It’s the Fourth Quarter of 2018, which means the Holidays are upon us and we are nearing the start of 2019. However, amid all of the festivities, don’t forget to monitor important legal changes happening across the United States, especially if you have employees. This article will focus on some important dates for employers to be mindful as we close out 2018 and ring in the New Year.

Important Federal Dates:

  • September 21, 2018: If your company runs background checks, do not forget to review the new Background Check Notice requirements. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you must provide a security-freeze notice to employees (and potential employees) whenever the FCRA’s Summary of Consumer Rights notice is required.
  • November 20, 2018: Most jurisdictions require monthly sales tax filers to submit October sales tax returns by this date
  • December 20, 2018: Most jurisdictions require monthly sales tax filers to submit November sales tax returns by this date
  • January 21, 2019: Most jurisdictions require monthly sales tax filers to submit January 2018 sales tax returns, as well as Q4 returns, semi-annual, and annual returns for those respective filers.
  • January 31, 2019: Employers must distribute W2s to employees and file copies of the W2 with the IRS to avoid penalties.

Arizona:

  • January 1, 2019: The Arizona state minimum wage increases to $11.00 per hour

California:

  • October 1, 2018: San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance (“FCO”) amendment goes into effect. The new FCO applies to employers with 5 or more employees (it previously exempted employers with fewer than 20 employees) and requires employers to wait to obtain an applicant’s conviction history until after a conditional offer of employment has been made. You should check to make sure your application forms do not ask about conviction history.
  • January 1, 2019: California’s statewide minimum wage increases. (Does not apply to cities and counties that have adopted higher minimum wages than the State minimum wage.)
    • Employers with 25 or fewer employees: $11.00 per hour
    • Employers with 26 or more employees: $12.00 per hour
  • January 1, 2019: Companies providing janitorial services must provide sexual harassment prevention training to employees at least once every two years.
  • January 1, 2019: Companies may no longer ask companies about pay history. (California ban on salary history inquiries).
  • January 1, 2019: California law gives employees a right to receive a copy of their payroll records.
  • January 1, 2019: San Jose increases minimum wage to $15.00 per hour
  • January 1, 2019: San Diego increases minimum wage to $12.00 per hour

Colorado:

  • January 1, 2019: Colorado statewide minimum wage increases to $11.10 per hour

Connecticut:

  • January 1, 2019: Connecticut ban on asking applicants for their salary history goes into effect. You should remove salary history questions from your applications.

Delaware:

  • January 1, 2019: Employers with 50 or more employees must provide sexual harassment training to all new hires and existing employees. Employers with more than 4 employees must provide all employees and new hires with an information sheet (created by the Department of Labor) on sexual harassment.
  • January 1, 2019: Delaware statewide minimum wage increases to $8.75 per hour

Hawaii:

  • January 1, 2019: Hawaii bans asking applicants about their pay history, and prevents employers from limiting employees from talking about their wages.

Illinois:

  • January 1, 2019: Employers must reimburse employees for certain business expenses.

Maine:

  • January 1, 2019: Maine statewide minimum wage increases to $11.00 per hour.

Massachusetts:

  • November 7, 2018: MA law for Veterans goes into effect. Employers must allow veterans to have sufficient time off to participate in Memorial Day exercises, parades, or services. For Veterans Day, employers must provide Veterans with time of to observe the holiday.
  • January 1, 2019: MA statewide minimum wage increases to $12.00 per hour
  • January 1, 2019: MA reduces premium pay requirement for retail establishments with 7 or more employees (including owners) to 1.4 times the employee’s regular pay rate for Sundays and certain holidays.

Michigan:

  • January 1, 2019: Michigan increases minimum wage to $10.00, although this may be delayed to April 1, 2019.

Minnesota:

  • January 1, 2019: Minnesota minimum wage for employers with annual gross revenue of over $500,000 or more is increasing to $9.86 per hour. The minimum wage for smaller employers will be $8.04 per hour.

Montana:

  • January 1, 2019: Montana statewide minimum wage increases to $8.50 per hour.

New Jersey:

  • October 29, 2018: New Jersey Sick Leave takes effect. Employers must provide up to 40 hours of paid sick leave per year to eligible employees who work in New Jersey.
  • January 1, 2019: New Jersey statewide minimum wage increases to $8.85 per hour.

New York:

  • October 9, 2018: New York sexual harassment rules go into effect. Employers must provide a model sexual harassment prevention policy to all employees by October 9, 2018. All employees must receive sexual harassment prevention training by October 9, 2019.
  • October 15, 2018: NYC expands requirements for reasonable accommodations, and employers cannot refuse to or fail to engage in a cooperative dialogue with an individual who requests an accommodation.
  • December 31, 2018: New minimum wages go into effect:
    • New York State: $11.10 per hour
    • New York City: $15.00 per hour for employers with 11 or more employees, and $13.50 per hour for employers with 10 or fewer employees.
    • Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester Counties: $12.00 per hour
    • Fast food employees in NYC: $15.00 per hour
    • Fast food employees in the rest of the state: $12.75 per hour
  • January 1, 2019: New York paid family leave program increases maximum employee contribution to 0.153% of an employee’s weekly wage. The duration of benefit caps increases to 10 weeks.

Ohio:

  • January 1, 2019: Ohio statewide minimum wage increases to $8.55 per hour.

Oregon:

  • January 1, 2019: Orgon amends equal pay rules. Employers are now prohibited from paying employees in a protected class different from other employees performing substantially similar work.

Rhode Island:

  • January 1, 2019: Rhode Island minimum wage increases to $10.50 per hour

South Carolina:

  • September 14, 2018: South Carolina expanded pregnancy protections. Employers must provide a reasonable accommodation for an employee’s pregnancy, childbirth, or any pregnancy-related condition, and a written notice of rights to all new hires and current employees.

South Dakota:

  • January 1, 2019: South Dakota minimum wage increases to $9.10 per hour.

Tennessee:

  • January 1, 2019: Employers must allow employees who hold a valid concealed carry permit to carry concealed handguns in the workplace.

Vermont:

  • January 1, 2019: Vermont minimum wage increases to $10.78 per hour.

Washington:

  • January 1, 2019: Washington state minimum wage increases to $12.00 per hour.
  • January 1, 2019: Seattle Employers with 500 or fewer employees must pay non-exempt employees at least $15.00 per hour. Small employers can meet this requirement by paying a minimum of $12.00 per hour in wages and $3.00 per hour towards an employee’s medical benefits.
  • January 1, 2019: Seattle Employers with 501 or more employees must pay non-exempt employees at least $16.00 per hour.