In December 2016, The National Partnership for Women and Families announced a ton of new workplace laws that working parents can celebrate. These laws are about paid sick leave, something not everyone in the U.S. gets, paid family and medical leave, fair pay, and laws that protect pregnant women. There’s still a lot more work that needs to be done but these laws show that the U.S. government is listening to the people and figuring out how to give them what they need.
Here’s a list of U.S. states and local level laws that will come to be as well as federal laws that will go into effect in 2017.
State and Local Laws That Will Benefit Working Families
On July 1st, Arizona will put a paid sick days law into effect. This was a result of its working people voting six out of 10 this past October in support for this policy change. Way to go voters in Arizona!
Three cities in California will see some big changes in 2017. In San Francisco workers will receive additional benefits under the California paid family leave law. Employers with more than 50 or more employees will see the change on January 1st. Employers with 35-49 will see the change on July 1st, and then employers with 20-34 employees will see the change next year in 2018. In addition to this San Francisco will also expand their paid sick leave on January 1st, as well as cover leave for preventive care, domestic violence, and other purposes.
Santa Monica will put into effect a citywide paid sick days law as well as of the first of the year. The city of Berkley will also do the same on October 1st.
Here are the cities who will get updated paid sick days laws. In Chicago and Cook Country, Illinois, city and countrywide paid sick days will commence as of July 1st.
Minneapolis will introduce it on July 1st and St. Paul will as well the same day for employers with 24 or more employees. Smaller companies will enjoy this law in 2018. Morristown, New Jersey will get paid sick days starting January 11th. And if you’re lucky to live in Spokane, Washington you’ll get paid sick days, too, starting on January 1st.
Vermont residents will enjoy its fifth statewide kind of law when they introduce paid sick days on the first of the year. For now, it only covers employers with six or more employees. But don’t worry if you work for a company small this because the law will take effect for you in 2018.
The last state law the National Partnership for Women and Families mentioned was for Wake County, North Carolina. This county’s municipal employees will be guaranteed paid paternal leave.
Federal Laws to Keep an Eye on in 2017
Here’s some great news for about 1.15 million people who work on federal contracts. Federal contractors will be required to provide sick time to their employees! This law will apply to new contracts submitted by or after the first of the year. This is even better news for the 600,000 employees who currently don’t have any sick time. In addition to this, they’ll also have to provide their employee's wage statements to help improve pay transparency.
This helps prevent pay discrimination and close unfair wage gaps.
Will 2017 see changes in the gender gap? It remains to be seen but serious steps will be taken this year to close this unjust gap. Starting October 1st employers with 100 or more employees must start documenting compensation data by gender, race, and ethnicity on the EEO-1 forms they must file with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Here’s hoping that big change starts to happen.
Lastly, starting October 25th, when federal subcontractors are bidding on federal contracts they will need to disclose severe or repeated labor law violations such as unlawful behavior related to wages, safety, and any other workplace protections. This is a great way to keep ethicality at the forefront during bidding.
Hopefully, this is just the beginning of supporting the working class families in the U.S. It was fantastic news to see many 2016 campaigns putting the spotlight on family friendly workplace struggles.
Let’s keep the conversation going so that we all can get closer to work/life balance.