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.

In welcome news for employers, the Chicago City Council passed an amendment to the new Chicago Paid Leave and Paid Sick and Safe Leave Ordinance, which will delay implementation of paid leave requirements from December 31, 2023, to July 1, 2024. The ordinance significantly expands paid leave requirements for Chicago employers and includes some of the harshest penalties in the country for violations of its paid leave provisions.

Read the full Update here.

On January 1, 2024, California’s state minimum wage will increase to $16 per hour for all employers. This minimum wage rate applies to all employees, subject to a few limited exceptions. Correspondingly, exempt employees in California must earn no less than two times the state’s minimum wage, or an annual salary of no less than $66,560 (or $1,280 per week) to meet this threshold requirement. Employers should post the Minimum Wage Order and the Wage Order applicable to their workplace at a worksite area accessible to employees. The wage orders can be downloaded and printed from the workplace postings page on the California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) website here.

Continue Reading California’s Minimum Wage Increases on January 1, 2024

Oregon has three separate minimum wages that vary based on work location and inflation (as applicable), which are labeled Portland Metro, Standard, and Nonurban. The Standard minimum wage is applicable to the counties of Benton, Clatsop, Columbia, Deschutes, Hood River, Jackson, Josephine, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Marion, Polk, Tillamook, Wasco, Yamhill, and parts of Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington outside the urban growth boundary. The Standard minimum wage is $14.20 per hour between July 1, 2023, and June 30, 2024. It will be adjusted annually, effective July 1, based on the increase, if any, to the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers for the US City Average.

Continue Reading Oregon Slated To Increase Minimum Wage Effective July 1, 2024