top of page

Are you ready for 2019?

Employment law, 2019, minimum wage increase

As the new year is fast approaching below is a brief summary of various state laws that will take effect January 1, 2019. We are definitely seeing a trend where states and individual counties within states are moving forward with paid parental leave, salary history inquiries, mandated sick leave, minimum wage increases, etc. instead of waiting for nationwide federal law changes. This is going to affect your employee handbooks and company policies more than you probably thought especially if you employee employees in more than one state or several counties within a state. A general rule to follow is that whatever law is the most advantageous to your employees is the law you should follow.

Employee handbooks and other employee policies should be reviewed. Along with your time management systems to ensure you are properly tracking new paid leave accruals. HR systems and analytics are going to play an important part to ensure compliance and cost metrics.

If you have any questions how these new laws may affect your business, please contact us at today.

Alaska Minimum wage increase from $9.84 to $9.89.


Minimum wage increase from $10.50 to $11.00. Tipped employees minimum wage will also increase from $7.50 to $8.00.

Benefits Continuation: Arizona’s “mini-COBRA” law will requires benefit continuation for small employers who are ordinarily not subject to the terms of the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA). It applies to employers who average at least one (1) but no more than twenty (20) employees in the preceding calendar year, and health benefits plans that were issued or renewed after December 31, 2018.


Minimum wage increase for employers with 25 or fewer employees will increase from $10.50 to $11.00. Employers with 26 or more employees will increase from $11.00 to $12.00.

Lactation Accommodation: Amends lactation accommodation provision to require employers to provide a location other than a bathroom to express milk.

Salary History: Amends the statewide salary history ban, adding guidance to defining the terms “pay scale,” “reasonable request,” and “applicant,”. California law also allows employers to (1) ask applicants of their salary expectations, and (2) make compensation decisions based on current salary as long as any wage differential is supported by one or more specified, nondiscriminatory factors.

Family Temporary Disability Insurance: Repeals the 7 day waiting period for the initial receipt of insurance benefits under the California family temporary disability insurance and the provision allowing employers to apply vacation leave to the waiting period.

Wage Record Receipt: Allows current and former employees to request a copy of their wage record that they can keep.


Minimum wage increase from $10.20 to $11.10. Tipped employees minimum wage will also increase from $7.18 to $8.08.


Mandatory IRAs: Requires private sector employers without their own workplace based retirement plans to enroll employee in Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs) sponsored by the state.

Salary History Inquiries: Prohibits employers from asking about an applicant’s salary history before an offer of employment, unless the applicant voluntarily discloses such information.


Sexual Harassment Protections and Training: Requires employers with 50 or more employees to provide sexual harassment training to new employees within one year of employment, to existing employees within one year of the effective date of this act and every two years thereafter.


Salary History Restrictions and Wage Transparency: Prohibits employers from inquiring about an applicant’s salary history or relying on that information when determine what compensation to offer the applicant.


Minimum wage increase from $10.00 to $11.00. Tipped employees minimum wage will also increase from $5.00 to $5.50.


Large employers with annual gross revenue of $500,000 or more, minimum wage will increase fro $9.65 to $9.86. Small employers with annual gross revenue less than $500,000, minimum wage will increase from $7.87 to $8.04.

New Jersey

Minimum wage increase from $8.60 to $8.85. Tipped employees minimum wage remains the same at $2.13.

REMINDER: New Jersey Earned Sick Leave Law became effective October 29, 2018, that allows employees to accrue 1 hour of earned sick leave for every 30 hours worked, up to 40 hours each year. The law permits employers to create policies that provide additional leave time.

New York

“Big employers” (11 or more employees) will increase from $13.00 to $15.00 and tipped employees will increase from $8.65 to $10.00. “Small employers” (10 or fewer employees) will increase from $12.00 to $13.50 and tipped employee will crease from $8.00 to $9.00. Note: Long Island and Westchester county also have minimum wages increased effective January 1, 2019.

New York City Discrimination & Harassment: Requires all private NYC employers with 15 or more employees to conduct annual anti-harassment training.

Westchester County Paid Sick Leave: Requires covered employers to allow eligible employees to accrue one hour of earned paid sick time for every 30 hours worked up to 40 hours per year.


Oregon Equal Pay Act of 2017 with provisions that will become effective January 1, 2019 such as extending the “protected class” beyond sex and gender to now include race, color, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status, veteran status, disability, or age.

bottom of page