A Snapshot of Compliance Updates Across the U.S.

December 2020

This year we have much to navigate in our changing environments. From adjustments to current programs to entirely new acts introduced, a lot has changed over the last few months. Below we have rounded up a brief overview of updates and new information that has been implemented with helpful links to learn more.

Paid Sick Leave  

Paid Sick Leave in New York State, Effective September 2020  
The New York State Sick Leave (NYSSL) law went into effect on September 30, 2020, requiring employers to provide sick leave to employees, which starts January 1, 2021. The amount of NYSSL employees will be entitled to accrue and use will vary by employer size and income.  NYSSL will accrue at a rate of 1 hour of every 30 hours worked or employers have the option to frontload sick hours at the beginning of the year.
Additional information is available here

Paid Sick Leave in New York City, Amended September 2020 
The New York City Earned Sick and Safe Time Act (“ESSTA”) was amended in order to better align with the NYSSL. The amount of paid safe and sick leave employees will be permitted in September to accrue, and use will align with NYSSL in that amounts will vary by employer size and income. The amendment to ESSTA included an elimination of the 120-day waiting period for new hires to utilize accrued leave, removal of the requirement that employees work in the City more than 80 hours in a year and the addition of new pay statement reporting requirements each pay period.  
Additional information is available here.   

Paid Sick Leave in Colorado, Effective July 2020 
The Colorado Governor signed a Paid Sick Leave Act into law. On the effective date of the act, July 7, 2020, through December 31, 2020, all employers in the state, regardless of size, are required to provide each of their employees paid sick leave for reasons related to the COVID-19 pandemic in the amounts and for the purposes specified in the federal “Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act” in the “Families First Coronavirus Response Act”. Starting January 1, 2021, for employers with 16 or more employees, the Act requires employers to provide paid sick leave to their employees, accrued at a rate of 1 hour for every 30 hours worked, up to a maximum of 48 hours per year. Employers have the option to frontload sick hours at the beginning of the year.
Additional information is available here.   

COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave in California, Effective September 2020 
Starting September 19, 2020, and currently continuing through December 31, 2020, California has provided legislation for COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave. In compliance with this newly enacted California legislation, Cast & Crew has implemented programming that is applied following client instruction. A hiring entity with 500 or more employees nationwide, must provide COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave if an employee leaves home for work and are unable to work for any of the following reasons: (1) employee is subject to a Federal, State or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19, (2) employee is advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine or self-isolate due to concerns related to COVID-19, or (3) employee is prohibited from working by their hiring entity due to health concerns related to the potential transmission of COVID-19. COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave will be available in addition to any other paid sick time or vacation time provided and an employee cannot be required to use accrued paid sick time or vacation time before using COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave or in lieu of the COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave. 80 hours of COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave will be provided to eligible full-time employees at their regular rate of pay, not to exceed $511 per day and $5,110 in total.  COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave will be pro-rated for eligible part-time employees.
Additional information in available here. 

COVID-19 Return to Work Agreement with DGA, IATSE, SAG-AFTRA and Teamsters/Basic Crafts, Effective September 2020 
Starting September 21, 2020, and currently continuing through April 30, 2021, the Return to Work (RTW) Agreement gives protocols and guiding principles to safely resume filming in workplaces redesigned around worker’s health. The RTW Agreement also includes COVID-19 sick leave and quarantine pay requirements that Cast & Crew has implemented systematically and applied per client directive. 
Contact AMPTP or your local union for additional information. 

Paid Family Leave  

Paid Family and Medical Leave in Connecticut, Effective January 2021  
On June 25, 2019, Connecticut passed legislation to create a comprehensive paid family and medical leave insurance program. The Paid Family and Medical Leave Act (PFMLA) will provide paid time off to employees working in Connecticut who need to care for their own or a family member’s medical condition, to care for a child after birth, adoption, or foster placement, to serve as an organ or bone marrow donor, to address certain matters relating to family violence or to address exigencies arising from foreign deployment of a related service-member. The program is funded by employees through payroll deductions. The total deduction rate is 0.5 percent of an employee’s annual earnings, capped at the Social Security contribution limit. Deductions will begin January 1, 2021, and benefits become available to employees beginning in January 2022.  
Additional information is available here 

Paid Leave 

Paid Leave in Maine, Effective January 2021 
Maine has issued final regulations on the Act Authorizing Earned Employee Leave and on January 1, 2021, private employers with more than 10 employees in Maine for more than 120 days in a calendar year must provide 1 hour of paid leave for every 40 hours worked, up to a maximum of 40 hours of paid leave per year. This leave may be used for any reason. A maximum of 40 leave hours may be carried over, with a maximum use of 40 hours per year. New employees must wait 120 days before using accrued leave.
Additional information is available here. 

State & Local Laws  

California SB 973, Effective September 2020  
On September 30, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law SB 973 in a continued effort to reduce gender and racial pay gaps. In California, private employers that have 100 or more employees, and that are required to file an annual Employer Information Report under federal law, will now be required to submit a pay data report to the state’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) that contains specified wage information by March 31, 2021. As a payroll provider, Cast & Crew can provide the reporting data we have for production employees to our Clients for their submittal to the DFEH.
Additional information is available here.   

California SB 1383 Amending CFRA, Effective January 2021  
California has added a sweeping amendment to the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) effective January 1, 2021. The CFRA will now apply to employers with 5 or more employees and expands the scope of “family members” for whom employees can take leave to include many additional categories. Additional changes to the CFRA may apply and a new poster will need to be posted by January 1, 2021. 
Additional changes and information are available here.   

Seattle Payroll Expense Tax, Effective January 2021 
The Seattle City Council recently approved a new payroll expense tax which will apply to businesses operating in Seattle. The Seattle payroll expense tax is imposed using a three-tier structure determined by annual business revenue and level of employee compensation. The tiered payroll expense tax will apply to businesses operating in Seattle with at least $7 million in annual payroll at a rate of 0.7 percent to 1.4 percent on employee salaries over $150,000 beginning on January 1, 2021.
Additional information is available here 

Federal Changes

Department of Labor Proposed Rule to Clarify Employee and Independent Contractor Status Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), September 2020  
DOL Wage and Hour Division opinion letter proposed a rule clarifying the definition of employee under the FLSA as it relates to independent contractors. The DOL’s proposal aims to bring clarity and consistency to the determination of who is an independent contractor under the FLSA by suggesting an economic reality test containing two core factors to determine a worker’s status: (1) the nature of the work and degree of the worker’s control over the work; and (2) the worker’s opportunity for profit or loss based on initiative and/or investment. As of the production date, September 22, 2020, a 30-day comment period commenced.
Additional information is available here.  

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission EEO-1 
In light of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) public health emergency, and consistent with delays in Federal reporting requirements across the government and other actions taken to relieve employers of unnecessary burdens during this crisis, the Commission is delaying the anticipated opening of the 2019 EEO-1 Component 1 Data Collections to a time when the agency anticipates that filers will have resumed more normal operations. EEO-1 filers should begin preparing to submit data in 2021. The EEOC submitted the EEO-1 Component 1 information collection to OMB for approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act on March 23, 2020. Pending approval by OMB, the EEOC would expect to begin collecting the 2019 EEO-1 Component 1 along with the 2020 EEO-1 Component 1 in March 2021 and will notify filers of the precise date the surveys will open as soon as it is available.  

While the EEOC has not sought approval to collect EEO-1 Component 2 information for 2019, the agency has indicated on its regulatory agenda that it will continue to look at the issue, and may propose a different means of collecting and analyzing employer payment practices in the future.  The EEOC has appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit as to whether the lower court’s reinstatement of Component 2 was lawful in the first place.  And of course, as administrations change, prior proposals like Component 2 may be exhumed and revisited. If EEO-1 Component 2 reporting requirements become due, as a payroll provider, Cast & Crew can provide the reporting data we have for production employees to our Clients for their submittal to the EEOC for compliance.
Additional information is available here. 

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