A remarkable number of city and county labor laws have been issued within the last 12 months. Many cities and counties now require employers to post local notices along with their mandatory state and federal labor law posters. To find out if your city or county requires a mandatory labor law poster click here.

Minimum Wage Ordinances

Prior to 2012, there were only five cities or counties that passed local minimum wage laws. Today, there are 41. As the cost of living in many cities skyrocketed over the last decade, we’ve seen many localities issue a minimum wage higher than the state. In cities such as San Jose, Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, minimum wage adjustments are part of multi-step increases. Other cities have opted to implement one-time adjustments. There are a few states that do not allow cities to mandate a minimum wage higher than the rest of the state. For instance, efforts to implement a new minimum wage in Lexington-Fayette County, Kentucky were overturned when the Kentucky Supreme Court decided its cities and counties do not have authority to issue a minimum wage higher than the state wage.

Paid Sick Leave

In 2016, we noticed a significant increase in the number of cities and counties that passed a Paid Sick Leave law. Paid Sick Leave laws generally state that employees are allowed to accrue Paid Sick Leave (or Earned Sick Time) for a set amount of hours worked. Sometimes, these hours can be used for a variety of reasons. For example, Paid Sick Leave may be applied when an employee must care for an ill domestic partner or family member. Measures were first seen statewide in Connecticut, California, and Massachusetts. There are now seven states plus Washington, D.C. that currently have an Earned/Paid Sick Leave law for employees. This type of ordinance has been approved by local agencies in cities and counties such as Trenton, Philadelphia, Portland, & Montgomery County, to name a few. At the moment there are no federal Paid Sick Leave ordinances; however, we continue to see Paid Sick Leave measures discussed among many state, city, and county agencies.

Fair Chance Employment

Fair Chance Employment laws were established to promote unbiased decision-making in the hiring process by eliminating the conviction history section on job applications and requiring employers to delay background checks until later in the hiring process. These types of policies encourage employers to carefully evaluate how a job relates to an applicant’s conviction, and consider the amount of time that has passed since the conviction. Fair Chance Employment laws (commonly referred to as “ban the box” laws) have been adopted in over 150 cities and counties nationwide since the first law was adopted in the state of Hawaii in 1998. Cities that currently require employers to post Fair Chance Employment notices include Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Seattle, and San Francisco.

How City/County Posters Affect Your Compliance Risk

Cities and counties that enforce their own labor laws may issue periodic inspections of local businesses. In addition, localities may encourage employees to file a complaint if their rights under the law are ever violated. If a city or county official becomes aware that your business has not posted a required notice, or is not following the mandates of the law, you may be subject to fines. More importantly, if a disgruntled employee were to file a claim about your disobedience with labor laws, the repercussions could land you and your business in an expensive lawsuit or settlement.

How to Manage City/County Compliance

The process of tracking, obtaining, laminating, posting, and updating your local notices can become costly and tedious. As an employer, it takes time and money away from the main focus of your business. Poster Compliance Center developed a City/County Poster 1-Year Plan for cities and counties that require labor law posters. This 1-Year Plan eliminates the headache of managing your city or county labor law posting requirements by sending free, automatic updates whenever a mandatory revision or new notice is issued. Plus, shipping is included in the plan. The best part about the City/County Poster 1-Year Plan is that you can bundle it with our OneSystem 1-Year Compliance Plan, which covers your mandatory state and federal posting requirements. For more information and the latest updates regarding city and county labor laws, subscribe to our Free Labor Law Update Notifications here.