Traditionally, employment laws have gone into effect on January 1. As such, employers really only had to pay attention to employment law changes coming their way toward the end of the year. However, more and more states are making changes mid-year, and as such, you are seeing many more employment and labor laws taking place starting in July, rather than waiting and starting in January. As this trend continues, employers need to be aware of new labor laws that go into effect in the summer months.
There are many areas that state legislatures have targeted this year and made a priority when it comes to labor and employment law. Some of the new laws and regulations that have passed this year have to do with the contingent workforce and gig economy. Other regulations surrounding leave protections and entitlements, workplace safety and privacy protections, and wage transparency are also popular in many parts of the country.
Washington state wins the award for most active jurisdiction when it comes to implementing new laws and regulations mid-year, with over 12 new state-wide and local laws that start in early summer. Second place goes to Virginia and Colorado, with each state enacting at least eight new laws that take effect this summer.
It is important to note that for the purposes of this report, the focus was specifically on generally applicable labor and employment laws that had been enacted in states and larger municipalities. There may have been many more labor laws and regulations passed in much smaller municipalities than we look at. Also, this report does not look at the minimum wages and related wage and hour legislation that are starting to take effect across the entire country. Lastly, it is important to note that not everyone is on summer vacation quite yet. Some state legislatures are still in session, and as such, there are new laws and regulations that still may be passed and enacted. As such, new laws may still come out.
If you are an employer, it is important to pay attention to new labor laws and regulations that may be rolling out in your state during the summer months.