Paid Leave Laws and Minimum Wage Hikes Go into Effect on January 1

Many state laws successfully passed in previous legislative sessions are going into effect now that the calendar has turned to 2018. Paid family leave protections—new to New York and expanded in California—began on January 1, while Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington residents now earn paid sick days. With last week’s vote to override Gov. Larry Hogan’s (R-MD) veto of a paid sick days bill, Maryland workers will also see changes in the coming months. And on April 1, pregnant workers in Massachusetts will have greater access to on-the-job accommodations. Additionally, 18 states instituted minimum wage hikes to start the new year. Many of these increases are incremental bumps toward even higher wages that are gradually taking effect and are much needed in light of a new report from Bloomberg finding that the gap between the earnings of U.S. CEOs and those of average U.S. workers is the widest worldwide.