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New state employment laws taking effect in 2021

As employers continue to grapple with the ever-changing legal landscape of Covid-era regulations, 2021 will bring employment law changes in dozens of jurisdictions, write Littler Mendelson attorneys Bruce Sarchet and Heather St. Clair in an article on JDSupra [1].  Included are legislation enacted by states and localities to better distinguish independent contractors from employees.

The laws most directly affecting the contingent workforce:

California AB 323. Extends for one year (until Jan. 1, 2022) the exception from the ABC test for newspaper carriers.

Colorado SB 20-205. This law allows employees to accrue at least one hour of paid sick and safe time leave for every 30 hours they work, up to a maximum of 48 hours per year.  The law will apply to employers with 16 or more employees starting Jan. 1, 2021, and then apply to all employers on Jan. 1, 2022.

Iowa SB 2296. Establishes the circumstances under which certain independent contractors are not considered employees for purposes of various laws. Effective July 1, 2021.

Louisiana SB 68. Provides the definitions of “employee” and excludes independent contractors from definition of “employment” for the purpose of unemployment benefits. Effective Jan. 1, 2021.

Minneapolis Ordinance No. 2019-00699. Creates the Freelance Worker Protection Ordinance; requires contracts for service to be set forth in writing and provides an enforcement mechanism for failure to pay a worker as agreed upon in the contract. Effective Jan. 1, 2021.

Virginia HB 1407 (SB 744). Creates a presumption that a worker is an employee, unless either party proves independent contractor status under federal IRS guidelines.  Prohibits worker misclassification, providing civil penalties and prohibiting contract awards from public bodies and covered individuals for violations. Effective Jan. 1, 2021.

Read the article online [1] for a more complete list.

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