A new legal provision requiring employers to consider flexible work arrangements upon an employee’s request kicked in on Jan. 2, 2014.
Act 31 of 2013, Vermont’s newly amended Equal Pay law, takes a number of steps, including
*Permitting an employee to request a flexible work arrangement and protecting against retaliation for making such a request.
*Reinforcing and strengthening Vermont’s law requiring equal pay for equal work.
*Prohibiting employers from retaliating against employees who inquire about co-workers’ wages.
*Barring discrimination against a mother who nurses a child at work.
*Barring retaliation against employees who exercise their rights under the statutes regarding nursing mothers, town meeting leave, parental and family leave, short-term family leave, workers’ compensation and public accommodation and housing discrimination.
*The creation of a committee to study the issue of paid family leave and to make a report to lawmakers on or before Jan. 15, 2014.
Most of the provisions of the bill became effective July 1, 2013, except the flexible work requirement, which took effect Jan. 6, 2014.
Diane Cadrain is an attorney who has been writing about employment law issues for more than 20 years.