Minimum Wage Updates 7/1/2021

Effective July 1, 2021, two states and several cities/counties will be increasing their minimum wage – this means payroll processes will have to be updated if you have employees in the specific areas. The federal minimum wage is currently $7.25, but many states and cities have their minimum wage set higher than that. Read below for all of the minimum wage updates that are effective July 1, 2021. 

CALIFORNIA

  • Berkeley – $16.32 (including youth work & training)
  • Emeryville – $17.13     
  • Fremont – $15.00 (≤25 employees)
  • Fremont – $15.25 (>26 employees)
  • Long Beach – $15.69 (hotels only)
  • Los Angeles City and Unincorporated Los Angeles County – $15.00 (≤25 employees)
  • Los Angeles City and Unincorporated Log Angeles County – $17.64 (hotels w/ 150+ rooms)
  • Malibu – $15.00 (≤25 employees)
  • Milpitas – $15.65 
  • Pasadena – $15.00 (≤25 employees)
  • San Francisco – $16.32 
  • San Francisco – $14.44 (government-supported employee)
  • Santa Monica – $15.00 (≤25 employees, non-hotel)
  • Santa Monica – $17.64 (hotels)

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

  • District of Columbia – $15.20
  • District of Columbia – $5.05 (tipped employee)

ILLINOIS

  • Chicago – $15.00 (>21 employees)
  • Chicago – $9.00 (>21 employees, tipped employees)
  • Chicago – $14.00 (4 to 20 employees)
  • Chicago – $8.40 (4 to 20 employees, tipped employee)
  • Chicago – $11.00 (youth wage)
  • Chicago – $6.60 (youth wage, tipped employee)
  • Cook County – $6.90 (tipped employee)

MARYLAND

  • Montgomery County – $13.50 (1 to 10 employees)
  • Montgomery County – $14.00 (11 to 50 employees)
  • Montgomery County – $15.00 (>51 employees)

MINNESOTA

  • Minneapolis – $14.25 (>100 employees) 
  • Minneapolis – $12.50 (≤100 employees) 
  • St. Paul – $12.50 (101 to 1,000 employees)
  • St. Paul – $11.00 (6 to 100 employees)
  • St. Paul (≤5 employees)

NEVADA

  • Statewide – $8.75 (employees who receive health benefits that meet certain criteria)
  • Statewide – $9.75 (employees who do not receive sufficient benefits)

NEW YORK

  • Cities outside of NYC – $15.00 (fast food employees only)

OREGON

  • Within Portland’s Urban Growth Boundary – $14.00
  • Nonurban Counties – $12.00
  • All other “Standard” Counties – $12.75
Workplace Harassment

Over the past two years, the #MeTooMovement has changed the landscape of workplace harassment and other workplace issues. Even though the #MeTooMovement changed the landscape, workplace harassment is still is a very serious and common problem.

It is important for HR departments to be educated and aware of types of harassment and how to handle them. When equipped with the right information, HR and employee relations can be critical in identifying and eliminating all different types of workplace harassment before anything escalates. 

Here are the 5 most common types of workplace harassment:

  1. Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment in the workplace is still common, even though the #MeTooMovement empowered victims to speak up. Unwelcome and offensive comments, unwanted physical attention, and requests for sexual favors are all considered sexual harassment in the workplace. 

2. Disability Harassment 

Disability harassment is when unfavorable treatment or harassment of employees with a physical or mental disability occurs. Disability harassment is very widespread in the workplace, so it is important for managers to be aware of the signs of this type of harassment. 

3. Racial Harassment

Racism is something that unfortunately occurs everywhere, but being able to identify it in the workplace is critical. Some common displays of racial harassment include displaying discriminatory symbols, mocking someone’s accent, making unwelcome comments about ones race, telling derogatory jokes, and using racial slurs. 

4. Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Harassment

These two types of harassment are when individuals make derogatory, offensive or demeaning remarks based on a persons sexual orientation or gender identity, including transgender status. These two types of harassments are different and here’s why; sexual orientation harassment refers to whether a person is homosexual, heterosexual, or bisexual. Gender identity harassment refers to a persons self-identification as a man or a woman. 

5. Ageism

More than 1 in 3 employees feel that their age has prevented them from getting a job after they turned 40. Age discrimination is still common, even though it should not be. 

If your organization seems to come across workplace harassment issues, and you need help – let us know! AZ HR Hub is your #HRPartner, so you can focus on business!

Benefit Requirements

As an employer, it is important to understand what benefits you are responsible for obtaining for your company. In some cases, creating a benefit package is the best way to go. Some perks, like vacation days  and tuition reimbursement, are nice to offer, but they are not required by law. It is vital to be aware of what laws mandate employee benefits so you can plan accordingly.

Social Security and Medical Taxes 

Regardless of the size of the busines, every employer in the United States is required to match their employees’ social security and Medicare tax contributions. The cost of these contributions can vary based on the age of the employee and their earned income. 

Unemployment Insurance

No matter how many employees and employer has, they must carry unemployment insurance. Both part-time and full-time employees are entitled to unemployment benefits. 

Workers Compensation

Employers are required to carry workers compensation insurance which acts as a wage replacement and medical benefit is an employee should become injured or ill while working. 

Disability Insurance

Disability insurance is only mandated for employers in the following states; New York, California, New Jersey, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and Rhode Island. Disability Insurance provides partial wage replacement insurance coverage to employees that suffer from a non-work related injury or illness that causes them to miss work. 

Family Medical Leave

Family medical leave benefits are required by law for any employer that has 50 full-time employees or more. This benefit allows employees to receive up to 12 weeks of unpaid medical leave per year while still maintaining their job and benefits. 

Health Insurance

The Affordable Care Act requires employers that have more than 50 full-time employees to offer acceptable health insurance. 

Workplace Safety

Safety in the workplace is one of the most important things that employers can promote. The Occupational Health and Safety Act (OSHA) sets rules and regulations for employers to follow, these guidelines ensure a safe work environment for everyone. 

Human resource departments play a vital role in ensuring safe workplace conditions. HR departments have to stay up to date with OSHA standards and enforce them correctly and effectively. HR personnel also have to oversee management to make sure that they are following organizational safety practices. Follow along for a workplace safety guideline that will help your HR department when ensuring safe work conditions. 

1.     UNDERSTAND RULES AND REGULATIONS 

Every company is different, meaning every company will have different standards to follow. Understanding your industry’s requirements is imperative to providing a safe work climate. 

2.     CREATE TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES

Employees will only know the things that they are taught. Providing training opportunities will allow employees to gain knowledge about workplace safety and will teach them how to implement safety in their work lives. 

3.     PROVIDE VISUAL AIDS 

Visual aids help grab an employee’s attention and can give them quick, important information. OSHA and many other government-based organizations provide free signage for employers to post in their workplace. 

4.     ESTABLISH A SAFETY COMMITTEE

Creating a safety committee of all different types of employees is key to making sure working conditions are always safe. This safety committee should include personnel from all departments, as well as senior executives and entry-level workers. 

5.     PERFORM SAFETY AUDITS

Safety audits allow employers to see how effective their current safety practices are. It also allows employers to make sure they comply with all local, state, and federal rules and regulations. 

Human resource departments are not the only people who can help in ensuring workplace safety – it involves everyone’s help and it’s a team effort. Following OSHA guidelines will help protect employees and employers from workplace accidents. Reach out to AZ HR Hub for assistance with maintaining OSHA guidelines!

Minimum Wage Increases for 2021

2020 has been a year of crazy events, from a global pandemic to a historical election – we have constantly been on our toes. 2021 might be just as crazy, but we can go into it with some knowledge. 

The minimum wage for many states will be changing going into the new year. The federal minimum wage is $7.25/hour but if states or municipalities have a higher minimum wage, employers must pay their employees the higher rate. 

Check out the map below to see minimum wages for 2021. Some states will see an increase on January 1st, some states will see an increase on different dates, some will not see a minimum wage change and other states do not have a minimum wage, therefore they follow the federal minimum wage. 

Source: HR Daily Advisor

Alaska$10.34 (effective January 1)
Arizona$12.15 (effective January 1)
Arkansas$11.00, tipped employees must regularly earn at least $20/month in tips (effective January 1)
California$14.00 with 26 employees or more, $13.00 with 26 employees or less (effective January 1)
Colorado$12.32 (effective January 1)
Connecticut$13.00 (effective August 1)
Florida$8.65 (effective January 1) Increases to $10.00 (effective September 30)
Illinois$11.00 (effective January 1)
Maine$12.15 (effective January 1)
Maryland$11.75 with 15 employees or more, $11.60 with 15 employees or less
Massachusetts$13.50 (effective January 1)
Michigan$9.87 (effective January 1)
Minnesota$10.08 for large employers (annual gross revenue $500,000 or more) $8.21 for small employers (annual gross revenue less than $500,000) (effective January 1)
Montana$8.75 (effective January 1)
Nevada$9.75 for employees without healthcare benefits, $8.75 for employees with healthcare benefits (effective July 1)
New Jersey$12.00 with more than 5 employees, $11.10 for seasonal employees and/or 5 or fewer workers, $10.44 agricultural employers (effective January 1)
New Mexico$10.50 (effective January 1)
Ohio$8.80 for gross receipts of $323,000 or more, $7.25 for gross receipts under $323,000 (effective January 1)
Oregon$14.00 metro area (effective July 1), $12.75 urban counties (effective July 1), $12.00 rural counties (effective July 1)  
Rhode Island$11.50 (effective January 1)
South Dakota$9.45 (effective January 1)
Vermont$11.75 (effective January 1)
Virginia$9.50 (effective May 1)
Washington$13.69 (effective January 1)
5 Tips to Protect Your Company from Wrongful Termination Lawsuits

Most jobs are considered to be “at will” employment, but employees may still be able to sue an employer if the reason for termination is determined to be illegal. Unfortunately, termination is something that nearly every workplace must deal with, so it’s important that this matter be handled with delicacy and professionalism. The following are a few tips that can keep a workplace safe from wrongful termination lawsuits.

1. Communicate Regarding Expectations

Letting employees know what’s expected from day one can help to prevent performance issues and protect an employer if an employee is fired for failing to meet expectations. Of course, regular feedback should be given so that employees know whether or not they’re meeting expectations. If an employee is consistently warned about performance issues, it should be no surprise when termination follows.

2. Keep Great Documentation

Even if an employee is alerted to issues with performance, tardiness, or behavior, it can be difficult to prove that this feedback was given if there’s no documentation. Keeping great records can not only help to protect an employer from wrongful termination, it can also improve transparency and communication regarding ongoing issues. This can in turn improve consistency and organization, preventing problems from several angles.

3. Be Compassionate During Terminations

Being fired has been identified as one of the most stressful things that can happen in a person’s life. When the time comes to terminate someone, no matter what the reasons for the termination, being compassionate can help to ease the inherent tension in the situation. How an employee feels during and after the termination can be a big factor in whether or not the employee feels the need to pursue legal action.

4. Purchase Liability Insurance

Liability insurance is an added expense for the business, but may help to save dollars if an employee sues the company for wrongful termination. Not all liability insurance is the same, however. It may be prudent to make sure the option still exists to defend against a lawsuit and avoid a settlement, even if liability insurance is available to help pay settlements when they are found to be the best course of action.

5. Help Employees with Next Steps

Employees that find new jobs very quickly after termination usually don’t sue for wrongful termination. For this reason, it can be beneficial to assist employees with next steps as part of the termination process. Providing a reference or helping with networking, especially in cases where an employee was let go because of downsizing, can help the employee to move forward fast and prevent stress-inducing downtime.

Termination can be difficult for both employers and employees, so following certain guidelines can ease stress of the situation and prevent the hard feelings that sometimes lead to wrongful termination lawsuits. By detailing expectations and establishing a consistent chain of events that happens prior to termination, employers can protect themselves from liability. Employees may also feel more secure knowing what to expect and seeing that other employees are held accountable.

Your HR Partner

Contact Us

Social