Five Employment law highlights from around the country

Five news items to pay attention to in HR.
Five news items to pay attention to in HR.

Here are a few notable tidbits I came across as I was scanning news stories and blogs.

  1. The $15 an hour minimum wage trend picks up some steam as Los Angeles votes to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour in increments until it tops $15 in 2020. Small businesses (under 25 employees) will be delayed by one year. Emeryville, in the Bay Area also has passed a similar measure.
  2. There is a trend that is bound to get companies in trouble with discrimination if they apply it to their business. In Washington some male Congress members are avoiding one-on-one closed door meetings with their female staffers. They are also restricting the appearance of female staffers at photo opportunities. Done to avoid “improper” actions or appearances of impropriety these actions are clearly discriminatory. NO company should engage in this illegal behavior.
  3. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio recently signed into law the Stop Credit Discrimination in Employment Act which goes into effect September 1, 2015. It amends the New York City Human Rights Law to prohibit employers from requesting or using an individual’s consumer credit history in making employment decisions. Credit history includes things like payment histories, credit balances and credit scores. There is a long list of exceptions that allow the use of credit history but it certainly eliminates a lot of use of that information when it is not necessary.
  4. A settlement between the Department of Justice and edX, Inc., which is a distributor of online classes or a platform for that distribution, has extended the requirements of the ADA to the virtual world. Online classes may now have to be accessible under ADA standards.
  5. Lastly the US Department of Labor has issued “new” forms for FMLA certification. Not much has really changed other than the addition of some language on GINA (Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act) and the expiration date, which is now 2018. You can go to their website to download the new forms by clicking on this link.

So there you have some notable decisions and actions that may affect some of you depending on your geography, your business or your actions.

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