Throughout the year, we will develop news briefs to help you stay up-to-date with the most important news that could directly impact your business. These articles contain snippets of news released from Federal and state government agencies. News Brief #4 focuses on an amendment to California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act related to pregnancy disability leave and six states that have already announced their 2012 minimum wage rates.
Amendment Requires California Employers to Maintain Coverage of Eligible Female Employees Who Take Pregnancy Disability Leave
California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act requires employers with 5 or more employees to grant an employee disabled by pregnancy a reasonable period of time for disability leave (up to 4 months), called pregnancy disability leave or PDL. PDL is available when an employee is actually disabled as a result of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. On October 6, 2011, Governor Brown signed into law an amendment to the state’s PDL law. Effective January 1, 2012, the new law:
- Prohibits employers from refusing to maintain and pay for coverage of eligible female employees who take PDL under a group health plan for the duration of the leave (not to exceed 4 months over the course of a 12-month period).
- Requires that the group health plan remain at the level and under the conditions the coverage would have been provided if the employee had continued in employment continuously for the duration of the leave.
- Provides a limited right to employers to recover from an employee the premiums paid for maintaining this coverage.
State Minimum Wage Increases Beginning January 1, 2012
Florida Increases to $7.67 Per Hour Beginning January 1, 2012
The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity has announced that, effective January 1, 2012, the minimum wage in Florida will rise to $7.67 per hour for non-tipped employees and to $4.65 per hour for tipped employees. To download and print the 2012 minimum wage poster, please click on a link below.
Arizona Increases to $7.65 Per Hour Beginning January 1, 2012
The Industrial Commission of Arizona has announced that the minimum wage in Arizona will rise to $7.65 per hour, effective January 1, 2012. The new poster reflecting the increase is not yet available.
Washington Increases to $9.04 Per Hour Beginning January 1, 2012
The Washington Department of Labor and Industries has announced that the minimum wage in Washington will rise to $9.04 per hour, a 37-cent increase, effective January 1, 2012.
Washington is one of 10 states that adjusts the minimum wage based on inflation and the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The others are Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon and Vermont.
Washington state has the highest minimum wage, followed by Oregon. Oregon recently announced that its minimum wage will rise 30 cents to $8.80 an hour in 2012.
Ohio Increases to $7.70 Per Hour Beginning January 1, 2012
The Ohio Department of Commerce has announced that, effective January 1, 2012, the minimum wage in Ohio will rise to $7.70 per hour for non-tipped employees and to $3.85 per hour for tipped employees. The increased minimum wage will apply to employers who gross more than $283,000 per year. Currently, Ohio’s minimum wage applies to employers who gross over $271,000 per year. Download the 2012 Ohio minimum wage poster.
Montana Increases to $7.65 Per Hour Beginning January 1, 2012
The Montana Department of Labor and Industry has announced that the minimum wage in Montana will rise to $7.65 per hour, effective January 1, 2012. The latest Montana poster reflects both the 2011 and the new 2012 minimum wage rates.
Oregon Increases to $8.80 Per Hour Beginning January 1, 2012
The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries has announced that the Oregon state minimum wage will rise to $8.80 per hour, effective January 1, 2012.
Revised minimum wage posters reflecting the new rate will be available for free download from the Bureau’s website in December.