Colorado Expands Employer Job Posting Obligations: Promotional Opportunity Evolution

Employers across the country have grappled with the requirements of Colorado’s Equal Pay for Equal Work Act (EPEWA), since it went into effect on January 1, 2021. The act was the only one of its kind at the time, and has spawned similar legislative efforts around the country, including in California, New York, and Washington. Yet the Centennial State has stood alone in its requirement that employers notify their Colorado employees of “promotional opportunities” available to them, no matter where those opportunities exist in the organization or whether those employees might be qualified for or interested in such jobs.

Minnesota Worker Safety Legislation for Meatpacking and Warehouse Industries Signed Into Law

On May 24, 2023, Governor Tim Walz signed Senate File No. 3035, which, among other provisions, amends the Packinghouse Workers Bill of Rights (Minn. Stat. § 179.86), creates new meatpacking workplace safety requirements with the Safe Workplaces for Meat and Poultry Processing Workers Act, and limits the use of quotas in the “Warehouse Distribution Worker Safety” law.

Minnesota Extends Protections and Accommodations for Pregnant and Lactating Employees

On May 24, 2023, Governor Tim Walz signed into law legislation that further expands protections for nursing and pregnant employees in Minnesota. The amendment, included in Senate File 3035, builds on the changes that became effective in January 2022 to Minnesota’s nursing mothers and pregnancy accommodations law (Minn. Stat. § 181.939).

New Washington State Law Will Protect Job Applicants From Discrimination Based on Off-Duty Marijuana Use

Employers in Washington will soon be prohibited from making hiring decisions based on preemployment testing for off-the-job cannabis use or test results showing nonpsychoactive cannabis metabolites in an applicant’s hair, blood, urine, or other bodily fluids. Washington’s new law, Senate Bill 5123, signed by Governor Jay Inslee on May 9, 2023, takes effect on January 1, 2024.

Minnesota Governor Signs Labor Funding, Noncompete Ban Bill Into Law

On May 24, 2023, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz signed into law a sweeping omnibus jobs and economic development and labor funding bill that will invest $500 million in a fund to match federal investments in infrastructure and large-scale development projects. This bill also fundamentally changes several areas of Minnesota employment law, including instituting a ban on employer-employee noncompete agreements signed after July 1, 2023, establishing new paid sick leave entitlements, providing employees with additional pregnancy and nursing accommodations, and adding new worker safety protections.

Minnesota Establishes State-Sponsored ‘Secure Choice’ Retirement Program for Private-Sector Employers Without Retirement Plans

On May 19, 2023, Governor Tim Walz signed into law House File No. 782, establishing the Minnesota Secure Choice retirement program. Minnesota has now joined California, Colorado, Oregon, Illinois, and other states in creating a state-run retirement savings program for employees working with small employers without their own retirement plans.

Minnesota Legislature Passes New Recreational Marijuana Bill

The Minnesota Legislature sent a recreational marijuana bill, House File 100, to Governor Tim Walz’s desk for his signature. Subject to various restrictions, the bill, allows individuals twenty-one years old and older to possess and transport various levels of cannabis products, consume cannabis in private/public areas, and grow it. Governor Walz is expected to sign the bill into law.

Sixth Circuit Adopts New Certification Process in FLSA Collective Actions

On May 19, 2023, in Clark v. A&L Home Care and Training Center, LLC., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit rejected the familiar two-step certification procedure in collective actions under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), instead requiring lead plaintiffs to demonstrate a “strong likelihood” that other employees they seek to represent are “similarly situated” to the original plaintiffs. In so ruling, the Sixth Circuit became just the second circuit court to expressly reject the familiar two-step certification procedure in FLSA collective actions.

Minnesota Lawmakers Pass Prospective Ban on Noncompete Provisions in Employment

Minnesota is set to ban noncompete provisions in employment contracts as part of a new omnibus bill headed to Governor Tim Walz’s desk. The bill will have a significant impact on Minnesota employers by banning true employment noncompete provisions entered into on or after July 1, 2023, but this bill would not apply retroactively to existing noncompete provisions and also would not apply to other common types of provisions used by Minnesota employers to protect trade secrets, to protect confidential information, and to protect against soliciting customers or employees.

Minnesota Legislature Moves Omnibus Jobs and Economic Development Bill Forward

On May 17, 2023, the Minnesota state legislature passed an omnibus jobs and economic development and labor funding bill that could have serious implications for employers in the state, including a ban on noncompete clauses, paid sick leave, pregnancy and nursing accommodations, and sweeping worker safety protections. The bill is now on its way to Governor Tim Walz’s desk for his signature.  Here are some key provisions of the bill.

The Public Health Emergency Has Ended; Colorado Employees May Use Public Health Emergency Leave for Three More Weeks

The end of the public health emergency (PHE) began the sunsetting of the Colorado Healthy Families and Workplaces Act’s requirement for employers in Colorado to provide PHE leave stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. This means that Colorado employees may use PHE leave through June 8, 2023.

Under SB 240, Texas Healthcare Facilities Will Be Required to Adopt Workplace Violence Prevention Plans by September 1, 2024

The state of Texas that has developed a workplace violence prevention standard for healthcare settings. When signed into law, Senate Bill (SB) 240, aimed at reducing acts of workplace violence directed against healthcare providers, will require each health facility to adopt a written workplace violence prevention policy and plan by September 1, 2024.