Week In Review

April 04, 2016

New York Budget Agreement Includes Minimum Wage, Paid Family Leave
New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and legislative leaders have announced an agreement on the 2016-17 state budget (Agreement).

The Agreement includes changes to minimum wage. For workers in New York City employed by large businesses with at least 11 employees, the minimum wage would rise to $11 at the end of 2016, then another $2 each year after, reaching $15 on December 31, 2018. For workers in New York City employed by small businesses with 10 employees or fewer, the minimum wage would rise to $10.50 by the end of 2016, then another $1.50 each year after, reaching $15 on December 31, 2019. For workers in Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester Counties, the minimum wage would increase to $10 at the end of 2016, then $1 each year after, reaching $15 on December 31, 2021. For workers in the rest of the state, the minimum wage would increase to $9.70 at the end of 2016, then another $0.70 each year after until reaching $12.50 on December 31, 2020—after which the minimum wage will continue to increase to $15 on an indexed schedule to be set by the Director of the Division of Budget in consultation with the Department of Labor.

The Agreement also includes the longest and most comprehensive paid family leave program in the nation. When fully phased-in, employees will be eligible for 12 weeks of paid family leave when caring for an infant, a family member with a serious health condition or to relieve family pressures when someone is called to active military service. Benefits will be phased-in beginning in 2018 at 50 percent of an employee’s average weekly wage, capped to 50 percent of the statewide average weekly wage, and fully implemented in 2021 at 67 percent. Employees will be eligible to participate after having worked for their employer for six months.

Idaho Bans Local Government Minimum Wages
Legislation has been enacted to amend Idaho’s minimum wage law to prohibit political subdivisions from establishing, by ordinance or other action, minimum wages higher than the state minimum wage. Currently, the state minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, the same as the federal minimum wage. There are no current local minimum wage or living wage ordinances in place, but this ban would prevent such regulation. A “political subdivision” under Idaho law means any county, city, municipal corporation, health district, school district, irrigation district, an operating agent of irrigation districts whose board consists of directors of its member districts, special improvement or taxing district, or any other political subdivision or public corporation. The legislation is effective July 1, 2016.

Utah Enacts Law to Restrict Non-compete Agreements
Utah Governor Gary Herbert has signed the Post-Employment Restrictions Act, which will take effect May 10, 2016. In addition to any requirements imposed under common law, for a post-employment restrictive covenant entered into on or after May 10, 2016, an employer and an employee may not enter into a post-employment restrictive covenant for a period of more than one year from the day on which the employee is no longer employed by the employer. A post-employment restrictive covenant that violates this provision is void. The new law defines “post-employment restrictive covenant,” also known as a “covenant not to compete” or “non-compete agreement,” as an agreement, written or oral, between an employer and employee under which the employee agrees that he or she, either alone or as an employee of another person, will not compete with the employer in providing products, processes, or services that are similar to the employer’s products, processes, or services. Exceptions to the law may be allowed for severance agreements and the sale of a business.

SESCO recommends that clients review all applicable policy and practices to ensure compliance. For assistance, contact us at 423-764-4127 or by email at sesco@sescomgt.com