The new year brought several updates to existing employment laws including to Paid Sick Leave, Revised I-9, Employer Wellness Programs and the Fair Labor Standards Overtime Act. Employers MUST be in compliance with these new employment laws. Please review the updates and effective dates below.
PAID SICK LEAVE
Executive Order 13706, Establishing Paid Sick Leave for Federal Contractors, requires certain employers that contract with the Federal Government to provide their employees with up to seven (7) days of paid sick leave annually, including for family care and absences resulting from domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. Executive Order 13706 applies to new contracts and replacements for expiring contracts with the Federal Government that result from solicitations issued on or after January 1, 2017 (or that are awarded outside the solicitation process on or after January 1, 2017).
Montgomery County Paid Sick Leave law became effective on October 1, 2016. This law applies to all businesses who have employees that perform work in Montgomery County. On November 1, 2016, the Montgomery County paid sick Leave law was expanded to allow such earned leave to also be used for the birth of a child or for the placement of a child with the employee for adoption or foster care; or to care for a newborn, newly adopted, or newly placed child within one year of birth, adoption or placement. This expansion in the law became effective on November 9, 2016.
If your business has employees who perform work in Montgomery County, be sure to update your workplace compliance materials to reflect this recent expansion.
REVISED FORM I-9
On Nov. 14, 2016, USCIS released a revised version of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. Employers may continue using Form I-9 with a revision date of 03/08/2013 through Jan. 21, 2017. By Jan. 22, 2017, all employers must use the revised form. Employers should continue to follow existing storage and retentions rules for all of their previously completed Forms I-9. Read the USCIS News Release, and visit I-9 Central for more information.
EMPLOYER WELLNESS PROGRAMS
On May 17, 2016, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued a final rule, to amend the regulations and interpretive guidance (also known as the appendix) implementing Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as they relate to employer wellness programs. The Commission also has published a final rule under Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), on GINA and employer wellness programs.
The ADA requires employers to make all wellness programs available to all employees, to provide reasonable accommodations that allow employees with disabilities to participate, and to keep all medical information confidential.
FAIR LABOR STANDARDS ACT OVERTIME UPDATE
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced December 1 that it will appeal a court’s injunction temporarily halting the new overtime regulations. On November 22, 2016, a federal district court judge issued an injunction that temporarily blocks the new federal overtime rule from taking effect on December 1st, 2016. This temporary injunction also allows the court more time to decide whether the new rule is an overreach of federal Department of Labor authority.