2020 Legal Updates for Employers to Stay Compliant

Is Your Business Compliant with the New Law & HR Updates for 2020?

The numerous updates to the labor and employment laws and policies have taken effect as the start of 2020 came and went. From overtime updates to new labor law poster requirements, each employer must meet the new federal and state laws and policies now in effect. At Employer Support Services, we’ve summarized some of the major HR updates and law and regulation updates in effect for 2020 for the benefit of employers across the United States.


Labor Law Poster Updates

At both the federal and state levels, there are requirements and laws stating that employers need to display specific posters where employees can easily view them. The Department of Labor provides a free tool online to help employers find the required federal posters for their business in 2020. In addition, Employer Support Services offers up-to-date labor law posters for free. Contact ESS today for your free labor law poster.

In addition to federally required posters, individual states require specific posters as well. This year, many state governments require poster updates. To check your state’s poster requirements, visit your state’s individual website and locate poster requirements.


Minimum Wage Update Per State

On January 1, 2020, 21 states automatically updated their minimum wages in varying degrees including:

  1. Alaska
  2. Arizona
  3. Arkansas
  4. California
  5. Colorado
  6. Florida
  7. Illinois
  8. Maine
  9. Maryland
  10. Massachusetts
  11. Michigan
  12. Minnesota
  13. Missouri
  14. Montana
  15. New Jersey
  16. New Mexico
  17. New York
  18. Ohio
  19. South Dakota
  20. Vermont
  21. Washington

Connecticut, Delaware, Nevada, and Oregon are also set to increase their minimum wage later in the year. While each state is updating their minimum wage, not all employers will be subject to the changes. For instance, Nevada’s minimum wage update only affects employers who are not providing health benefits. Check your state for minimum wage increases. Any employers within the states where the updates occurred need to ensure they are paying appropriate minimum wages according to their state’s laws.


2020 W-4 UpdateMan filling out forms on their laptop

The Internal Revenue Service is also updating the W-4 form for 2020. All employees who are hired after January 1, 2020 will need to complete the newly updated form. For more information on the 2020 W-4 form, visit the irs.gov.


Overtime Exemption Rule

On January 1, 2020, the United States Department of Labor’s ruling to increase the standard salary minimum for overtime eligibility went into effect. All employees making below $35,568 are eligible for overtime pay. The ruling had employers reclassifying more than 1.3 million employees. To learn more about the new overtime rule and the nonexempt status, exemption rules, highly compensated employees, and the use of commission, incentives, and bonuses, read more in our What Employers Need To Know About The 2020 Overtime Exemption Rule article.


State Laws for Nursing MothersMother holding her child

Back in 2010, Congress required employers with more than 50 employees to provide “reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk” and “a place other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public.” Today, 29 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico have put in additional laws to protect nursing employees in the workplace, and employers can expect more states to follow suit in the future. Check with your state laws to ensure you are providing the required accommodations to nursing mothers in the workplace this year.


Marijuana Policy

There are now 33 states in which medical marijuana is legal, and there are 11 states which allow both legal recreational and medical marijuana use. When it comes to on-the-job use, however, no business is forced to tolerate recreational use by employees while they are on the job. Just as alcohol may not be permitted in your workplace, even though it can be legally consumed in your state, similar restrictions can be placed on recreational marijuana use at your workplace.

When it comes to medical marijuana use in a state where it is legal, you may have to make reasonable accommodations. Meaning, if your business is in a state where medical marijuana is legal and an employee is prescribed medical marijuana, they may be protected by law. Consult your state’s laws to discover the extent of allowances.

In regards to both recreational and medical marijuana use on the job, it is important that you have your employee handbook updated with the appropriate policies for your business. You’ll need this as legal documentation to protect your business if issues arise around marijuana use. If your HR department needs help in updating your employee handbook for marijuana use, contact ESS today.

Each new year brings many legal and HR updates for employers across the United States. To stay in compliance with your laws and to protect your business, contact ESS. We’ll help you stay compliant and update your processes, legal documents, and policies.

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