Multi-State Employers: Here Are Some Updated L&E State Laws You Should Know About

Contributed by Heather Bailey

Georgia:

Garnishments: Not only can employers now file responses to wage garnishment orders, they can now deduct up to $100 for reasonable expenses related to filing.

Depending on the number of employees, Georgia employers must be using e-verify for employment verification starting as early as January 1, 2012.

Indiana:

Effective February 1, 2012, Indiana became a Right to Work State.  This means, as a condition of employment, employers generally cannot require employees to join or remain with a union, nor may employers require employees to pay union dues or fees that are typical of union members.  Knowingly or willfully doing so can cost employers hefty fines up to $5,000 or a year in jail.

Effective July 1, 2012, Indiana joins the states with non-smoking laws in public places.  Employers will now have to ban smoking in enclosed areas and within 8 feet from entrances to their buildings.

Washington:

Washington state law now recognizes the marital status of same-sex marriages and equivalent legal unions as a protected class.

Wyoming:

New Hire Procedures:  Effective July 1, 2012, employers must not only report those who have never worked for the employer before but those re-hires who return to work (unless it’s been within the last 60 days).  The reports must include the new hire dates as to when the employee first begins compensated work.

Federal Fun Fact:

The EEOC has announced it will likely be updating its notorious guidance on how employers should give individual assessment when using criminal background checks for employment purposes for job-relatedness due to recent court decisions and employers’ easy access to criminal histories.  The EEOC finds that blanket, standard policies disproportionately discriminate against minorities and employers having such policies and practices become the target of EEOC investigations.  Stay tuned.