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2016 saw a flurry of activity at the state and local levels as workplace measures stalled in Congress. Increases to the minimum wage, marijuana legalization and transgender restroom laws were some of the issues tackled by states this year. The presidential election also raised questions about state voting laws that affect the workplace.
Here are some of the most popular articles in 2016 in the State & Local Updates section of SHRM Online.
Do Employees Get Time Off to Vote?
While there is no federal law that entitles workers to time off, many states offer voting leave to employees in certain circumstances. Find out where your state stands on the issue.
Pregnant Chipotle Worker Awarded $550K in Discrimination Lawsuit
A jury awarded a Chipotle Mexican Grill worker in Washington, D.C., over half a million dollars on her claim that she was fired because she was pregnant.
Anxiety over Transgender Women in Restrooms Persists
The use of women's restrooms by those transitioning from male to female remains tricky, and not just in North Carolina, where a new law prohibited localities from enacting nondiscrimination protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals. An effort in December to repeal the North Carolina law fell through, though there may be discussions of repeal again in the new year.
[SHRM members-only toolkit: Managing Gender Transition in the Workplace]
California, New York Enact $15 Minimum Wage
Both California and New York have enacted legislation that will gradually raise each state's minimum wage to $15 an hour.
Viewpoint: Zero-Tolerance Policies May Need to Be Trashed
Employers in states that have legalized marijuana may want to consider changing their drug policy from a zero-tolerance standard to a no-impairment standard and eliminating random drug testing as a result of state laws legalizing medical marijuana.
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