Rhode Island Bans Criminal Conviction Questions on Applications

Rhode Island has enacted a law, typically known as "Ban the Box," that prohibits employment applications from containing questions about prior criminal convictions beginning Jan. 1, 2014. The state's Fair Employment Practices Act (FEPA), which the new law amends, already bans questions on applications concerning arrests or charges. The law does provide exceptions for law […]

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State Attorneys General Write EEOC to Oppose Its Criminal Background Stance

Nine state attorneys general have joined ranks to compose and send a five-page letter to Chair Jacqueline Berrien of the Equal Emplloyment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) opposing the EEOC's stance on criminal background checks in general and its lawsuits against BMW and Dollar General in particular. The lawsuits charge those two firms with discrimination in employment […]

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New Jersey Law Provides Leave for Domestic Violence Victims

New Jersey Gov, Chris Christie has signed the New Jersey Security and Financial Empowerment Act (NJ SAFE Act), which is intended to assist victims of domestic violence. The bill provides up to 20 days unpaid leave in any 12-month period for an employee who is a victim of a domestic violence incident or a sexually […]

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Minnesota Expands Sick Leave Coverage

Minnesota has long mandated state employers who offer sick leave to include time off for employees to care for sick or injured minor children. Effective this Aug. 1, however, recent amendments to the Minnesota Parenting Leave Act expand the options for employee sick leave to include time to care for sick or injured children attending […]

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Illinois Cracks Down on Employee Misclassification

Illinois has passed — and Gov. Pat Quinn has signed — a trio of laws that make it harder for employers in the state to misclassify workers as independent contractors and thus avoid paying taxes and benefits. House Bill 923, which takes effect next Jan. 1, requires employers to report to the Illinois Department of […]

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Rhode Island Minimum Wage to Rise to $8 an Hour

Gov. Lincoln Chafee on Monday signed legislation to raise the Rhode Island minimum wage to $8 an hour on Jan. 1, 2014, up from the current $7.75. Nearby Massachusetts has an $8 minimum wage in place, and Connecticut's rate stands at $8.25.

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North Carolina Cuts Unemployment Benefits Today, Loses Federal Supplement

A North Carolina law going into effect today cuts statewide unemployment benefits for new applicants immediately and thus jettisons the federal supplement that continues those benefits once the state portion expires. The federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program is lost once a state cuts its benefits, but North Carolina chose to go that route — […]

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Nevada Bans Employer Social Media Password Access

Nevada has become the 11th state to ban employers from seeking access to applicants' and employees' social media passwords with legislation that goes into effect this coming Oct. 1. The law creates exceptions when employers view applicants' or employees' publicly viewable content and when a coworker voluntarily submits social media content (the snitch exemption?). The […]

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Oregon Law Adds Discrimination Protection for Interns

Oregon has passed legislation that extends discrimination protection to unpaid interns, putting them on the same legal page as regular employees but without creating an employment relationship. Under the new law, unpaid interns are protected from discrimination and retaliation on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status, age (protected […]

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Oregon Joins Parade Against Employer Requests for Social Media Passwords

States are rushing to restrict employer requests for social media access from new hires and employees, and Oregon has now joined the growing list of states banning employers from prying into personal accounts. In a law signed May 22 and taking effect Jan. 1, 2014, Oregon is making it an unlawful employment practice for employers […]

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