As reported last week, both the House and the Senate each have their own version of a Minimum Wage bill which has passed their respective body. HB 395 and SB 7 are the two vehicles for Minimum Wage increase. SB 7, as passed on the Senate Floor, is the version that contains some of the mitigation factors the business community sought. As of this report, HB 395 has been conformed to SB 7 (meaning it now looks just like SB 7) and will now be heard on the Senate Floor. It is likely to pass the Senate in that form, however, the House will most likely reject those amendments once it comes back to them and the bill will end up in Conference.
- HB 395 Minimum wage, increases to $9 per hour effective July 1, 2020 – Conformed to SB7 in Senate Commerce and Labor Committee
- SB 7 Minimum wage; increases to $10 per hour effective July 1, 2020 – Passed out of Senate with Amendments
Felony Threshold for Larceny
HB 995 introduced by Delegate Lindsey on behalf of the Administration has now passed both the House and the Senate. SB 788, which is identical to HB995, has not yet been heard in the House. Both Bills raise the Felony Threshold for Larceny from $500 to $1000.
- HB 995 Grand larceny; increases threshold amount – Passed the House and Senate
- SB 788 Grand larceny; increases threshold amount – Passed out of Senate
Employer Mandates/Private Cause of Action
Only a few of the employer mandate/private cause of action bills that VRF has been following were acted on in Monday afternoon’s Senate Commerce and Labor Committee.Below you will find the list of those bills and their summaries. There are still many more employer mandate/private cause of action bills that have yet to be heard after Crossover. We will keep you posted on their status in coming reports.
- HB 800 Employment; disclosure of terms – Carried over to 2021
Requires every employer of employees who are 18 years of age or older who work for daily wages or are employed to work on a project for a total of 10 days or less, with some exceptions specified in the measure, to furnish to such employees, at the time of the employee's hiring, a written disclosure of information regarding the terms of employment, including the name and address of the employer, the rate of pay and basis thereof, and the regular payday. The measure also requires employers to notify its employees in writing of any changes to this information.
- HB 330 Employment; covenants not to compete, low-wage employees, civil penalty – Reported from Senate Commerce and Labor Committee
Prohibits an employer from entering into a covenant not to compete with any of its low-wage employees. Any employer that violates this prohibition is subject to a civil penalty of $10,000 for each violation. The measure authorizes a low-wage employee to bring a civil action against an employer that attempts to enforce a prohibited covenant not to compete.
- HB 689 Wage payment statements; statement of earnings – Reported from Senate Finance
Limits the scope of the requirement enacted in 2019 that requires periodic wage payment statements to show the number of hours worked during the pay period. The measure provides that the statement is required to show the number of hours worked if the employee is either (i) paid on the basis of the number of hours worked or (ii) paid on the basis of a salary that is less than the standard salary level adopted by the U.S. Department of Labor, establishing an exemption from the overtime premium pay requirements of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. The measure contains an emergency clause.
Nonpayment of Wages / Worker Misclassification
In Monday afternoon’s Senate Commerce and Labor Committee meeting there were several Nonpayment of Wage/Worker Misclassification bills that were acted on. Below you will find a summary of each bill and the action taken by the committee on said bills. There are still several Senate bills on this topic that have not yet been heard in House Committee.
- HB 123 Nonpayment of wage; private action, liability for payment of wages due under construction contracts – Reported from Senate Commerce and Labor Committee and Referred to Senate Finance
Provides that an employee has a private cause of action, individually, jointly, with other aggrieved employees as a collective action, on behalf of similarly situated employees as a collective action under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act against an employer who fails to pay wages to recover the amount of wages due plus interest at eight percent annually from the date the wages were due, an additional amount as liquidated damages, and reasonable attorney fees and costs.If the court finds that the employer knowingly failed to pay wages, the court shall award the employee reasonable attorney fees and costs and the employer is subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $1,000 for each violation. If the court finds that the employer's failure to pay wages was willful and with intent to defraud the employee, the court shall award the employee triple the amount of wages due and reasonable attorney fees and costs.The measure also provides that any construction contract entered into on or after July 1, 2020, shall be deemed to include a provision under which the general contractor and the subcontractor are jointly and severally liable to pay the wages due to the subcontractor's employees. This bill incorporates HB 482.
- HB 336 Nonpayment of wages; investigations – Reported from Senate Commerce and Labor Committee
Authorizes the Commissioner of Labor and Industry, if he acquires information during an investigation of a complaint of an employer's failure or refusal to pay wages and that information creates a reasonable belief that other employees of the same employer may not have been paid wages, to investigate whether the employer has failed or refused to make a required payment of wages to other employees.The measure also provides that if the Commissioner finds in the course of such investigation that the employer has committed a violation, the Commissioner may institute proceedings on behalf of any employee against his employer.
- HB 337 Nonpayment of wages; discriminatory actions prohibited –Reported from Senate Commerce and Labor Committee
Prohibits an employer from discharging or otherwise discriminating against an employee because such employee has filed any complaint or instituted, or caused to be instituted, any proceeding related to the failure to pay wages, or has testified, or is about to testify, in any such proceeding. The measure authorizes the Commissioner of Labor and Industry to institute proceedings against an employer who has taken such prohibited discriminatory action. Available remedies include reinstatement of the employee, recovery of lost wages, and liquidated damages.
- HB 984 Misclassification of workers; cause of action – Reported from Senate Commerce and Labor Committee
Authorizes an individual who has not been properly classified as an employee to bring a civil action for damages against his employer for failing to properly classify the employee if the employer had knowledge of the individual's misclassification.The measure provides that an individual who performs services for a person for remuneration shall be presumed to be an employee unless it is shown that the individual is an independent contractor as determined under the Internal Revenue Service guidelines.
- HB 1199 Employee misclassification; retaliatory actions prohibited, civil penalty – Reported from Senate Commerce and Labor Committee
Prohibits an employer from discharging, disciplining, threatening, discriminating against, or penalizing an employee or independent contractor because the employee or independent contractor reported or plans to report that an employer or any officer or agent has failed to properly classify an individual as an employee and failed to pay required benefits or other contributions.The measure also prohibits such actions against an employee or independent contractor who is requested or subpoenaed by an appropriate authority to participate in an investigation, hearing, or inquiry by an appropriate authority or in a court action. The measure authorizes the Commissioner of Labor and Industry to institute proceedings against an employer who has taken such prohibited retaliatory action.