Indiana Lawmakers look at Mandatory Sick Leave and Minimum Wage Laws

Indiana is looking at passing Mandatory Sick Leave

Indiana legislators returned to work on January 3, 2017 and slated for review this year are three different sick leave laws and two minimum wage laws. If passed, any of these laws will have a great impact on Indiana employers and will mean several changes for the employee benefits administration.

The purpose of this article is to give a general overview of the laws up for review so that employers can have a heads up and be able to keep an eye on employment law legislation.

Two bills Would Substantially Increase Minimum Wage in Indiana

Competing for votes are two bills that would raise minimum wage. Currently Indiana follows the Federal Minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. However, SB 252 proposes to increase the minimum wage up to $10.62 an hour. The new wages would apply to all employees age 16 and higher. It also eliminates the tip credit when determining minimum wage for employers.

In contrast SB  318 proposes to raise minimum wage more than double to $15 an hour and to make the new wage effective by July 1, 2018. This incredible hike would greatly impact business’s greatest expense, employee wages and would give employers little time to prepare for the new raise. Additionally the bill would require minimum wage increases annually starting in 2019.

Sick Leave Laws Pending in the House

In 2017, Indiana is looking at several bills that could put forced sick leave on the slate for employers. The Indiana Senate is looking at a bill that would require a legislative council to look into paid leave, while another Senate bill is slated to propose a family medical leave act from the results of the findings of the legislative counsel. Already three states have passed or updated FLMA laws including New York, Washington D.C. and Rhode Island

Meanwhile, the House is looking at HB 1183, which would require employers to provide paid sick leave for employees at a the rate of 1 hour for every 30 hours worked. Employees would earn sick leave up to 40 hours a year.

The second bill, HB 1442 would provide sick and safe time paid leave at the rate of 1 hour for every 30 hours worked. Victims of domestic violence, stalking and sexual assault would be able to take of paid time to address the various injuries resulting from abuse and to seek safety remedies. This bill would also require the Commissioner of Labor to oversee and enforce the paid sick and safe leave law.

Immediate Deadlines Create Time Crunches for Businesses

If passed both HB 1183  and HB 1442 would start on July 1, 2017. This would give employers little time to prepare or to adjust budgets and administrative duties to comply with the new law. In addition to reviewing employee policies, businesses would need to ensure that managers and employees were trained and notified of the new requirements. Employers who currently offer paid leave must review existing leave and make any modifications needed to be in compliance with the new employment laws.

Additionally, companies will need to have the right technology in place to ensure the proper timekeeping tracking and records retention in place. The proposed employment laws assume employer guilt if adequate records are not kept and retained. One of the best ways to maintain and ensure compliance with paid sick leave and other employment laws is to have an automated timekeeping system in place.

What to do if the New Laws Pass

Businesses who have employees in Indiana will have to comply with the new state-wide laws that assume employer guilt without adequate records. It is vital for companies to have the right timekeeping and records retention services in place to protect against Department of Labor violations.  Additionally, these businesses have to also comply with Federal Overtime Laws, the Family Leave Medical Act and any other national or local laws that are enacted.

SwipeClock provides a comprehensive array of workforce management and time tracking tools that can help businesses to more easily stay in compliance with local and national laws. Records are effortlessly kept for years and accrual is automatically tracked and reported to employees according the state and city laws. Additionally, with geo-timekeeping clocks, businesses can effortlessly track time worked in specific cities to ensure compliance.

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