Cook County Nix Flurry as the End Nears

Come Alsip and Bridgeview and Burbank and Bellwood.

Come Hillside and Justice and River Grove and Homewood.

Come Orland Park and Palos Heights and Maywood.NIX

Welcome these Cook County municipalities to my nix list, those that have opted out of the county Earned Sick Leave Ordinance.  My list is now 45 municipalities long, which is approximately one-third of the municipalities within Cook County.

I posted last week that opting out of the county ordinance will be ending soon because the ordinance becomes effective July 1, 2017.  I continue to watch a handful of municipalities which will be voting soon on whether to opt out. I am also researching a few other municipalities which, supposedly have opted out, but I have been unable to confirm that they had, in fact, done so.  (If any readers know of any others, please let me know.) I speculate that come July 1, 2017, between fifty and fifty-five municipalities will have opted out of the county sick leave law.

I have listed the Cook County nix list on the PSL Laws and Resources page of my blog, just below the link to the Cook County Ordinance.

Cook County enacted the ESL Ordinance in October 2016. Generally, it requires covered employers to allow employees to accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked. My posts about that Ordinance are here and here.

Maryland Governor’s Paid Sick Leave Veto Calls Legislature’s Hand

As he had promised, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan vetoed what he referred to as the “deeply flawed, job-killing” paid sick leave bill passed by the General Assembly.

To override the Governor’s veto, 60% of each chamber must vote to do so. While each chamber had passed the bill with enough votes to override a veto, a change of heart by just one senator could doom the override effort. In the Senate, 29 votes are needed to override and 29 voted for the bill. In the House, 87 members voted for the bill; 85 are needed to override a veto.

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An override vote cannot occur until the legislature convenes in January 2018.  That leaves many months for the executive and legislature to try to work out a compromise. The Governor prefers his “Commonsense Paid Leave Law” which, according to the statement from the Governor’s office, would “provide benefits that hardworking Marylanders deserve without hurting the state’s economy and costing jobs.” As I explained in my earlier post, the Governor’s bill goes where no leave law has gone before because it allows employees to accrue leave and use that leave for any reason. It would apply to employers with at least fifty employees while the Assembly bill applies to employers with at least fifteen employees.

When state legislative sessions convened earlier this year, I had speculated that Maryland could very well become State Number Eight to enact a paid sick leave bill. Alas, it was not to be.

Litigating Paid Sick Leave in the Land of Enchantment

Two paid sick leave lawsuits are pending in New Mexico, the Land of Enchantment. Both deal with the effort to have a voter referendum in Albuquerque in October 2017 on a local Healthy Workforce Ordinance (HWO).

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Albuquerque

One lawsuit deals with how the HWO must be presented on the ballot. A district court judge ruled last fall that the entire seven page ordinance must be on the ballot; a summary was not sufficient. An appeals court earlier this month rejected the HWO proponents’ request that an appeals court review that issue while the case is still pending in the district court. Apparently the seven page ordinance could fit on a double-sided one page ballot, according to one report. Watch for arguments by HWO opponents concerning appropriate margins and font size.

In the other lawsuit, a cadre of business interests claim that the HWO is unconstitutional “logrolling” because it combines multiple issues on the ballot, depriving voters of the opportunity to vote separately on each one. My post on that lawsuit is here.  Last December, an Arizona court had rejected an analogous “single subject” argument challenging the state-wide PSL ballot initiative held last November. Earlier this month, a Washington court reached the same result in a case challenging its state-wide PSL ballot initiative held last November.  My posts on those decisions are here and here.

On a Land of Enchantment PSL preemption note, the Uniformity of Employment Law Terms had been introduced in the New Mexico Senate this legislative term but died in committee when the session ended.  Senate Bill 488 would have prevented political subdivisions from enacting paid sick leave laws, among other employment terms.

Cook County Earned Sick Leave Opt Outs Nears Thirty

Buffalo Grove, Hoffman Estates, Oak Lawn, Rolling Meadows and Western Springs have opted out of complying with the Cook County Earned Sick Leave Ordinance. My  list now has 29 municipalities that have nixed the Earned Sick Leave Ordinance.  I continue to watch about a dozen Cook County political subdivisions. Some will join the list before the County Ordinance’s July 1, 2017 effective date, some as soon as next week.

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I have listed the Cook County “opt-outs” on the PSL Laws and Resources page of my blog, just below the link to the Cook County Ordinance.

Cook County enacted the ESL Ordinance in October 2016. Generally, it requires covered employers to allow employees to accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked. My posts about that Ordinance are here and here.

Washington Paid Sick Leave Challengers End Challenge

The cadre of business interests that had challenged the constitutionality of the Washington paid sick leave law have decided not to appeal a trial court judge’s rejection of their arguments, ending their litigation, according to a local report. My post on the judge’s decision is here.

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More than 57% of Washington voters approved ballot initiative 1433 last November. It requires employers to provide paid sick leave beginning on January 1, 2018 and increases the state minimum wage in installments, the first having occurred on January 1, 2017.

The road to paid sick leave in Washington is very similar to the road traveled in Arizona. Arizona voters approved a PSL law last November as well. A cadre of business interests challenged that law as well. The Arizona Supreme Court rejected their arguments as well. My post on that decision is here.

Cost to Counties of Oregon Paid Sick Leave Law Heading to Trial

Recall my post that a Linn County judge in December 2016 agreed with nine Oregon counties-plaintiffs that Oregon’s Paid Sick Leave Law is an unfunded liability.  The Oregon Constitution states that a county need not comply with a state unfunded liability if the county must spend more than one hundredth of one percent of its budget on the unfunded program.

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The plaintiff-counties claimed that their costs for compliance with the Oregon PSL law exceed the .01% threshold.  For example, Linn County had claimed that it must spend more than $41,000 on the program, substantially more than the $14,000 which is .01% of its budget.

The judge ruled earlier this year that since an expert retained by the State will testify that each of the counties need not spend .01% of their respective budgets on the law, the .01% issue must be resolved at trial. A bench trial is scheduled for July 19, 2017.

Based on a report of the oral argument on the financial threshold issue last December, the judge seemed to be interested in whether allowing employees to accrue paid sick leave is an absolute obligation or a “contingent obligation” since some employees may never work long enough to become eligible for sick time and those that do may use some, none, or all of the accrued time.

This case affects the plaintiff-counties, as employers. It does not affect private employers within Oregon or other Oregon counties.

Six More Nix Cook County Earned Sick Leave Ordinance

The nix keep coming. Six more Cook County municipalities have voted to opt out of complying with Cook County’s Earned Sick Leave Ordinance. Bartlett, Hanover Park, Lynwood, Norridge, Riverside and South Barrington have joined the growing list of municipalities that have opted out. My list now has 24 municipalities that have nixed the Earned Sick Leave Ordinance.  More will join the list before the County Ordinance’s July 1, 2017 effective date.

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I have listed the Cook County “opt-outs” on the PSL Laws and Resources page of my blog, just below the link to the Cook County Ordinance.

Cook County enacted the ESL Ordinance in October 2016. Generally, it requires covered employers to allow employees to accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked. My posts about that Ordinance are here and here.