workers can receive 55 percent of their lost wages, up to a set maximum. There is also a one-week waiting period before a worker begins collecting benefits.

▪DI provides benefits to eligible California workers who have a loss of wages when they are unable to work due to a non-work-related illness, injury, or pregnancy. Workers may receive up to 52 weeks’ worth of DI benefits.

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Plainfield, New Jersey Approves Paid Sick Leave

sick leaveThe state of New Jersey continues the municipal paid sick leave momentum. On March 14, 2016, Plainfield became the 12th New Jersey city to pass a paid sick leave ordinance. The Sick Leave for Private Employees Ordinance requires private employers to provide paid sick time to employees working in the city for at least 80 hours in a year. One hour of paid sick time will be accrued for every 30 hours worked. Employers with 10 or more employees will be required to provide up to 40 hours of paid sick time per calendar year. Employees with less than 10 employees will be required to provide 24 hours of paid sick time per calendar year.

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California Minimum Wage Workers Are Getting a Raise

Thanks to a new California Law, California minimum wage workers will soon see an increase in their paychecks. The new minimum wage law also puts California in place with the highest statewide minimum wage rate in the nation – $15.00 per hour. The minimum wage rate high will take several years to realize and may be temporarily postponed depending on certain economic conditions. However, employers should be prepared for the first minimum wage increase beginning January 1, 2017.

Not all employers will be required to pay a minimum wage rate at the outset. Employers with 26 or more employees will be responsible for the first increase to $10.50 per hour starting January 1, 2017. Employers with 25 or fewer employees will have an extra year to prepare for the increase. For these employers, the minimum wage rate will increase to $10.50 per hour beginning January 1, 2018.

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Missouri State Agencies Must Implement Ban the Box Policy

On April 11, 2016, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon signed Executive Order 16-04 to implement a ban the box hiring policy for government entities. As defined in the Order, ban the box is a “policy which places questions relating to an individual’s criminal history later in the hiring process in order to provide applicants an opportunity to explain the unique aspects of their situation to a potential employer.” The policy gives individuals a fair chance to apply to job positions by not requiring them to disclose their criminal history. Removing this barrier during the initial application process can open the doors to improving public safety, enhancing workforce development, and providing increased state employment opportunities for job applicants with a criminal history. However, employers may still run a criminal background check as a condition of employment especially when it involves sensitive governmental positions.

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