It is common practice for states to put into effect employment law updates that have been legislated at the start of each New Year. Updates of existing employment laws, as well as new laws that have come into effect, commonly come into force on January 1st of each New Year. These changes in employment law affect both employers’ obligations to their employees and the rights of employees. As such, it is very important that both employers and employees ensure they understand what these new changes are and how they affect them. Employers who remain ignorant of employment law changes may find they face penalties and legal challenges if they breach new rules.
The following examples are just a sample of some of the updates in employment law trends that came into effect across the United States in 2023.
Many states are adding or expanding their pay laws:
- In Colorado, Senate Bill 22-161 came into effect on Jan 1st 2023. The changes include increased penalties for employers who do not pay correct wages on time, allows the Division of Labor Standards and Statistics to investigate wage demands by employees on behalf of other employees and limit employers’ ability to recover legal fees when they defend a claim successfully.
- In California, Senate Bill 1477 comes into effect on Jan 1st 2023. The changes reduce the amount of an employee’s weekly wage that can be garnished, i.e. withheld due to an existing debt. Similar lower amounts also come into effect for employees who are not paid weekly. The changes expire on September 1st 2023, when even lower maximum amounts come into effect.
- In New York State, changes to employment transparency rules already came into effect on November 1st 2022. The changes mean that employers and employment agencies that advertise employment positions must include the possible minimum and maximum salaries in their postings. Advertisements for temporary positions remain exempt.
Veterans’ Preference in Alaska
AK Stat. § 39.25.159 (2021) provides preference in employment for veterans as follows:
Suitably qualified veterans who apply for employment where numerical ratings are used should be given an extra five percent of points available under the rating system and suitably qualified disabled veterans and former prisoner of war should be given 10 percent of the points available.
Where no numerical ratings are used, a suitably qualified veteran, disabled veteran or former prisoner of war should be given the opportunity for an interview.
Minimum Wage Increases
Many states increased their minimum hourly wage on January 1st 2023. Some examples are:
- New York state (outside of New York city): $14.20;
- Arizona: $13.85;
- Illinois: $13;
- Massachusetts: $15.
Employers should be aware that some states’ new minimum wage increases for 2023 do not come into effect until later in the year—e.g., Connecticut’s new minimum of $15 comes into effect on June 1st and Florida’s minimum of $12 comes into effect on September 30th.
Many states are improving their leave laws. Here are a few examples.
- In California, AB 1041came into effect on January 1st, 2023. The update expands what the state defines as a family member for employees seeking to take leave.
- In Colorado, an update to the state’s own family and medical leave insurance program, called FAMLI, clarifies which employees are covered when the program comes into operation on Jan. 1st 2024.
- In Illinois, SB 645 amends the existing Employee Sick Leave Act to ensure that those rights available under the act are the minimum in any collective bargaining agreement that has been negotiated. The update came into effect on January 1st, 2023.
Get Help With Your Employment Law Claim
Employers and employees should make themselves aware of any new employment law updates that affect them in their state this year. Many updates to existing legislation and new legislation came into effect at the start of 2023.
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