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New State Employment Laws and Trends You Need to Know

AUTHOR: Sogol Sabbar

According to a new survey done by the NFIB in February 2019, more than half of small businesses are currently in the process of hiring more or new staff. If you are among this crowd, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself and understand the new laws and trends within them that will govern your actions.

Equal Pay

The Federal Equal Pay Act was passed back in 1963, but due to many loopholes in the law, wage disparity based on gender continues.

Today some states such as California, Maryland, Massachusetts and New York have taken matters into their own hands and expanded the definition for determining equal pay. Find and download the facts for your state from the AAUW

Prior Wage History

Currently there is no actual law prohibiting an employer from asking about a job seeker’s prior wage history. However, people believe that this question has resulted in lower pay for women who are hired at the same level as men, because of their need for leaves of absences due to childcare.

Today some states have taken action to disallow employers to ask about prior wage history. Here is a list from HRDrive of states that ban salary history questions.

Pay Transparency

The Federal Law that bars employees from being discharged or discriminated against if they speak about their compensation with other employees, only applies to federal contractors.

Today many states are mandating pay transparency. See the list of states at the United States Department of Labor.

Background Report

Employers have the permission under federal law to run credit checks and criminal background checks on their job seekers, with certain restrictions. However, many states are now barring employees from this action on certain background checks. These new laws called – “ban the box laws,” now only allow an employer to run the records and checks only after a job seeker has been offered the position. See a full list on SHRM of states that have implemented these new “ban the box laws.”

When it comes to your business and hiring new staff, it’s a good idea to revisit your hiring practices so that you are staying compliant with these new laws.

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