Legislative (Federal and State) Developments

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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The House of Representatives passed the Equality Act (H.R. 5 – 116th Congress) this past Friday, May 17, mostly along party lines – the resolution passed with a 236 to 173 vote, with only 8 of the “aye” votes cast by Republicans.  The Equality Act would amend various civil rights laws, including the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Civil Rights Act”), the Fair Housing Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the Jury Selection and Services Act, and other laws regarding employment with the federal government, to explicitly include sexual orientation and gender identity as protected characteristics.
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To all employers in Washington DC who employ tipped workers, heed this warning: as of July 1, 2019, you must comply with new notice, reporting, and training requirements, as set forth in the Tipped Wage Workers Fairness Amendment Act of 2018.
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Each year, the California Chamber of Commerce identifies proposed state legislation that the Chamber believes “will decimate economic and job growth in California.”  The Chamber refers to these bills as “Job Killers.” In March, the Chamber identified the first two Job Killers of 2019: AB 51 and SB 1.
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