April Showers Bring May Flowers: Spring Labor Law Updates

By Kelsey Basten

Published on April 11, 2019

Image from Canva

Do you feel like there is an overwhelming number of labor laws that went into effect this spring? Well, you’re right! Although we may be experiencing “April Showers,” these will eventually turn into “May Flowers” once you’re updated on the latest labor laws.

Here are some of the most important updates from this spring:

1. Mandatory Right to Work/E-Verify Posting Update

This one affects almost everyone! On Feb. 26, 2019, the federal Right to Work posting issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) agency updated for the first time in almost two years.

You may be affected by this change if you fall into the following categories:

  • Federal contractors
  • Employers in jurisdictions that require Right to Work/E-Verify
  • Right to Work/E-Verify-participating employers

Check out our full list of affected jurisdictions and employers in our blog post, Mandatory Right to Work Posting Update.

2. The Move to $15

Many jurisdictions are on their way to a $15 minimum wage. Some examples include Illinois, Maryland, and Daly City, CA.


Employers in Illinois will experience wage increases as follows:

  • Jan. 1, 2020: $9.25
  • Jul. 1, 2020: $10
  • Jan. 1, 2021: $11
  • Jan. 1, 2022: $12
  • Jan. 1, 2023: $13
  • Jan. 1, 2024: $14
  • Jan. 1, 2025: $15

The new law does not change Illinois tip credits, which are based on a percentage of the state’s minimum wage rate. The law states that any reduction of the minimum wage for tipped employees does not exceed 40 percent of the applicable rate if tips will supplement the remaining amount.


For employers with 15 or more employees in Maryland, the wage rate will increase $0.75 each year until 2024, and increase $1 in 2025 as follows:

  • Jan. 1, 2020: $11
  • Jan. 1, 2021: $11.75
  • Jan. 1, 2022: $12.50
  • Jan. 1, 2023: $13.25
  • Jan. 1, 2024: $14
  • Jan. 1, 2025: $15

To learn more about how this affects small employers and other information, check out our blog post, Maryland Approves $15 Minimum Wage.

Daly City, CA

The Daly City Minimum Wage Ordinance, enacted Jan. 14, 2019, will increase the city’s minimum wage to $15 by 2021.

The current wage is set at $12 and will increase as follows:

  • Jan. 1, 2020 – $13.75
  • Jan. 1, 2021 – $15
  • Jan. 1, 2022 and thereafter – increase annually based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI)

This law also comes with a posting requirement. Learn more in our blog post, Daly City, CA Enacts Minimum Wage Ordinance with Posting Requirement.

3. NYC Takes the Lead

New York City has taken the lead on two popular labor law topics – lactation and discrimination laws.

NYC Lactation in the Workplace

Starting March 18, 2019, employers in New York are required to abide by two new lactation laws.

First, Int. No. 879-A, requires all NYC employers with four or more employees to provide lactation room accommodations for employees. The second law, Int. No. 905-A, requires employers with four or more employees to provide and implement a lactation room accommodation policy. This policy must be distributed to all employees.

NYC Hair-Based Discrimination

In February 2019, the New York City Commission on Human Rights released new guidelines that prohibit hair or hairstyle discrimination in the workplace. These guidelines specifically ban harassment, imposing unfair conditions, or otherwise discriminating against employees based on appearance associated with their race.

Employers can implement rules around maintaining an appropriate work appearance, but they cannot enforce policies that target specific hair textures or styles, such as braids, twists, cornrows, afros, Bantu knots, fades, locs, etc.

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