Don't Let January 1 Compliance Requirements Give You the Chills

Author: XpertHR Editorial Team

The start of the new year once again brings a flurry of new employment laws, especially at the state and local levels. With more than 130 new compliance requirements across more than 30 states and 30 localities, HR professionals will be challenged to stay on top of these developments and to ensure compliance in time for the new year.

At the federal level, the new year brings changes on the benefits front, including new rules related to health reimbursement accounts and the rescission of the health plan identifier; and changes to Fair Labor Standards Act regulations, including an increase in the minimum annual salary for most exempt employees. And, don't forget, as of January 1 employers must begin using the redesigned Form W-4, which eliminates withholding allowances and is now called the "Employee's Withholding Certificate."

The new year also brings new posting requirements. Be sure to review and update workplace posters at the federal, state and local levels.

To help you warm up to these new laws, we've summarized the key topics they cover and provide a list, by state, of employment law requirements that take effect on or about January 1.

Key Topics

Minimum Wage

Beginning January 1 (December 31, 2019, in New York) the minimum wage rate will increase in 21 states and in many localities across the US. In California alone, nearly 20 localities will see an increase in the minimum wage. Several cities - including St. Paul, Minnesota, and Menlo Park, Petaluma and South San Francisco, California - have minimum wage laws taking effect for the first time.

XpertHR's Minimum Wage Rates by State and Municipality 50-State Chart provides details on current and future minimum wage rates across the US.

Health Care Benefits

New laws affecting health care coverage continue the trend of increasing mandates and expanding required coverage. Individual health insurance mandates similar to the one established by the federal Affordable Care Act take effect in California, Rhode Island and Vermont. Connecticut and New York are expanding coverage in group health plans, while Louisiana will prohibit certain lifetime and annual limits on coverage.

Leaves of Absence

Leave benefits, both paid and unpaid, continue to expand at the state and local level. Employers in Nevada, Washington, and Duluth, Minnesota, have new obligations related to paid leave. At the same time, in New York and Rhode Island benefits will expand under existing paid leave laws.

The Leave Laws by State and Municipality 50-State Chart provides an overview of these and other leave requirements at the federal, state and local levels.

Discrimination and Harassment

Several states are strengthening workplace protections against discrimination and harassment, and these issues should remain top of mind for employers. Illinois, for example, is implementing sweeping changes to existing law to increase these protections, including requiring annual sexual harassment prevention training for employees.

Employers also should take note of a number of other upcoming laws related to data security, noncompete agreements and preemployment screening. New payroll requirements take effect as well, covering withholding, pay statements, deductions and, in the District of Columbia, the use of third-party payroll providers to pay tipped employees.

Federal, State and Local Developments

Federal

Topic Legal Development Effective Date
HIPAA

Health Plan Identifier Requirements No Longer in Effect

December 27, 2019
Health Care Benefits

New Health Reimbursement Account Rules Take Effect

January 1
Employee Classification

FLSA Overtime Rule Takes Effect

January 1
New Hire Paperwork All New Hires Must Be Provided Redesigned IRS Form W-4 January 1

Arkansas

Topic Legal Development Effective Date
Payroll Arkansas Supplemental Withholding Rate Decreases January 1

California

Topic Legal Development Effective Date
Discrimination California Requires Female Directors on Corporate Boards December 31, 2019
Affordable Care Act California Exchange Notice Requirement Takes Effect January 1
Affordable Care Act California Implements Individual Health Insurance Mandate January 1
Arbitration Agreements California Prohibits Mandatory Arbitration Agreements January 1
Data Security Breach California Expands Definition of Personal Information Under Data Breach Notification Law January 1
Discrimination California Extends Time to File Employment Discrimination Complaints January 1
Discrimination California Prohibits Discrimination Based on Hairstyle January 1
Employee Classification California Minimum Pay for Certain Overtime-Exempt Professionals Is Adjusted for Inflation January 1
Family and Medical Leave California Family Rights Act Amendments Regarding Flight Crew Employees Take Effect January 1
Flexible Spending Accounts California FSA Notice Requirement Takes Effect January 1
Independent Contractors California Codifies Dynamex Test for Independent Contractors January 1
Lactation Accommodations California Expands Lactation Accommodation Break and Facility Requirements, Requires Policy January 1
Organ Donor Leave California Amends Organ Donation Leave Law January 1
Privacy California's Consumer Privacy Act Takes Effect January 1
Retaliation California Amends Labor Commissioner Judgment Procedures January 1
Retaliation California Enhances Whistleblower Protections for Health Facilities Employees January 1
Terms of Employment California Prohibits No-Rehire Provisions in Settlement Agreements January 1
Training California Human Trafficking Awareness Training Requirements Take Effect for Certain Hospitality Employers January 1
Training California Janitor Survivor Empowerment Act Takes Effect January 1
Training California Requires Implicit Bias Training for Certain Health Care Providers January 1
Voter Protections California Amends Voter Protections January 1
Workplace Safety California Amends Cal/OSHA Act Compliance Requirements January 1
Workplace Safety California Amends Occupational Lead Poisoning Reporting Process January 1

Colorado

Topic Legal Development Effective Date
Organ Donor Leave Colorado Employers Eligible for Organ Donation Paid Leave Tax Credit January 1
Wage Theft Colorado Toughens Wage Theft Penalties January 1

Connecticut

Topic Legal Development Effective Date
Health Care Benefits Connecticut Expands Requirements for Hearing Aid Coverage January 1
Health Care Benefits Connecticut Strengthens Requirements for Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Benefits January 1

Delaware

Topic Legal Development Effective Date
Preemployment Screening Delaware Amends Expungement Law December 27, 2019
Payroll Delaware Withholding Deposit Thresholds Increase January 1

District of Columbia

Topic Legal Development Effective Date
Payroll District of Columbia Tipped Employee Payroll Provisions Take Effect January 1

Illinois

Topic Legal Development Effective Date
Data Security Breach Illinois Adds Notification Requirements to Data Breach Law January 1
Discrimination Illinois Requires Gender-Neutral Restrooms January 1
Discrimination; Harassment Illinois Workplace Transparency Act Takes Effect January 1
Interviewing Illinois Restricts Use of Artificial Intelligence to Analyze Videotaped Job Interviews January 1
Preemployment Screening Illinois Human Rights Act Amendment Clarifies Arrest Record Restrictions January 1
Tip Credit Illinois Amends Tip Credit Law January 1
Workplace Safety Illinois Expands Ban on Cell Phone Use While Driving January 1

Louisiana

Topic Legal Development Effective Date
Health Care Benefits Louisiana Prohibits Certain Lifetime and Annual Limits in Health Insurance January 1

Maine

Topic Legal Development Effective Date
Preemployment Screening Maine Restricts Requests for Job Applicant Social Security Numbers January 1

Massachusetts

Topic Legal Development Effective Date
Overtime Massachusetts Retail Worker Overtime Rate Decreases to One and Three-Tenths January 1

Minnesota

Topic Legal Development Effective Date
Paid Sick Leave Duluth, Minnesota, Enacts Paid Sick Leave Law January 1
Wage Theft Minneapolis, Minnesota, Wage Theft Prevention Ordinance Takes Effect January 1

Nebraska

Topic Legal Development Effective Date
Payroll Nebraska Requires State Withholding Form W-4N January 1

Nevada

Topic Legal Development Effective Date
Layoffs and RIFs Nevada Requires Mini-WARN Compliance for Call Centers January 1
Marijuana Nevada Enacts Drug Testing Law January 1
Minimum Wage Nevada Requires Certain Health Benefits for Lower Minimum Wage January 1
Paid Time Off Nevada Enacts Paid Leave Law January 1
Smoking in the Workplace Nevada Prohibits Use of Electronic Smoking Devices in the Workplace January 1
Workers' Compensation Nevada Provides Injured Employees Right to Choose Treating Physician or Chiropractor January 1

New Jersey

Topic Legal Development Effective Date
Salary History Inquiries New Jersey Restricts Salary History Inquiries January 1
Workplace Safety New Jersey Requires Hotel Employers to Provide Panic Devices January 1

New York

Topic Legal Development Effective Date
Health Care Benefits New York Amends Insurance Discrimination Law January 1
Health Care Benefits New York Expands Contraceptive Coverage Requirements January 1
Labor Relations New York Farm Laborers Fair Labor Practices Act Takes Effect January 1
Nondisclosure Agreements New York Further Limits Use of Nondisclosure Agreements for Sexual Harassment Claims January 1
Paid Family Leave New York Paid Family Leave Benefits Rate Increases to 60% January 1
Salary History Inquiries New York Salary History Inquiry Law Takes Effect January 6

North Carolina

Topic Legal Development Effective Date
Payroll North Carolina Non-Wage Compensation Withholding Takes Effect January 1

Oklahoma

Topic Legal Development Effective Date
Independent Contractors Oklahoma Adopts IRS 20-Factor Test for Independent Contractors Under Unemployment Insurance Law January 1

Oregon

Topic Legal Development Effective Date
Data Security Breach Oregon Amends Data Breach Notification Law January 1
Discrimination Oregon Amends and Clarifies Equal Pay Law January 1
Family and Medical Leave Oregon Family Leave Act Covers Organ and Tissue Donation January 1
Garnishment of Wages Oregon Raises Creditor Garnishment Withholding Limits January 1
Noncompete Agreements Oregon Amends Noncompete Law January 1
Noncompete Agreements Oregon Prohibits Certain Restrictive Covenants Against Personal Support Workers January 1
Payroll Oregon Requires Flat Rate Withholding in Absence of Form OR-W-4 January 1
Payroll Oregon Toughens Penalties Under OregonSaves Program January 1
Pregnancy and Lactation Accommodations Oregon Requires Pregnancy and Lactation Accommodations, Notice Posting January 1

Rhode Island

Topic Legal Development Effective Date
Affordable Care Act Rhode Island Individual Health Insurance Mandate Takes Effect January 1
Paid Sick Leave Rhode Island Paid Sick Leave Accrual and Usage Rate Increases Again January 1
Payroll Rhode Island Amends Payroll Filing and Depositing Requirements January 1

Tennessee

Topic Legal Development Effective Date
Independent Contractors Tennessee Adopts IRS 20-Factor Test for Independent Contractors Under Several Laws January 1
Workplace Safety Tennessee Restricts Use of Mobile Devices While Driving January 1

Texas

Topic Legal Development Effective Date
Data Security Breach Texas Clarifies and Expands Data Breach Notification Law January 1

Vermont

Topic Legal Development Effective Date
Affordable Care Act Vermont Implements Individual Health Insurance Mandate January 1

Virginia

Topic Legal Development Effective Date
Payroll Virginia Expands Pay Statement Requirements January 1

Washington

Topic Legal Development Effective Date
Family and Medical Leave Washington Family Leave Act Repealed and Replaced December 31, 2019
Commuter and Transportation Benefits Seattle, Washington, Requires Commuter Benefit Payroll Deductions January 1
Noncompete Agreements Washington Noncompete Law Takes Effect January 1
Paid Family Leave Washington Employees Eligible for Paid Family Leave Benefits January 1
Sexual Harassment; Training Washington Requires Sexual Harassment and Assault Prevention Program for Larger Hospitality Employers January 1
Workplace Safety Washington Amends Injury and Illness Reporting Requirements January 1

Wisconsin

Topic Legal Development Effective Date
Payroll Wisconsin Bars 2020 Federal Form W-4 for State Withholding January 1