Employers in Several States Affected by Laws Taking Effect Today
Author: Marta Moakley, XpertHR Legal Editor
October 1, 2015
Connecticut, Maryland, Florida and various other states have passed laws that take effect today and address such topics as minimum wage, social media privacy, protected leaves, equal employment opportunity and data breaches.
The following is not a comprehensive list of new laws: employers should check applicable state and municipal law obligations and ensure that their policies and practices are compliant with new requirements.
Municipalities in California (Berkeley) and Maryland (Montgomery and Prince George's Counties) have minimum wage increases that take effect today. St. Louis, Missouri's minimum wage ordinance takes effect on October 15, 2015.
Social Media Privacy
Connecticut (effective today) and Maine (effective October 15) have enacted social media privacy laws that restrict an employer from requiring access to an employee's personal social media accounts. However, employers may continue to monitor the use of employer-owned or employer-provided accounts, services or devices and to investigate certain instances of misconduct related to the use of social media accounts.
Although Washington's Paid Family Leave Law was originally scheduled to take effect today, implementation has been delayed pending the resolution of funds appropriation concerns. However, amendments to Maryland's Flexible Leave Act do take effect today, and enhance current employee protections. In addition, Maine has amended its domestic violence leave law to provide for increased penalties for violations.
As of today, Connecticut and Maryland have enhanced discrimination protections for interns. Montana's Veteran Hiring Preference Act for Private Employers also takes effect, which allows employers to adopt a policy that gives preference in hiring to veterans and their spouses.
Workplace Security and Data Breaches
Florida's Computer Abuse and Data Recovery Act (CADRA), which goes into effect today, addresses the subject of workplace security and unauthorized access to workplace computers. In order for an employer to take advantage of CADRA's new protections, it must take steps to protect workplace computers and information by installing "technological access barriers," or TABs, as defined in the law.
Connecticut's Public Act 15-142 now requires entities that have experienced a data breach to provide notice and identity theft prevention services to affected individuals. The Act's state contractor provisions are already in effect, while provisions affecting the health insurance industry will go into effect on October 1, 2017.
Montana's amendments to its data breach notification law take effect today, including enhanced notification provisions and an expanded definition of "personal information."