Employment Laws for 2022 and Jobs of the Week
I hope you’re having a great week so far. We’re almost to Friday!
We now have many care leaders from Ohio, Texas, Massachusetts, and Arizona in this group! As we’re growing, I thought it’d be helpful to point out some essential employment laws extending into or coming in 2022 for each state. We’ve also got our first round of Jobs of the Week. Let’s go!
Care Camp is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support our work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
Jobs of the Week
These jobs come from Care Camp featured jobs. Sign up to post jobs and feature a job post in the newsletter. Click on them to apply, share with friends/colleagues, or social media!
Ohio Employment Laws for 2022
Ohio’s minimum wage will increase to $9.30 per hour for non-tipped employees and $4.65 per hour for tipped employees, effective January 1, 2022. This new minimum wage will apply to businesses with annual gross receipts of more than $342,000 per year.
For employees at smaller companies with annual gross receipts of $342,000 or less per year, and for 14- and 15-year-olds, the minimum wage continues to be the federal rate of $7.25 per hour.
As a reminder, employers should update their minimum wage and overtime poster, which should be posted in an easily visible location, such as an employee breakroom or other common space accessible by employees. A copy of the new 2022 poster is available from the Ohio Department of Commerce and can be found here.
Restroom Equal Access
Cincinnati also adopted Title III, which requires equal access to single-occupancy toilet facilities in places of public accommodation for all persons regardless of their sex, gender identity, physical or mental capacity, or familial status. See the ordinance here.
Texas Employment Laws for 2022
The Texas Legislature has broadened the scope of protections afforded to victims of workplace sexual harassment in several notable ways. Most importantly, SB 45 and HB 21 amend the Texas Labor Code to allow even small employers (with fewer than 15 employees) to be sued for sexual harassment, to permit sexual-harassment claims to be brought against individuals, and to enable administrative charges to be filed for up to 300 days after the alleged conduct. These significant changes can be expected to increase the number of sexual harassment claims filed under Texas state law.
Permit-less Carry Law Requires New Signage
As of September 1, the Firearm Carry Act of 2021 (HB 1927) allows most Texans age 21 or older to carry holstered handguns without a permit and without training.
However, this relaxed standard does not curtail an employer’s right to prohibit possession of firearms on its premises. One exception- it remains unlawful for most employers to prohibit employees from keeping a firearm they lawfully possess in their personal, locked vehicles in a company parking area.
In addition, possession of firearms on business premises will constitute a criminal misdemeanor if the business has notified the public orally or through signage that firearms are prohibited on the property. Be aware that this will require new signage under amendments to section 30.05 of the Texas Penal Code.
Employees Called to State Military Duty
Texas employers have long been prohibited from discharging an employee because the employee was called to active duty or training with the state military forces. Employers must grant reinstatement without loss of seniority, vacation time, or other benefits. Even so, the only recourse available to employees alleging a violation of the law had been to file a complaint with the Texas Workforce Commission.
A new statutory amendment (SB 484) grants such employees the right to hire a lawyer and file a civil lawsuit. It also generally affords them the same benefits and protections available under the federal Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act and the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.
COVID-19 Liability Protections
SB 6, the Pandemic Liability Protection Act (PLPA), took effect on June 14 and protects businesses from liability for injury or death caused by having exposed any individual (whether or not an employee) to a pandemic disease during a pandemic emergency.
The statute does not afford absolute immunity. Claims can still be brought in limited circumstances if the business:
Knowingly failed to warn of or remediate a condition it knew was likely to result in an exposure.
Knowingly refused to comply with government standards or guidance intended to lower the likelihood of exposure.
The PLPA liability shield will remain in effect until the governor terminates the current COVID-19 pandemic disaster declaration.
Paid Sick Leave Not Required
All bills introduced during the regular legislative session to require private employers to provide employees with paid sick leave have failed, and similar bills pending in the second legislative session have yet to gain traction.
At the local level, city ordinances adopted by Austin, Dallas, and San Antonio that would have required paid sick leave have been thwarted by legal challenges. Therefore, no Texas state or local law currently requires Texas employers to provide paid sick leave.
Efforts to pass pre-emption laws in the most recent legislative sessions, which would prohibit city and county governments from adopting any rule or ordinance requiring employee leave or benefits beyond those required by federal or state law, have stalled for the time being.
Massachusetts Employment Laws for 2022
Paid Covid Leave Time Extended
Paid COVID leave has been extended to April 1, 2022. The law had been set to expire tomorrow on October 1. All prior portions of the law remain in effect. The law applies to employers of any size and provides for up to 40 hours of paid sick leave for the following reasons:
• To self-isolate because of the employee’s COVID diagnosis;
• To obtain medical care or treatment for, or seek a diagnosis of COVID;
• To obtain or recover from the COVID vaccine;
• To care for a family member who has COVID or is self-isolating; or
• To help a family member obtain a vaccine or recover from an injury or illness related to the vaccine.
The law provides a maximum benefit allowance of $850. Wage reimbursement is available to employers that pay out COVID time-off. If the $75 million allocated for this purpose is exhausted at some point in time earlier than April 1, 2022, the law will no longer be in effect.
Here’s a list of posters that Massachusetts employers must post.
Arizona Employment Laws for 2022
Arizona Minimum Wage Law
In September 2021, the Industrial Commission of Arizona announced a minimum wage increase effective January 1, 2022.
The minimum wage is set to increase to $12.80 per hour effective January 1, 2022
Tipped employees may be paid a maximum of $3.00 per hour less than the minimum wage.
Wage and Hour Exemptions
Employees may be exempt from wage and hour laws based on criteria associated with their salary, actual duties, and skills. Exempt employees neither receive overtime pay nor qualify for minimum wage. Arizona labor law defines these exemptions based on Executive, Administrative, or Professional status. Learn more here.