Doing Business Across State Lines in 2018: A Quick Look at New Employment Law Requirements in Neighboring States

by McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC
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Keeping up with compliance requirements under Pennsylvania and federal laws can be challenging enough; however, for Pennsylvania employers that do business in multiple states, the compliance burden can grow exponentially.  It is expected that we will see little new federal employment legislation over the next few years.  However, the lack of legislative activity in Washington may prompt some state legislatures to place a greater emphasis on employment issues than usual.  It already appears that 2018 will yield a bumper crop of new state employment laws across the nation.  California, as usual, leads the league in new employment laws with a dozen new state employment laws taking effect on January 1, 2018.  Pennsylvania has no new notable employment laws scheduled to take effect; however, as we previously reported, Governor Wolf is aiming to revise overtime regulations under the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act.  Several of our neighboring states (New Jersey and West Virginia) have no new employment laws taking effect in 2018 – while New York has a number of new laws on the books.  Here is a very quick look at new state employment laws taking effect in 2018 among the states that border Pennsylvania.

New York

Paid Family Leave – This law is perhaps the most likely to trip up unwary Pennsylvania employers.  Any employer that employs at least one employee in New York for at least 30 days during the calendar year is covered; however, employees are not eligible for benefits until they have worked 26 consecutive weeks (or 175 days of employment for employees who average fewer than 20 hours per week).  Eligible employees will be eligible for 8 weeks of paid family leave in 2018 and this entitlement gradually increases to 12 weeks by 2021.  Pay during leave is based on a fraction of the state’s average weekly wage.  Employers may purchase coverage or self-insure.  Employees may be charged to cover all or part of the premium via payroll deduction.

Workplace Safety (Smoking) – Effective November 22, 2017, employees are now prohibited from vaping in workplaces (and other public places).

Salary History (New York City Ordinance) – Following suit with the City of Philadelphia, the Big Apple now prohibits covered employers from asking applicants about their salary history and from relying on that history unless the information is offered by the applicant voluntarily.  Note: Philadelphia’s Ordinance is currently being challenged in federal court and enforcement of the Ordinance has been stayed pending outcome of this litigation.

Delaware

Salary History – On December 14, 2017, Delaware’s law prohibiting employers from seeking an applicant’s pay history from current or former employers.  Delaware is the third state to pass such legislation, joining California and Massachusetts.  As noted above, several cities (including Philadelphia) have passed ordinances with similar requirements.

Data Breach Notifications – Delaware was one of several states to update its laws governing notifications in the event of data breaches (i.e. identity theft prevention).  The new requirements take effect April 4, 2018.

Maryland

Data Breach Notifications – Like Delaware, Maryland has updated its law governing notifications in the event of data breaches.  The amendments took effect January 1, 2018.

Ohio

Unemployment Insurance – Ohio’s law governing unemployment insurance has been amended effective January 1, 2018 to require employers to submit quarterly wage and contribution reports electronically.

We hope that this quick summary is helpful.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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