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Legislative Updates – July 27, 2021

 

California

Insurance Exams

On July 23, 2021, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed CA S.B. 283, prohibiting a life or disability income insurer from requiring an HIV test to determine an individual’s insurability, (except as specified) and from considering specified traits of an applicant, including actual or perceived sexual orientation, in determining whether to require an HIV test of that applicant.

City of West Hollywood

On July 19, 2021, the City Council approved an ordinance protecting hospitality workers from various forms of abuse, including threatening sexual conduct.

City of Pasadena

On July 20, 2021, Health Department Director Ying-Ying Goh announced that all individuals are required to wear a mask when indoors.

City of Yorba Linda

On July 20, 2021, the City Council voted to end the City’s local COVID-19 emergency.

City of San Juan Capistrano

On July 20, 2021, the City Council voted to end the City’s local COVID-19 emergency.

 

Colorado

City of Longmont

On July 21, 2021, City Manager Harold Dominguez terminated the local disaster emergency declaration.

 

Connecticut

Harassment Training

Effective October 1, 2021, the state’s sexual harassment training requirements are amended.  Moving forward, if an employee has received in-person training provided by the Commission or has taken the no-cost online training provided by the Commission while employed by a different employer within the two years preceding the date of hire, an employer may consider the prior training to satisfy the training requirements. CT S.B. 1023

Data Breach Liability

Effective October 1, 2021, courts are prohibited from assessing punitive damages in data breach litigation against a covered defendant that created, maintained, and complied with a cybersecurity program. CT Public Act 21-119

 

Delaware

Minimum wage

Effective January 1, 2022, the minimum wage is raised to $10.50 per hour from $9.25 per hour. Tipped employees move to $8.27 per hour from $7.02.

 

Florida

Independent Contractor Reporting

Effective October 1, 2021, employers are required to submit new hire reports for independent contractors paid $600 or more per calendar year for services provided in their trade or business. Previously, reporting of independent contractors was optional.  FL Stat 409.2576

 

Georgia

City of Savannah

On July 26, 2021, Mayor Van Johnson reinstated the City’s mask mandate.

 

Illinois

Over the Counter Medication

On July 22, 2021, Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed IL H.B. 0135 giving individuals the ability to obtain birth control without a prescription.

 

Maine

 Jobs & Recovery Plan

On July 19, 2021, Gov. Janet Mills signed ME L.D. 1733 the Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan. Funding childcare, housing, broadband, health care subsidies, workforce training and economic recovery grants.

New Hire Requirements

On July 6, 2021, Gov. Janet Mills signed ME L.D. 1167 prohibiting an employer from requesting the following: criminal history record information on an initial employee application form, stating on an initial employee application form or advertisement or specifying (prior to determining if a person is otherwise qualified for the position) that an individual with a criminal history may not apply or will not be considered for a position.

Discrimination

Effective October 18, 2021, the Maine Human Rights Act is amended to prohibit employers from discriminating against individuals who have sought and received an order of protection under the state’s domestic violence law. ME S.B. 422

 

Minnesota

Employee Accommodation

Effective January 1, 2021, pregnancy accommodation requirements are amended. The statute now applies to employers with fifteen or more employees. In addition, the length-of-service and hours-worked requirements for employee eligibility will be removed. Lactation accommodation is limited to an employee’s ability to take lactation breaks in the 12 months following the child’s birth and prohibits an employer from reducing an employee’s compensation for time used to express milk. MN S.B. 9A

Houston County

On July 13, 2021, the County Commissioners ended the COVID-19 Emergency Declaration.

 

Missouri

City of St. Louis

On July 23, 2021, Mayor Tishaura O. Jones announced that individuals over the age of five are required to wear a mask in an indoor public place and on public transportation.

St. Louis County

On July 23, 2021, County Executive Sam Page announced that individuals over the age of five are required to wear a mask in an indoor public place and on public transportation.

 

Nevada

Clark County

On July 20, 2021, the County Commissioners approved a mask requirement for employees of all businesses within the county. Patrons of those businesses are not required to wear a mask.

 

New Jersey

City of Lambertville

On July 23, 2021, the City Council passed an ordinance to allow the retail sale of cannabis.

 

New York

Cell Phone Insurance

On July 22, 2021, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed NY S.4483/A.4672 providing individuals the ability to obtain insurance protection for their cell phones through their credit card, debit card or checking account. Prior to the passage of the legislation, state law did not allow credit or debit card issuers and banks to insure their customers’ wireless communication devices from damage, loss or theft.

 

North Carolina

Safety Precautions

On July 21, 2021, in a press conference, Gov. Roy Cooper announced that the state would not renew its facial mask mandate on its expected expiration date, July 30, 2021.

 

Oregon

Clean Energy

On July 19, 2021, Gov. Kate Brown signed OR H.B. 2021 requiring retail electricity providers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with electricity sold to Oregon consumers to 80 percent below baseline emissions levels by 2030, 90 percent below baseline emissions levels by 2035 and 100 percent below baseline emissions levels by 2040.

Workplace Training

On July 23, 2021, Oregon OSHA is accepting grant applications for the creation of innovative on-the-job safety and health training programs. Applications are due by 5 p.m. October 8, 2021, and each applicant can request up to $40,000 per grant project.

 

Rhode Island

Reward Card Program

On July 20, 2021, Governor Dan McKee, the Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau (PWCVB), and Rhode Island Commerce initiated a program designed to raise spending at small businesses, due to COVID-19. The “Go Providence Pass” program will provide $100 reward cards to guests who book and stay at participating Providence hotels.

Pay Equity

Effective January 1, 2023, employers may not utilize salary history inquiries and require pay range disclosure. Employees performing comparable work must be paid equally unless an employer can justify a wage differential based on seniority, merit, job-related education, training, or another reasonable non-discriminatory factor. In addition, employers may not inquire about or rely on an applicant’s salary history to make hiring decisions or pay determinations. Fines for non-compliance begin in 2025 and may reach $1,000 for a first violation and up to $5,000 for an employer with two or more previous violations. RI H 5261A, S 0270A

Business Operations

On July 26, 2021, Gov. Dan McKee signed RI H 6119B / 2021, S 0654A permitting restaurants to continue providing outdoor dining.

 

Washington

Food Production Paid Leave 

On July 20, 2021, Gov. Jay Inslee terminated his proclamation prohibiting agricultural employers from operating unless they implemented a Food Production Paid Leave program for their workers.

Unemployment Benefits

On July 20, 2021, Gov. Jay Inslee terminated his proclamation that waived/suspended the requirement of deductions from unemployment benefits for lump sum payments.