New Federal & State Laws That Go Into Effect on January 1, 2015

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By Timm W. Schowalter

Timm SchowalterFEDERAL

    • Executive Order 1365817: Government Contractors — Minimum wage increases to $10.10 per hour for employees of certain government contractors; increases minimum wage of tipped employees to $4.90 per hour.
    • Affordable Care Act’s Shared Responsibility Provision— the ACA’s employer “pay-or-play” mandate will apply to larger firms with 100 or more full-time employees.

OSHA Final Rule re 29 C.F.R. part 190418–Expands the types of work-related injuries that must be reported and revises timeliness of reporting obligations.


Minimum wage increases to $7.65, and tipped employee minimum cash wage increases to $3.83.


  • HB 570113:  Background Checks — Restricts employers’ use of criminal background checks on job applicants unless certain exception exists.
  • HB 814: Pregnancy Discrimination– Prohibits discrimination based on pregnancy and requires employers to provide a reasonable accommodation of pregnant employees. Also, Employers are required to include notice and posting requirements, including modifying their employee handbooks.
  • HB 4157: Discrimination Prohibitions extended to interns– Extends sexual harassment and sexual harassment retaliation protections to interns.
  • HB 562215: Wage payment Practices—Permits wage payment via payroll debit card if certain requirements met.


No new laws or regulations go into effect on of January 1st.

Employer Lessons: Legal obligations have become increasingly complex so maintaining the status quo with employment guidelines, handbooks and trainings increases litigation risks.  It is imperative that all employers maintain and provide up-to-date policies and practices to ensure their compliance obligations are satisfied at the federal and state levels.

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