In February 2019, the Arizona Court of Appeals, Division One ruled that the Arizona State Legislature overstepped its authority in 2016, when it prohibited Arizona cities and other municipalities from enacting their own employee benefits ordinances. That ruling reinstated part of a 2006 law that permitted Arizona municipalities to pass local ordinances requiring employers to provide employment benefits more favorable than those provided under statewide laws. On August 27, 2019, the Arizona Supreme Court denied review of the Court of Appeals decision. Thus, Arizona municipalities continue to be free to enact ordinances that may be more “employee friendly” than other applicable statewide laws.
On August 5, 2022, new Pennsylvania state wage-and-hour regulations for tipped and salaried nonexempt workers under the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act (PMWA) go into effect.
On December 13, 2021, New York Governor Kathy Hochul instituted a mandate requiring that masks be worn in indoor public spaces, unless a covered business has implemented a mandatory vaccination requirement. The mandate was set to be reevaluated on January 15, 2022. However, as part of her “Winter Surge Plan 2.0,” and before the mandate’s original expiration date, Governor Hochul extended the mask-or-vaccine requirement for an additional two weeks, until at least February 1, 2022. As part of the announcement, the governor indicated that the state would reassess masking requirements in February 2022.
On April 26, the California Supreme Court issued a decision providing useful clarification to employers intending to revise or enforce existing mandatory arbitration agreements. In summary, the court ruled that: (1) clear error of law will serve as a basis for vacating an arbitrator’s award where the error deprives an employee of a hearing on the merits of their Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) claims or other unwaivable statutory claims;