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State Employment Law Update, June 2013

Filed under Office & HR.

While changes in federal law grab most of the headlines and the attention, changes that can affect employers are constantly being made on a state level across a wide variety of topics. For busy small business owners, keeping up with these changes can be particularly challenging. Check the state-by-state list below to find out about recent changes in your state laws that may impact you and your business.

Arizona: Taxi, livery and limousine companies in Arizona are required to conduct pre-employment and annual random drug testing of for-hire drivers, including lessees.

State law prohibits local governments in Arizona from regulating employee compensation.

Arkansas: Employers cannot require employees and job applicants to permit access to social media accounts. Employers may not retaliate against employees or refuse to hire applicants who exercise their rights under this law.

Colorado: Effective July 1, 2013, employers are prohibited from using consumer credit information for employment purposes unless the information is substantially related to the employee's current or potential job, if the employer is a bank or financial institution, or if the report is required by law.

Employers in Colorado cannot discharge, discipline, or otherwise penalize an employee for refusing to disclose social media information and are also prohibited from refusing to hire a job applicant on this basis.

Effective January 1, 2015, Colorado allows additional remedies of compensatory and punitive damages in employment discrimination cases brought under state law against employers where intentional discrimination is proven.

Connecticut: Effective January 1, 2014, the minimum wage rate in Connecticut is $8.70 per hour.

For tipped employees in the restaurant and hotel industry and bartenders, the amount of the tip credit towards the hourly minimum wage increases effective January 1, 2014.

Delaware: Same-sex marriage is legalized in Delaware effective July 1, 2013.

Indiana: Effective July 1, 2013, individuals convicted of certain nonviolent crimes may have their criminal records sealed.

Subject to certain conditions, Indiana does not require minors who are at least 12 years of age to obtain an employment certificate for work as a youth athletic program referee, umpire, or official.

Minnesota: Same-sex marriage is legalized in Minnesota effective August 1, 2013.

Effective January 1, 2014, employers in Minnesota cannot ask a job applicant about criminal records or conduct a criminal background check unless the applicant has been selected for an interview or a conditional offer of employment has been extended.

Nevada: Effective July 1, 2013, the hourly minimum wage and daily overtime pay rates remain unchanged in Nevada.

The Nevada minimum wage rate for employees who receive qualified health benefits from their employers will remain at $7.25 per hour, and the minimum wage rate for employees who do not receive health benefits will remain at $8.25 per hour.

Employees in Nevada who receive qualified health benefits from their employers and earn less than $10.875 per hour and employees earning less than $12.375 per hour who do not receive qualified health benefits must be paid overtime whenever they work more than 8 hours in a 24-hour period.

Effective October 1, 2013, employers in Nevada cannot condition employment on an employee’s or prospective employee’s consumer credit report or other credit information. There is an exception for credit information that is reasonably related to the position of employment.

Rhode Island: Same-sex marriage is legalized in Rhode Island effective August 1, 2013.

Vermont: Equal pay protections are expanded in Vermont effective July 1, 2013.

Effective July 1, 2013, Vermont employers cannot prohibit employees from inquiring about or discussing the wages of other employees.

Vermont employment discrimination protections for nursing mothers are expanded effective July 1, 2013.

Effective January 1, 2014, employees in Vermont are permitted to request a flexible work arrangement and are protected against employer retaliation for making such a request.

Washington: Effective July 28, 2013, employers in Washington are prohibited from requiring employees or prospective employees to submit information to access an individual’s personal social networking website account or profile. If certain conditions are met, employers may seek content, but not log-in information, from an employee’s personal social networking accounts.

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