Federal Deregulation: What it means for Staffing

Federal Deregulation: What it means for Staffing

One of the outcomes of the Trump administration has been active deregulation at the Federal level. This trend, coupled with a split Congress, means that we are unlikely to see sweeping new legislation impacting employment in the next two years.

According to Martin Borosko, Timothy Szuhaj, and Christopher Leddy from Becker LLC, a law firm that specializes in labor and employment law, there’s one exception to this expectation. Staffing firms should anticipate the Department of Labor to issue a new rule to raise the salary exemption from $23,660 into the low- to mid- $30,000 range, possibly as early as March 2019. Borosko, Szuhaj, and Leddy explain that, “Labor Secretary Acosta has indicated he favors doing such and the Trump administration announced its intention to issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in March of 2019.”

With the absence of further new Congressional legislation that impacts employment and labor, combined with deregulation at the Federal level, states and local municipalities are stepping in to fill the void. We’ve reviewed the changes that specifically impact Staffing.

Wage Laws
The Federal minimum wage remains at $7.25 since 2009, although twenty states have increased their minimum wages for 2019. These include Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Washington DC, Florida, Massachusetts, Main, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, and Washington. You can see the current minimum wage and change from the previous year on our December 2018 E-newsletter. Three states (California, Minnesota, and New York) have different minimum wages for small and large employers.

In addition to increases in the minimum wage, more states are enacting legislation that makes it illegal to request salary history or delays when you can request the information in the interview process. States such as Oregon, Hawaii, and Connecticut have enacted new legislation to that effect this year. Connecticut specifically states that you cannot ask for salary history until after an offer that includes compensation has been made.

Paid Sick Leave Ordinances
When it comes to paid sick leave ordinances, laws are being enacted at the state, county and municipal levels. Washington, Massachusetts and Michigan are the most notable states to enact paid sick leave laws this year, as did Westchester County, New York. The Washington law is most notable in that it requires employers to provide 12 weeks of paid time off for the birth or adoption of a child, or for the serious medical condition of the employee or an employee’s family member. San Antonio, Texas has also enacted a law requiring employers to provide one hour of sick time for every 30 hours work, but it is currently pending the outcome of litigation concerning an Austin ordinance with the same requirements. Duluth, MN is requiring employers with five or more employees to earn one hour of sick / safe time for every 50 hours worked.

More states are requiring that insurance plans provide minimum health care coverage, including Connecticut, which enacted a law requiring “essential healthcare” to cover certain health benefits. Both Utah and Missouri have passed legislation allowing qualifying residents or their caregivers to obtain identification cards to purchase marijuana to alleviate the effect of certain medical conditions. A ballot measure in Michigan was also approved to permit the adult recreational possession, use and cultivation of marijuana, with commercial growing and marketing to follow.

These are just a handful of laws being enacted at the state, county and municipal levels. Others speak to cybersecurity, mandatory anti-discrimination and sexual harassment training, military leave, and even a law in New Hampshire that prohibits requiring or coercing another individual to impact a subcutaneous identification device.

The fact remains that if there are fewer regulations at the Federal level, state and local governing authorities will continue to fill in with their own legislation, making it difficult for staffing companies who work across several states and regions to keep abreast of changes.

TRICOM diligently follows any legislative changes that we feel could impact our clients or fellow staffing industry partners. We share that information on our website at www.tricom.com under Legislative Updates, as well as one our Facebook and Twitter feeds (also found on our homepage).