Several states, led by California, have enacted significant employment laws in 2019. These new statutes will likely require employers to make significant changes to their practices and/or policies to ensure compliance.
The California Legislature enacted AB 5 in 2019. By adopting the restrictive ABC test for independent contractor qualification aimed at gig workers, this bill makes it much more difficult to label workers as independent contractors. Nevada became the first state to prohibit pre-employment drug screening for marijuana. Laws restricting drug testing for marijuana are likely to be considered in the next year or two by other states where marijuana has been legalized. New Jersey joined many other states when it enacted Assembly Bill 1094, banning private employers from inquiring about a job applicant’s salary history, benefits and other compensation during the hiring process. Illinois and Connecticut expanded employer obligations relating to sexual harassment training and notice requirements.
In the United States, most employment regulation traditionally occurs at the state level. In addition, in the last decade we have seen more and more employment laws/requirements being enacted at the city/municipal level. This makes it very challenging for multi-location employers to try to remain in full compliance of all applicable laws and ordinances. It is very important to keep up with the changes and take the necessary steps to ensure that your policies and practices are consistent with the applicable law and are being kept up to date.