Preparing for Employment Changes in 2024
As the end of 2023 draws near and employers are wrapped up with end of year matters, such as reviews, bonuses, taxes, etc., it is important that employers are also focusing on the future and aware of new laws and rules that will become effective in 2024. Not only were states and the federal government busy enacting new laws over the past year, but many local jurisdictions were as well. Employers will want to ensure that their end of year to-do lists also include a review of their policies, practices and handbooks to ensure compliance with new laws and amendments to existing laws that become effective in the new year.
OSHA Expands Injury and Illness Reporting Requirements.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a new rule, effective January 1, 2024, which expands the submission requirements for injury and illness data. More specifically, come 2024, certain employers will be required to electronically submit injury and illness information to OSHA.
Non-Compete Landscape is Shifting
There have been changes to the non-compete landscape over the past year. In January 2023, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) proposed a rule that would ban most non-competes. It is currently anticipated that the FTC will vote on the rule in April 2024. Approximately six months after the FTC announced its proposed rule, the National Labor Relations Board announced its position that most non-competes and non-solicitations violate the NLRA.
This trend of disfavoring non-competes is not limited to the federal level, as states have been active in this area over the past year as well. To illustrate, New York passed a broad non-compete ban which is currently waiting on Governor Hochul’s approval. The Governor has until the end of the year to approve the bill. If approved, the law will be effective within thirty days from the Governor’s execution of the bill. In Minnesota, as of July 1, 2023, non-competition provisions are no longer enforceable against Minnesota employees or independent contractors in most situations. Additionally, while non-competes have generally been unenforceable for some time in California, effective January 1, 2024, employees will have a private cause of action against employers whose agreements include non-compete covenants. Further, California’s new law provides for an award of attorney’s fees for any current, former, or even prospective employee who successfully brings suit over an employer’s use of those restrictive covenants.
Paid Leave Laws
Not only have states and local jurisdictions enacted new paid leave laws, significant amendments have been made to existing paid leave laws this year as well. By way of example, the following jurisdictions have enacted paid leave laws, which become effective in 2024: Minnesota; Bloomington, MN; Illinois; and Chicago, IL. While the majority of states and local jurisdictions’ leave laws list permissible purposes for the paid leave, Illinois’ new law permits employees to use accrued paid leave for any purpose. With respect to amendments to existing leave laws, California, for example, increased the amount of paid leave employees can take each year, and for employers who have an accrual and carryover policy, this change also increases how much paid leave employees can accrue and carry over from year to year. Additionally, for certain employers, Chicago’s new leave law may require that employers pay its local employees for any unused paid leave.
Payout Requirements for Vacation Pay
Effective January 1, 2024, Colorado has joined the list of states that consider earned vacation time wages and, therefore, require employers pay out any accrued, but unused vacation time.
A few states have enacted laws related to cannabis use that may impact employers. For example, effective January 1, 2024, Washington state and California prohibit certain employers from discriminating against employees and applicants based on an individual’s off the job use of cannabis.
A new year often signals increases in minimum wage. Many local cities and counties are enacting minimum wage requirements as well. It is important to ensure that employers are aware of what increases are occurring and when in 2024 to ensure compliance.
The above is intended to serve as a reminder to employers not to be caught flat-footed on employment changes happening in 2024. Please be advised that the above is by no means an exhaustive list of new employment laws or the jurisdictions that have enacted laws in the referenced topics.
About Maynard Nexsen
Maynard Nexsen is a full-service law ﬁrm with more than 550 attorneys in 24 offices from coast to coast across the United States. Maynard Nexsen formed in 2023 when two successful, client-centered firms combined to form a powerful national team. Maynard Nexsen’s list of clients spans a wide range of industry sectors and includes both public and private companies.
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