The Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council issued a Proposed Rule, “Pay Equity and Transparency in Federal Contracting,” on January 30, 2024. The Proposed Rule would amend the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FARs), which apply to federal government commercial contracts to be principally performed in the United States and its territories. The rule imposes three new requirements on federal contractors and subcontractors.

Read the full Update here.

Certain construction workers and other employees in the construction industry must be paid the entire balance of accrued and unused paid sick leave if those workers separate from employment before they reach their 90th day of employment. This requirement, effective January 1, 2024, applies regardless of whether a worker’s separation is voluntary or involuntary.

Read the full Update here.

On January 12, 2024, Washington, D.C., joined the growing list of jurisdictions to enact wage transparency legislation when Mayor Muriel Bowser signed the Wage Transparency Omnibus Amendment Act of 2023 (the Act), formerly known as the Pay Scale and Benefits Disclosure Amendment Act. If the Act survives the 30-day congressional review period, during which Congress can vote to overrule it, the law will take effect June 30, 2024.

The new law applies to all employers with at least one employee in Washington, D.C. and requires employers to include pay ranges in job listings and disclose healthcare benefits information to applicants. The Act also prohibits employers from inquiring about an applicant’s salary history.

Continue Reading Washington, D.C., Set To Enact Wage Transparency Law

On January 12, 2024, the Berkeley Fair Work Week Ordinance (Ordinance) became operative. As previously described, Berkeley, California, enacted an Ordinance that requires covered employers to provide work schedules to employees at least 14 calendar days in advance of a shift and provide 11 hours of rest between shifts, among other requirements.

Berkeley employers should determine if their business is a covered employer under the Ordinance and, if so, should prepare to comply with the requirements of the Ordinance. Berkeley has issued a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) document to assist employers in compliance. The FAQs provide further guidance on issues including covered employers, covered employees, the required advance notice of work schedules, right to rest, and predictability pay.

Berkeley employers are encouraged to contact experienced counsel with questions about Berkeley’s Fair Workweek Ordinance, any related policies and practices, or any other California wage-and-hour laws.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued their 2024 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical, or moving purposes. The applicable rates are as follows:

  • Business use. The rate for business use of a vehicle has increased to 67 cents per mile, up by 1 1/2 cents from the 2023 rate.
  • Medical or moving purposes. For those qualifying as active-duty members of the U.S. armed forces, the rate for medical or moving purposes is set at 21 cents per mile, a decrease of 1 cent from the previous year.
  • Charitable organizations. The rate for driving in service of charitable organizations remains unchanged from 2023 at 14 cents per mile.

Employers with questions about reimbursement should contact experienced counsel with questions.

The California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) issued updated responses to frequently asked questions (FAQs) relating to the state’s amended paid sick leave law. As previously reported, California enacted SB 616, which expands the state law with respect to paid sick leave. The new law will be effective January 1, 2024, and increases the minimum amount of sick leave per year from 24 hours (or three days) to 40 hours (or five days). California’s labor commissioner also updated the paid sick leave poster and 2810.5 employee notice to reflect the new law’s requirements. The DIR’s FAQs page answers questions for employers regarding accrual methods, caps on paid sick leave, and how employers can transition their paid sick leave policies to comply with the new law. For example, the FAQs address what an employer must do to comply with the law on January 1, 2024, if the employer uses an accrual method and capped an employee’s yearly use of leave at three days or 24 hours: —”If an employer uses an annual start date other than January 1 and implements a 12‑month use cap, that cap must change to 40 hours or 5 days on January 1, 2024. For example, if an employer uses the 12-month period of May 1 – April 30 and implements a cap and an employee used 24 hours or three days before January 1, 2024, the employer must allow the employee to use an additional 2 days or 16 hours before April 30 if the employee has accrued that additional leave.”

Continue Reading California Revises Frequently Asked Questions on Paid Sick Leave

On December 6, 2023, the Biden administration released its Fall 2023 Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions, which provides a semi-annual update on the federal government’s regulatory agenda and sets target dates for upcoming rulemaking. That update included the announcement that the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) aims to release its final rule amending the so-called “white collar” exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), titled Defining and Delimiting the Exemptions for Executive, Administrative, Professional Outside Sales and Computer Employees, in April 2024. We provide a short synopsis of the proposed changes that would go into effect with that release.

Continue Reading Biden Administration Announces April 2024 Release of Final Rule on FLSA Exemptions

On January 1, 2024, the Illinois Minimum Wage will rise to $14 per hour for individual who are 18 years and older. New employees in the first 90 days of employment over the age of 18 may be paid up to 50 cents less per hour. Youths under the age of 18 who work fewer than 650 hours per calendar year may be paid $12 per hour. Tipped employees may be paid 60% of the hourly minimum wage, which for 2024 will be $8.40. The state minimum wage applies to employers of four or more employees.

Continue Reading Illinois Minimum Wage Increases on January 1, 2024

Following Chicago’s last-minute changes to its much-discussed Paid Leave Ordinance, Cook County has joined the recent flurry of legislating in Illinois to amend its own leave requirements. On December 14, 2023, the Cook County Board of Commissioners passed the Cook County Paid Leave Ordinance, which amends the prior Cook County Earned Sick Leave Ordinance to require Cook County employers to provide general paid leave to employees located in Cook County.

The new ordinance, which is modeled after the Illinois Paid Leave for All Workers Act, takes effect on December 31, 2023.

Read the full Update here.

Effective January 1, 2024, AB 636 amends California Labor Code Section 2810.5 to require employers to provide employees with additional information at the time of hiring. This includes information about the existence of a federal or state emergency or disaster declaration applicable to the county or counties where the employee is to be employed—and that was issued within 30 days before the employee’s first day of employment—that may affect their health and safety during their employment. The California Labor Commissioner’s Office has now updated its Labor Code 2810.5 form, which can be found here.