As we go forward in the legislative session, a few bills with Human Resources implications to certain limited employers have been introduced but the pace seems to be slowing. Therefore, this week’s posting concentrates on trends and a few areas of interest.
Related to the use of medical marijuana, HB 292 amends the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act to limit safety sensitive positions to “employees who carry a firearm as part of their employment or who operate(s) a commercial motor vehicle requiring a commercial drivers’ license.” Why is this important? The Lynn and Erin Compassionate use Act states that with a few exceptions, “it is unlawful to take an adverse employment action against an applicant or employee based on conduct allowed under…the Act.” In addition, under the existing language of the Act, employee protections do not apply to an employee whose employer deems that the employee works in a safety-sensitive position. So as an employer, I can require that my employee who is in a safety sensitive position, not use medical marijuana. If I test the individual in the safety sensitive position and they receive a positive result, I can take action. Whereas employers can currently define which positions could impact safety or pose a threat if an employee used medical marijuana, the new language limits an employer’s ability to determine those exemptions. (Please be aware that this does not limit the employer from taking action against an any employee, regardless of position, who is impaired in the workplace.)
Related to minimum wage, there was a “Do Pass” vote on the committee substitution for HB 25. The committee substitution proposes minimum wage increases to $13.50 beginning January 1, 2024, and to $15.50 on January 1, 2025. On top of these rates, “On January 1, 2026, and on January 1 of each successive year, the minimum wage rate” will be adjusted under the terms related to the consumer price index (CPI) outlined in the committee substitution. The Department of Workforce Solutions will notify employers of the minimum wage prior to each new year. There was also an amendment recommended on HB 28 with a “Do Pass” that has changes to the adjustment of the minimum wage related to the CPI.
As of February 7, there were no changes on the Paid Family Medical Leave Act since its introduction on January 30. However, we still have over a month before the session ends. We will continue to track this piece of legislation and provide additional updates as we hear more.
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Written by | Magdalena Vigil-Tullar
HR Consultant | MBA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, CLRP
Phone: 505-270-7494 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org