Legal

New Labor Laws Taking Effect in 2023

By Slawomir Platta

Nov. 2, 2022

The new year is fast approaching, and with its arrival comes a host of new labor laws that will impact millions of workers and their employers across the nation. Being aware of these changes prior to their implementation will allow for all parties affected to make a smoother transition heading into 2023.

New Year, New Minimum Wage

One such change to be on the lookout for this January is an increase to the minimum wage across various states. While the federal rate will continue to hold steady at $7.25 per hour, numerous states have established their own rates, which in some cases far exceed the federal amount that has gone unchanged for the past 13 years.

Whether due to inflationary pressures or phasing in statutory increases, minimum wages will be going up across the nation. From Maine’s bump to $13.80/hour to Washington’s boost to a nationwide high of $15.74/hour, these increases will all go into effect in 2023. 

In some states, however, it’s not so cut and dry. New York, for instance, incorporates different minimum wages for different parts of the state and different industries. So, while a New York City construction worker earning minimum wage can expect to make $15 per hour at the start of the new year, a construction worker doing similar work in upstate New York will command just $14.20 per hour. 

Another important consideration for employers to keep in mind for minimum wage changes next year is that they won’t all necessarily kick in on January 1. Several states will be enacting their wage changes at some point later in the year, including Connecticut (June 1), Oregon (July 1), Florida (Sept. 30), and Hawaii (Oct. 1). 

Finally, when it comes to the federal minimum wage, some exceptions apply under specific circumstances to workers with disabilities, tipped employees, full-time students, and workers under 20 years of age in their first 90 consecutive calendar days of employment. 

Whatever rates are finalized in each state for 2023, employers must be ready before the end of the year to meet the new minimum wage requirements and understand the rules and regulations unique to their state. Failure to observe newly implemented wage laws can result in a multitude of fines and penalties.

New Labor Laws Across the Nation

It’s not just minimum wage laws that will see changes in the year ahead. A host of new labor laws and amendments will also be initiated throughout the United States in 2023, and depending on what state you’re in, the changes can be substantial. Below are just a select few that can have a significant impact on those involved.

California

California has some of the strictest labor laws in the country, and that continues to be the case heading into 2023. An amendment to the Pay Transparency Law will now require employers to provide the pay scale for any job applicant or current employee upon request. And, employers with more than 14 employees must include the pay scale for a position in any job posting, including those positions listed on third-party sites. Employers will also need to maintain records identifying the job title and wage rate history for each employee throughout their time at the company.

Lastly, fast-food chains in the Golden State will need to read up on how to comply with the upcoming establishment of a fast-food council, depending on whether or not the referendum seeking to delay the bill is successful come December 4th. 

Colorado

Doing business in Colorado? Get ready for the Paid Medical and Family Leave (PFML) to begin next year. Employees who meet the eligibility requirements will now be able to receive 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave funded through a payroll tax paid by both employers and employees in a 50/50 split. The paid leave needs to be funded before any employee is able to take the leave. Employers and employees will start paying into PFML in 2023, and the earliest workers will be able to take this paid leave is January 1, 2024.

New York

While New York already has an established Paid Family Leave, a noteworthy change has been made to it beginning in 2023. As of the new year, the list of family members for whom eligible workers can take Paid Family Leave to care for will include siblings with serious health conditions. This includes biological siblings, adopted siblings, step-siblings, and half-siblings. The family members requiring care won’t even have to live in the state of New York.

Final Thoughts

There are myriad new and amended labor laws that will be going into effect throughout the U.S. in the coming year. Being aware of the ones your business may be subject to can help minimize the likelihood of costly fines and potential labor lawsuits down the road. Every effort should be made to stay on top of labor legislation that must be followed. 

No doubt, workers across the country will be rejoicing in the new labor laws set for 2023 that benefit them in a variety of ways. Employers may not be quite as jubilant with these changes, but must nevertheless find ways to accommodate these newly imposed laws while continuing to grow their business.

Slawomir Platta is a founding partner at The Platta Law Firm, PLLC. He earned his degree from the University of Florida Levin College of Law. He’s been trying labor law cases throughout the Courts of New York for almost 20 years and has been featured as a Super Lawyer consecutively since 2015.

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