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SMALL BUSINESS NEWS

Feb 2019

 

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New 2019 Laws Affecting Businesses in The North East

Connecticut

 

Pay History:  Connecticut employers are now prohibited from asking job candidates about their salary history during job interviews.  Proponents of the so-called “pay equity” legislation said asking about salary history maintains the existing pay gap between men and women. Prospective employees will still have the option to voluntarily disclose that information. States including Rhode Island and Massachusetts have similar laws. [Public Act No. 18-8]

 

Mandatory IRA:  Requires private-sector employers without their own workplace-based retirement plans to enroll employees in Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs) sponsored by the state. Per recent announcement, the law will be phased-in beginning in 2019. The requirement stems from legislation enacted in 2016.  [Conn. Gen. Stat. §§ 31-410 et seq.15]

 

  

 

Delaware

 

Sexual Harassment:  And, a new Delaware law will require employers with 50 or more employees to provide sexual-harassment training to current workers within the next year, or within one year of hiring new employees. Training must be offered every two years thereafter.  [HB.360].

 

Training Wages and Youth Wages:  Creates a minimum training wage and youth wage of no more than $0.50 less than the state minimum wage. Training wage applies during the first 90 days of employment of an employee who is age 18 or older.  [HB.483].

 

Notification:  Requires employers with 50+ employees to provide 60 days' notice to affected employees, the Delaware Department of Labor WARN Act Administrator, and the Delaware Workforce Development Board of mass layoffs, plant closings, or relocations that will cause employment loss.  [HB.409].

 

 

Maine

 

Minimum Wage: Good news for low income workers! The first of the year marks an increase in the minimum wage, up to $11 an hour, according to the Journal Tribune. Tipped workers will earn a minimum of 5.50 an hour.

 

Marijuana:   Today's a big day for medical marijuana businesses throughout Maine. Legislation passed last summer is taking effect, and it promises to make it easier for Mainers to obtain marijuana products to treat whatever ails them.

 

 

Massachusetts

 

Minimum Wage:  The road to a $15 minimum wage starts Tuesday. The state's hourly minimum wage increases from $11 to $12, the beginning of a four-year steady increase. Restaurant servers will see their hourly wage increase from $3.75 to $6.75.

 

Tax Cut:  The income tax will fall from 5.1 percent to 5.05 percent Tuesday.

 

Tobacco:  The most important piece of the legislation raises the minimum age for buying tobacco products from 18 to 21.  The legislation also says pharmacies can't sell tobacco products.

 

Airbnb Taxes:  Airbnb and other short-term housing rental websites will be subject to a 5.7 percent hotel and motel room tax. The compromise bill, which was struck late in the year, will exempt homeowners who rent out their units for 14 or fewer days a year. Municipalities can levy their own taxes of up to 6 percent, and 6.5 percent in Boston.

 

 

New Hampshire

 

Tax Reduction:  Reductions to the state's Business Profits Tax and Business Enterprise Tax take effect a few days into 2019, on Jan. 4. For taxable periods ending on or after December 31, 2019 the BPT rate is reduced to 7.7% and for taxable periods ending on or after December 31, 2021 the BPT rate is reduced to 7.5%

 

 

Vermont

 

Pay to Move:  The state is giving people up to $10,000 over two years for those employed by out-of-state companies who are willing to work remotely from Vermont in a home office or cooperative work space.

 

Pay History:  Elsewhere, Connecticut and Hawaii are making it illegal for employers to ask job applicants about their pay history. That brings to 10 the number of states with similar bans, which are intended to stop the cycle of pay discrimination against women and minorities. [H.294]

 

Sources:
Public Act No. 18-8
Conn. Gen. Stat. §§ 31-410 et seq.15
HB.483
HB.409
H.294

By Wendy Stewart

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

  
 

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