A state legislative session summary may sound like a boring proposition, but important laws and amendments to laws can make for interesting news especially when they positively affect one group or another. Before we recap Maine and New Hampshire’s 2011 legislative sessions we will briefly review an important portion of our democratic system, the legislative process.
Citizens elect officials to represent them at the state level. These legislators are responsible for the enactment and revision of laws. Bills are proposals for a new law, revisions to existing law, repeal of current law, or for a constitutional amendment. Bills are discussed in one or more committees and once approved travel to the governor for signature. The governor may sign or veto a bill. This is an elementary review of the legislative process.
Maine legislative Developments
The recent passage of an amendment to the Maine child labor law effectuates changes to the times a minor may or may not work and for how long. The amendments will result in changes to text included on the mandatory Maine Child Labor workplace poster. Compliance Poster Company will make the necessary revisions to our product when the material is published by the state.
In the area of safety and security in hospitals, on an annual basis licensed facilities must adopt safety and security plans to protect patients, visitors and employees of the facility from aggressive and violent behavior. The plan must include a process to receive and record incidents and threats of violent behavior occurring at or arising out of employment at the hospital. The law is effective for all hospitals January 1, 2012 and July 1, 2012 for critical access hospitals.
New Hampshire legislative Developments
The New Hampshire Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act has been amended. Effective January 1, 2012 employers with 100 or more employees must give WARN Notice in a plant closing or mass layoff. Previously, as stated in the law, employers with 75 or more employees had to give WARN Notice when appropriate.
Additionally, there were amendments made to several New Hampshire “labor-related” laws. In particular a senate bill requires the CT Department of Labor to issue one warning to employers for certain violations before a fine may be imposed. The employer will have 30 days from receipt of the warning to cure the defect causing the violation. Under the law, no warning will be issued, if it is the opinion of the commissioner that the employer intends to cause harm, the violation poses a threat to public safety, or the violation involves the following:
a) Failure to pay an employee in full and on time as specified under the wage and payment statute
b) Payment of wages by checks on a financial institution that is not convenient to the place of employment
c) Failure to pay final wages in full
d) Failure to pay amounts withheld for court ordered child support to the custodial parent
e) Continuation of wage withholding for insurance benefits that have been cancelled
f) Illegal withholding of wages to compensate the employer for employee actions resulting in loss or damage
g) Failure to comply with statutes covering illegal aliens, and
h) Requiring employees to perform any illegal activities under threat of job loss.
Check back with Compliance Poster Company frequently for all of your state and federal legislative and labor law compliance updates for all 50 states and DC.