Legislative (Federal and State) Developments

Earlier this year, we wrote about a proposed bill in California, AB 51, which would prevent employers from requiring their employees to bring all employment-related claims, including discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and wage and hour claims, in arbitration instead of state or federal court.  Earlier this month, Governor Newsom signed AB 51 into law.
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This month, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed several employment-related bills into law. The laws go into effect January 1, 2020, and include an extension to the deadline to file certain state discrimination claims and address harassment training and prevention, as well as mandatory arbitration agreements.
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The IRS has issued final regulations amending the hardship distribution rules for qualified retirement plans, including 401(k) and 403(b) plans, as well as for 457(b) plans. The final regulations are substantially similar to the proposed regulations that were issued in November 2018, but provide a few clarifications.  Plans that have been complying with the proposed regulations will satisfy the final regulations.
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On June 5, 2019, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak signed into law Assembly Bill No. 132, which is the first state law to curb pre-employment marijuana drug tests.  The new law has two primary effects: 1) it makes it unlawful for Nevada employers to fail or refuse to hire a prospective employee because the applicant submitted to a screening test and the results of the test indicate the presence of marijuana; and 2) it provides employees who test positive for marijuana with the right to, at their own expense, rebut the original test results by submitting an additional screening test within the first 30 days of employment. 
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Paid Family and Medical Leave, or PFML, is fast approaching and Massachusetts employers need to begin preparing for the upcoming July 1, 2019 effective date. Not only do employers need to understand their obligations, but there are affirmative actions they must take now – which is well in advance of the January 1, 2021 commencement of the benefits taking effect.
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A new Virginia law will require employers to provide current or former employees with copies of certain employment-related documents upon request. Effective July 1, 2019, Virginia employers must provide a copy of a limited set of employment documents to employees upon receipt of a written request for such information from the employee, her attorney or an authorized insurer.
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