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Human Resources

HR In Aggregate: Top HR News

Oregon OSHA Issues Temporary Heat Standard

On July 8, 2021, Oregon’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Oregon OSHA) adopted emergency Heat Illness Prevention rules to establish workplace heat safety requirements that apply when temperatures in a work area reach or exceed 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The rules are effective immediately. Learn More

 

Washington Becomes Second State to Issue Emergency Heat Standard

On July 9, 2021, Washington’s Department of Labor & Industries filed an emergency rule to increase protection for employees exposed to extreme heat at work. This includes employees working in agriculture, construction, and other outdoor industries. The new regulations took effect on July 13, 2021. Learn More

 

PBGC Issues Interim Final Rule on the American Rescue Plan Act’s Special Financial Assistance Program

On July 9, 2021, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation issued its interim final rule implementing the Special Financial Assistance (SFA) program passed in March 2021 as part of President Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. The SFA program is designed to address the immediate financial crisis facing certain multiemployer plans. The PBGC estimates that through the SFA program it will provide $94 billion to more than 200 plans, impacting over three million participants and their beneficiaries. Learn More

 

Employers Must Collect Employee Premiums under the New “Washington Cares” Program Starting 1/1/2022; Employee Window to Obtain Alternate Coverage Closes on 11/1/2021

On April 21, 2021, Governor Jay Inslee signed into effect the Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS) Trust Act, now called the “WA Cares Fund” (or “Fund”), making Washington the first state in the country to adopt a mandatory, public, state-run long-term care insurance program for workers. Learn More

 

Employment Highlights from Oregon’s Active 2021 Legislative Session

June 2021 culminated in the elimination of COVID-19 restrictions in Oregon and significant changes to the state’s employment laws during the 2021 legislative session. On June 25, 2021, Governor Kate Brown issued Executive Order 21-15 rescinding all remaining COVID-19 restrictions, allowing businesses to operate without a mask mandate or capacity limits, effective at midnight on June 30, 2021. The following day, Oregon’s legislative session adjourned after passing several noteworthy employment bills, including updates related to protected leave statutes, health and safety complaints, non-competition agreements, and discrimination, among others. Learn More

 

Tightening the Vise: N.J. Further Expands Power to Thwart Employee Misclassification

On July 8, 2021, N.J. Governor Phil Murphy signed a package of bills expanding the power of the Department of Labor and Workforce Development (DOLWD) to enforce state wage, benefit and tax laws, and enhancing penalties for employers that misclassify workers as independent contractors. Commenting on the Murphy administration’s continued campaign against independent contractor misclassification, Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo stated, “We should all be proud that New Jersey is the best state in which to be a worker in the entire country.” Learn More

 

Pennsylvania Repeals Rule Increasing Salary Threshold for White Collar Exemption and Restores State Law Exemptions to 1968 FLSA Standards

As a result of a compromise reached during recent budget negotiations, Pennsylvania repealed an administrative rule that would have substantially increased the salary threshold needed to qualify as an exempt executive, administrative and professional (EAP) employee under the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act (PMWA). Notably, the compromise did not just eliminate the increase to the salary threshold—it repealed the entire regulatory framework for defining the EAP exemptions under the PMWA. Learn More

 

Connecticut Places New Recall and Retention Obligations on Certain Hotels, Lodging Houses, Food Service Contractors, and Building Services Enterprises

On July 13, 2021, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont signed into law Substitute Senate Bill No. 658, An Act Requiring Employers to Recall Certain Laid-Off Workers in Order of Seniority (Act). The Act imposes stringent recall and retention obligations on hotels, lodging houses, food service contractors, and building services enterprises that have 15 or more employees in Connecticut, regardless of whether the employees are covered by a collective bargaining agreement. These new requirements are effective immediately. Learn More

 

 

Lisa Smith, SPHR, SHRM – SCP

Certified EEO Investigator (EEOC)

Lead Support and Content Chief – HelpDeskforHR.com

“You cannot be audit-proof, but you can Be Audit-Secure.”

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