States have recently enacted new employment-related laws on issues ranging from flexible leave to marijuana testing.
Maine. In Maine, employees will soon be allowed to use mandated paid leave for any reason, pursuant to An Act Authorizing Earned Employee Leave. Set to take effect on January 1, 2021, the law requires employers in the state with at least 10 employees who work more than 120 hours in a calendar year (other than seasonal workers) to provide one hour of paid leave for every 40 hours an employee works.
Employees can earn up to 40 hours of paid leave on an annual basis and begin accruing earned paid leave on the first date of employment, with eligibility to use the leave starting after 120 days of work.
While workers are required to provide “reasonable notice” of the intent to take leave (absent an emergency), they may do so for any reason. The new law does not define the term “reasonable notice” but does provide that the “use of leave must be scheduled to prevent undue hardship on the employer.”
Employees on paid leave cannot lose any accrued employee benefits and must be paid the same base rate of pay earned prior to taking leave.
Violations of the law can subject employers to penalties of up to $1,000 per violation, with implementation and enforcement by the Maine Department of Labor.
Virginia. Beginning July 1, 2019, employers in Virginia must provide copies of employment records to employees upon written request.
The amended statute reads: “Every employer shall, upon receipt of a written request from a current or former employee or employee’s attorney, furnish a copy of all records or papers retained by the employer in any format, reflecting (i) the employee’s dates of employment with the employer; (ii) the employee’s wages or salary during the employment; (iii) the