2022 U.S. Employer Law Changes to Consider

The COVID-19 pandemic and the rise of the remote working culture have been true game-changers in the employment segment. They have affected every facet of how businesses operate, including labor law policies. Corporate policies, employment contracts, bylaws, and agreements are all part of above.

The policies in force in 2021 or earlier may no longer be relevant in 2022. As the pandemic continues and cases increase, there could be ongoing changes to labor laws. Let us look at the 2022 employment law updates across different regions in the U.S. you need to consider.

Federal Labor Law Changes

Wage & Hour

  • United States DOL Final Rule re: Partial Withdrawal of Tip Regulations under the FLSA (29 CFR Part 531)

    This change reemphasizes the 80/20 rule overseeing the payment of employees who receive tips according to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Employers remain entitled to tip credit only when they perform tipped occupation work. Any work outside tipped activities will need a payment of full minimum wage.

  • United States DOL Final Rule re: Tip Regulations under the FLSA and Partial Withdrawal (29 CFR Parts 531, 578, 579, and 580)

    There are clarifications on amendments related to section 3(m) of the FLSA. The Department of Labor (DOL) has the right to levy penalties on employers of up to $1,100 per violation if they unlawfully hold back employee tips.

Government Contractors

  • White House Executive Order 14042 on Ensuring Adequate COVID Safety Protocols for Federal Contractors

    Executive agencies need to amend federal contracts. This will enable federal contractors to take measures to fight COVID-19. Subcontractors also need to take the same measures.

COVID-19

  • United States OSHA COVID-19 Vaccination & Testing Emergency Temporary Standard (29 CFR Parts 1910, 1915, 1917, 1918, 1926, 1928)

    Employers with 100+ employees need to have a compulsory COVID-19 vaccination policy. There will be exceptions for employers that ask employees to get vaccinated or undergo regular COVID-19 tests and cover their faces with masks. Religious and medical exceptions will apply for qualifying people.

    Each covered employee needs full vaccination or weekly COVID-19 tests starting 04 January 2022. Employers should also get vaccination proof from their employees. Vaccination and testing records will not be subject to the 30-year document retention policy.

Healthcare Industry

  • United States CMS Omnibus COVID-19 Health Care Staff Vaccination Interim Final Rule

    Each staff member of Medicaid- and Medicare-related healthcare providers should be fully vaccinated by 04 January 2022. Exemptions will remain applicable on medical or religious grounds.

Alabama Labor Law Updates

Non-disparagement Contract Clauses

  • Alabama HB 494

    This change gives SOPs for the creation of non-disparagement agreements. Some circumstances give plaintiffs the chance to recover liquidated damages for clause breaches.

COVID-19

  • Alabama SB 9

    Employers need to allow religious exemptions for vaccination mandates.

Learn more about the hours and pay regulations, minimum wages, overtime laws and time off policies under the Alabama Labor Law

California Labor Law Changes

Wage Theft

  • California AB 1003

    Intentional wage theft of $950 from one or $2350 from multiple employees during a year will amount to grand theft. Independent contractors are also protected under this law.

Protected Time Off

  • California AB 1033

    Employees can use CFRA leave to look after their parents-in-law.

Criminal Background Checks

  • California AB 1171

    Employers need to report felony convictions but are exempt from reporting misdemeanor convictions of employees. The requirement is that employers must notify parents/guardians if their child will be supervised by an employee with the specified convictions.

Independent Contractors

  • California AB 1506

    Newspaper carriers get the ABC test exemption until 31 December 2024.

  • California AB 1561

    Licensed manicurists, construction trucking workers, data aggregators, research subjects, claims adjusters, third-party administrators, and manufactured housing salespeople get the ABC test exemption till 31 December 2024.

Protected Time Off

  • California AB 1578

    Public sector workers can take CFRA leave to care for parents-in-law.

Production Quotas

  • California AB 701

    Warehouse distribution center employers should give the quota description of employees when hired. There is also a prohibition on quotas that prevent employees from fulfilling health and safety laws, rest periods, and meals.

Port Drayage Motor Carriers

  • California AB 794

    Port drayage motor carriers get financial incentives if they opt for electric vehicles.

Privacy: Data Security Breach Notification

  • California AB 825

    In addition to the existing notification guidelines, individuals must now be notified if their genetic data is involved in a security breach.

Benefits: Health Insurance

  • California SB 255

    Employer associations can deliver healthcare services plans in line with ERISA if they have their headquarters in California.

  • California SB 326

    This change lists the requirements for employer welfare arrangements related to group health plans.

Nondisclosure Agreements

  • California SB 331

    Employers remain prohibited from asking employees to sign non-disparagement and settlement agreements, such as those related to discrimination, harassment, and unlawful acts in the workplace.

Port Drayage Motor Carriers: Employer Liability

  • California SB 338

    Customers who engage with and use the port drayage motor carrier will remain jointly and severally liable for penalties and damages based on violations.

Wage & Hour: Penalties

  • California SB 572

    Labor Commissioners can place liens on properties to recover penalties arising due to violation of labor codes.

Employer Liability

  • California SB 606

    If employers do not refute the presumption created by this bill, DOSH can issue employer-wide citations.

  • California SB 62

    This change prohibits payment to garment workers on a piece-rate basis. Contractors and garment manufacturers face penalties of $200 per employee.

Disability: Subminimum Wage

  • California SB 639

    The licensing program for subminimum wages for specially-abled persons has been phased out. By 01 January 2025, all such employees will get no less than local and state minimum wages.

Labor Relations: PAGA Exemption

  • California SB 646

    PAGA gets an exception for janitorial employees regarding work completed through a valid collective bargaining agreement.

Employee Notifications

  • California SB 657

    Employers now have the authority to provide postings and notices via emails.

Benefits: Health Insurance

  • California SB 718

    Employer associations can deliver healthcare services plans until 01 January 2026, in line with ERISA.

Employer Liability

  • California SB 727

    Private construction contracts and direct contractors face joint liability for liquidated damages arising due to unpaid wages.

Tolling of Claims

  • California SB 807

    This change tolls the time for civil actions initiated by FEHA when DFEH files a civil action or issues notice of closed investigations.

Benefits: Health Insurance

  • California: San Francisco 2022 Healthcare Expenditure Rate (Annual Announcement)

    Employers with 100 or more employees now have a healthcare expenditure rate of USD 3.30 per hour. The rate is USD 2.20 per hour for employers with an employee count between 20 and 99.

Learn more about the hours and pay regulations, minimum wages, overtime laws and time off policies under the California Labor Law

Colorado Labor Law Updates

Home Health Services

  • Colorado HB 1123

    Employers should provide employees access to the professional licence number issued by the Department of Regulatory Agencies in cases where an employee is substantiated due to mistreatment or of an at-risk adult.

Right of Retention

  • Colorado: Denver Ordinance No. 21-0818

    Workers who provide services under city contracts, including janitorial, airport, parking, security, and childcare, now have a right of retention at the time of contract expiration or change in control.

Learn more about the hours and pay regulations, minimum wages, overtime laws and time off policies under the Colorado Labor Law

Connecticut Labor Law Changes

Unemployment Insurance

  • Connecticut HB 6633

    This change restructures unemployment insurance benefits and amendments to employer contributions.

Employer Tax Credits

  • Connecticut SB 72

    Employers who pay for student loans for full-time employees receive a tax credit.

Learn more about the hours and pay regulations, minimum wages, overtime laws and time off policies under the Connecticut Labor Law

District of Columbia Labor Law Updates

Protected Time Off: D.C. FMLA

  • District of Columbia B 285

    The Universal Paid Leave Act has been amended. The paid leave entitlement now includes2 workweeks of pre-natal leave, 8 workweeks of parental leave, 6 workweeks each for family leave & medical leave.

Learn more about the hours and pay regulations, minimum wages, overtime laws and time off policies under the District of Columbia Labor Law

Hawaii Labor Law Changes

Wage and Tax Statement Filing

  • Hawaii SB 1196 (HB 1042)

    The due date for employers to file tax and wage statements has been changed to the last day of February. The old due date was January 31.

Learn more about the hours and pay regulations, minimum wages, overtime laws and time off policies under the Hawaii Labor Law

Illinois Employment Law Updates

Benefits: 401K/Retirement/Pension

  • Illinois HB 117

    The Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program Act has been amended. It now includes employers with a minimum of five employees instead of 25 or more.

Salary History

  • Illinois HB 1207

    Employers continue to be prohibited from asking about an applicant’s salary. They can provide compensation details for the applied position.

Disability Discrimination

  • Illinois HB 1838

    Disability-related discrimination now includes discrimination against an individual because of their association with the disability.

Protected Time Off: Domestic Violence

  • Illinois HB 3582

    Victims of violent crimes and their family members now receive unpaid leave. Victims also get voluntary leave benefits.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) & Robotics

  • Illinois HB 53

    Employers who rely on artificial intelligence to screen interview candidates should report race- and ethnicity-related data of selected and non-selected candidates.

Hospitality: Human Trafficking

  • Illinois HB 1600

    Restaurants and truck stops need to provide their employees with training to recognize human trafficking.

EEO Reporting

  • Illinois SB 1730

    Public corporations should report the self-identified gender identity and self-identified sexual orientation of their directors.

Civil Procedure

  • Illinois SB 2486

    Individuals aggrieved due to disclosures in a disciplinary report can complain to the state Director of Labor. They can also approach the court within three years of the violation.

Benefits: Health Insurance

  • Illinois SB 258

    Employers can remove children from the health insurance coverage of obligors. This applies when the employer does not provide a group health insurance plan or the child is not eligible due to state or federal restrictions.

Non-Compete Agreements

  • Illinois SB 672

    Employers cannot enter into non-compete agreements with employees who earn less than USD 75,000 annually.

Learn more about the hours and pay regulations, minimum wages, overtime laws and time off policies under the Illinois Employment Law

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Minnesota Employment Law Changes

Lactation Accommodation

  • Minnesota SB 9

    Employers cannot cut an employee’s pay during the lactation break. Employees should also be provided with reasonable accommodation during pregnancy and childbirth.

Learn more about the hours and pay regulations, minimum wages, overtime laws and time off policies under the Minnesota Employment Law

Montana Employment Law Updates

Discrimination: Off-Duty Conduct

  • Montana HB 701 (LC 2367)

    Employers cannot discriminate against an employee for legal use of marijuana outside of their working hours.

Benefits: Health Insurance

  • Montana SB 217 (LC 759)

    Different employer welfare arrangements should comply with the Mental Health Parity Act.

Learn more about the hours and pay regulations, minimum wages, overtime laws and time off policies under the Montana Employment Law

New Jersey Employment Law Changes

Employee Misclassification

  • New Jersey AB 5892 (SB 3922)

    Employers cannot misclassify employees to evade payments related to insurance premiums. This is a violation of the New Jersey Insurance Fraud Prevention Act and invites a penalty of USD 5,000 for the first violation.

Learn more about the hours and pay regulations, minimum wages, overtime laws and time off policies under the New Jersey Employment Law

New York Employment Law Updates

Employer Liability

  • New York SB 2766C/AB 3350A

    General contractors remain severally and jointly liable for wages, benefits, and wage supplements owed by subcontractors to construction workers.

Whistleblower Protection

  • New York SB 4394(AB2546)

    Whistleblower protection now extends to former employees and independent contractors. The amendment also protects employees who report law-violating policies or practices of their employer.

Privacy: Surveillance

  • New York AB 430 (SB 2628)

    Employers should post and give employees written notice ofany electronic monitoring they are likely to be subject to.

Protected Time Off: Paid FMLA

  • New York Final Rule re: Paid Family Leave Intermittent Leave (12 NYCRR 380-2.5)

    This change clarifies the intermittent leave days for eligible employees. They can take a maximum of 60 days’ leave as long as they work at least five days a week.

Discrimination: Protected Classifications

  • New York: NYC Int. No. 0339-2018

    This change amends the New York City Human Rights Law such that domestic workers are now included as covered employees.

Labor Relations

  • New York: NYC Int. No. 2252-2021

    City human services contractors should enter into labor peace agreements.

Learn more about the hours and pay regulations, minimum wages, overtime laws and time off policies under the New York Employment Law

North Carolina Employment Law Changes

Discrimination: Protected Classifications

  • North Carolina: Wake County Ordinance No. 16-3697/ North Carolina: Charlotte Ordinance No. 2021-115

    Employers cannot discriminate in employment based on a protected class. The amended definition of protected class includes gender expression, sexual orientation, gender identity, and natural hairstyle.

Discrimination: Protected Classifications

  • North Carolina: Winston-Salem Ordinance No. 2021-23

    Employers cannot discriminate in employment and public accommodations based on a protected class.

Learn more about the hours and pay regulations, minimum wages, overtime laws and time off policies under the North Carolina Employment Law

North Dakota Labor Law Changes

Tax Issues

  • North Dakota HB 1082

    Employers should file an annual return to the tax commissioner. This applies when the deducted and withheld amount is less than USD 1,000.

Learn more about the hours and pay regulations, minimum wages, overtime laws and time off policies under the North Dakota Labor Law

Ohio Employment Law Changes

Title III Accommodations

  • Ohio: Cincinnati Ordinance No. 202102521

    Everyone should have equal access to single-occupancy toilet facilities in public places, irrespective of their sex, gender identity, physical or mental capacity, or familial status.

Learn more about the hours and pay regulations, minimum wages, overtime laws and time off policies under the Ohio Employment Law

Oregon Labor Law Changes

Record Retention: Workers’ Compensation Claims

  • Oregon HB 2039

    Employers can keep worker compensation records outside Oregon if they remain available with the Department of Consumer and Business Services at a location within Oregon.

Statute of Limitations

  • Oregon HB 2420

    This change provides aone-year extension to the statute of limitations for filing workplace health and safety reporting retaliations.

Protected Time Off

  • Oregon HB 2474

    Employers with one or more employees are now entitled to family leave provisions to cover the closure of childcare providers or schools due to situations like COVID-19.

Discrimination: Protected Classifications

  • Oregon HB 2935

    This change expands the meaning of race to include natural hairstyles.

Worker Classification

  • Oregon HB 3188

    This update changes the definition of “worker” to include people who charge compensation for services. The only exception is independent contractors.

Non-Compete Agreements

  • Oregon SB 169

    This change clarifies the definition of protectable interest necessary for an enforceable non-compete agreement. The duration of non-compete agreements is a year from the time the employee resigns.

Hiring Discrimination

  • Oregon SB 569

    This change makes it unlawful for employers to ask for a valid driver’s license, unless it is a legal requirement to perform the job.

Learn more about the hours and pay regulations, minimum wages, overtime laws and time off policies under the Oregon Labor Law

Pennsylvania Employment Law Changes

Drug Testing

  • Pennsylvania: Philadelphia Bill No. 200625

    Employers cannot ask employees to get tested for the presence of marijuana before hiring them.

Learn more about the hours and pay regulations, minimum wages, overtime laws and time off policies under the Pennsylvania Employment Law

Rhode Island Labor Law Changes

Hospitality: Human Trafficking

  • Rhode Island HB 5270

    Hotels should, in good faith, post human trafficking awareness messages in English and one more language if spoken by 10 percent of the staff.

Learn more about the hours and pay regulations, minimum wages, overtime laws and time off policies under the Rhode Island Labor Law

Texas Employment Law Changes

Background Checks: Criminal

  • Texas: DeSoto Fair Chance Ordinance

    Employers cannot inquire about the criminal history of employees on initial job applications.

Learn more about the hours and pay regulations, minimum wages, overtime laws and time off policies under the Texas Employment Law

Washington Labor Law Changes

Wage & Hour: Penalties

  • Washington SB 5355 (HB 1369)

    Employees, except highly-paid ones as defined by statute, can now place liens on the personal and real properties of employers for wage claims.

Noncompete Agreements

  • Washington 2022 Non-Compete Enforceability Thresholds (Annual Announcement)

    This change increases the non-compete enforceability threshold to cover inflation with the consumer price index.

Workplace Posters

  • Washington Final Rule re: Posting Citation and Notices (WAC 296-900-13015)

    This change extends the required posting duration ofworkplace safety citations by a week. Employers can be notified via electronic citations and workplace postings.

Learn more about the hours and pay regulations, minimum wages, overtime laws and time off policies under the Washington Labor Law

West Virginia Employment Law Changes

Discrimination: COVID-19

  • West Virginia HB 335

    Employers must now permit medical or notarized certification from licensed physicians or advanced practice registered nurses that indicate the individual’s religious beliefs prevent them from getting vaccinated.

Learn more about the hours and pay regulations, minimum wages, overtime laws and time off policies under the West Virginia Employment Law

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Naved Peerzada
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Naved Peerzada
Naved works as a consultant with Replicon. He is a business and marketing storyteller who specializes in writing content for b2b businesses in the tech, finance, and SaaS space. Replicon provides award-winning products that make it easy to manage your workforce. With complete solution sets for client billing, project costing, and time and attendance management, Replicon enables the capture, administration, and optimization of your most underutilized and important asset: time.
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