As a consistent trend-setter in passing employee-friendly legislation, California has enacted the country’s first workplace violence prevention safety requirements applicable to nearly all employers in the state.

SB 553 requires California employers to adopt a comprehensive workplace violence prevention plan, train employees on workplace violence, and begin logging incidents by July 1, 2024.

Detailed Requirements for a Written Plan

The workplace violence prevention plan must be written, available and easily accessible to employees (as well as authorized employee representatives and Cal/OSHA representatives).Continue Reading California Employers: Prepare Your Workplace Violence Prevention Plan (Deadline In T-Minus 3 Months)

Illinois employers navigated an avalanche of new laws in 2023, with more on the horizon in 2024 (and even 2025). New paid leave obligations for Illinois (and Chicago and Cook County) employers are a significant change, and additional developments expand employer liability in some circumstances where individuals are victims of gender-related violence. There are also new obligations for employers who use temporary employees, and increased protections for striking workers–not to mention a soon-to-be requirement for employers to include pay scale and benefits information in job postings starting January 1, 2025.

Here are key updates that Illinois employers should be aware of for 2024–and beyond.

1. New paid leave laws in Illinois, Chicago and Cook County

Employers in Illinois, Chicago and Cook County have new paid leave obligations for 2024 under three new laws:

  • The Illinois Paid Leave for All Workers Act (PLAWA) (effective January 1, 2024) requires Illinois employers to provide most employees with a minimum of 40 hours of paid leave per year to be used for any reason at allnot just for sick leave.
  • The Cook County Paid Leave Ordinance (effective December 31, 2023, the sunset date of the prior Cook County Earned Sick Leave Ordinance) covers employees who work in Cook County and largely mirrors the PLAWA. The Cook County Commission on Human Rights will begin enforcement of the paid leave Ordinance on February 1, 2024.
  • The Chicago Paid Leave and Paid Sick and Safe Leave Ordinance (effective July 1, 2024) will require covered employers to provide eligible employees 40 hours of paid sick leave and 40 hours of paid leave (the latter usable for any reason) per 12-month accrual period, for a total entitlement of up to 80 hours of PTO per 12-month period.

Importantly, under both the PLAWA and the Cook County Paid Leave Ordinance:

  • Eligible employees earn 1 hour of paid leave for every 40 hours worked, up to a minimum of 40 hours in a 12-month period (with exempt employees presumed to work 40 hours per workweek for accrual purposes, but leave accrues based on their regular workweek if their regular workweek is less than 40 hours)
  • Though unused accrued paid leave from one 12-month period can be carried over to the next, employers can cap the use of paid leave in one 12-month period to 40 hours
  • Frontloading is permitted, and employers who frontload 40 hours at the beginning of the 12-month period are not required to carry over unused accrued paid leave
  • Employers cannot require employees to provide a reason they are using paid leave, or any documentation or certification as proof or in support of paid leave

The Chicago Paid Leave Ordinance diverges from the PLAWA and the Cook County Ordinance in several ways, including:

  • Covered employees will accrue one hour of paid sick leave and one hour of paid leave for every 35 hours worked-five hours less than what is required to accrue an hour of paid leave under the PLAWA or Cook County Ordinance
  • Employees may carryover up to 80 hours of paid sick leave and up to 16 hours of paid leave from one 12-month accrual period to the next
  • Employers may frontload 40 hours of paid sick leave and 40 hours of paid leave on the first day of the 12-month accrual period. Frontloaded paid leave does not carry over from one 12-month period to the next (unless the employer prevents the employee from having meaningful access to their PTO), but up to 80 hours of unused paid sick leave does
  • Employers with more than 50 employees in Chicago are required to pay the employee the monetary equivalent of unused accrued paid leave when an employee separates from the employer or transfers outside of the City of Chicago (see chart below for specifics)
  • Unlike in the PLAWA or Cook County Ordinance, unlimited PTO is specifically addressed in the Chicago Paid Leave Ordinance (so employers with unlimited PTO policies should review the Ordinance closely)

Continue Reading A Legislative Snowstorm: Key 2024 Updates for Illinois Employers Include a Number of New Leave Obligations and More

In this 75-minute “quick hits” style session, our team reviewed the challenges we helped California employers overcome in 2023 and the key legislative changes coming in 2024.

Among other topics, we discussed:

  • Best
  • Special thanks to co-presenters Ricardo Castro-Garza, Alfonso García-Lozano and Javiera Medina-Reza.

    This year our team helped Mexican employers overcome a range of challenges across the employment law landscape — from keeping up with evolving health & safety obligations, defending contentious employment disputes, supporting the legitimization of collective bargaining agreements, and much more.

    In

    Does your holiday wish list include CLE credit and a quick tutorial on what to expect in California labor and employment law next year?

    Excellent!

    Join us for our virtual California 2023-2024 Employment Law Update on Wednesday, December 13 @ 1PM PT.

    2023 has been a year of dramatic change for California employers, but have

    In 2023, we helped US employers overcome a host of new challenges across the employment law landscape. Many companies started the year with difficult cost-cutting decisions and hybrid work challenges. More recently, employers faced challenges around intense political discourse boiling over in the workplace. We’ve worked hard to keep our clients ahead of the curve on these

    Our colleagues in Latin America prepared a succinct briefing of the most impactful recent employment law changes in Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Venezuela and Peru. From changes to teleworking rules to greater obligations related to family leave, outsourcing and more, there’s a lot to keep up with.

    Click here to access our heat map

    As forecasted in our recent blog Illinois Employer Midsummer “Roundup”: Eight to Know and Two to Watch, our two bills “to watch” are now law. On August 4, Governor Pritzker signed HB 2862 into law, effective immediately, imposing new obligations on employers who use temporary employees, including providing information on their regular employees’ compensation to staffing companies and documenting and keeping records of training provided to the staffing company employee.

    And on August 11, Governor Pritzker signed HB 3129 into law, meaning Illinois employers with 15 or more employees have to include the “pay scale and benefits” in any job posting starting January 1, 2025.

    We highlight a few key points of each new law below, and for more details, check out our Illinois Midsummer “Roundup” blog.Continue Reading Illinois Employers: Two Bills We Told You to Watch Are Now Law

    Special thanks to Javiera Medina, Liliana Hernández and Ma. Rosario Lombera.

    In our latest video chat, our team on the ground in Mexico discusses the practical implications for employers of the new teleworking standard introduced on June 8, 2023 by the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare. NOM-037 establishes new health and safety-related requirements

    The Road Ahead Following the April 10 End of the National Emergency

    We have all grown accustomed to hand sanitizer, 6-feet distance markings in hallways, face masks–and the back and forth of surging and waning COVID-19 levels in the workplace and the community. But with President Biden’s April 10 termination of the COVID-19 national emergency, can these pandemic mainstays–and employers’ pandemic policies and procedures–finally be relegated to a distant memory? Should they be? As Dr. Anthony Fauci said in a recent interview, “Everybody wants this outbreak behind us.”

    Mapping the Road Forward

    With little fanfare, on April 10, President Biden quietly signed a GOP-led resolution terminating the COVID-19 national emergency. Separately, on May 1 the Biden Administration announced an end to the federal COVID-19 vaccination requirements for federal employees, federal contractors, and international travelers on May 11, the same day the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency ends. The US Department of Health and Human Services and the US Department of Homeland Security also announced they will start the process to end vaccination requirements for Head Start educators, CMS-certified healthcare facilities, and certain noncitizens at the land border.

    So can employers throw out all of their COVID-19 policies and procedures? Not quite.Continue Reading Can US Employers Finally Leave COVID-19 in the Rearview Mirror?