HR and Employment Initiative Results

In our recent blogs, we previewed potential HR initiatives that were included in the election on Tuesday.  Multiple states have passed high-profile initiatives which could have a major impact on employers and HR policies.  Consult with one of our experienced employment law attorneys with help implementing these changes into your workplace policies. 

Minimum Wage

 Five states had minimum wage initiatives on ballot, and four of them passed.

·         Arizona- Arizona voted to pass legislation which raises the state minimum wage to $12 per hour by 2020 and also guarantees paid sick leave for workers.

·         Colorado- Colorado voters have passed Amendment 70, which will increase minimum wage to $9.30 per hour in 2017 and an additional 90 cents each year until 2020, where minimum wage will be $12 per hour.

·         Maine- Maine voters said yes to Question 4, which will increase the minimum wage to $12 per hour by 2020, then after adjusting the minimum wage with fluctuations in the consumer price index.

·         South Dakota- In South Dakota, voters rejected Referred Law 20.  This measure would have provided that the youth minimum wage was not pegged to inflation

·         Washington-  Washington voters passed Initiative which will raise minimum wage from the current $9.47 per hour to $13.50 per hour by 2020.  This measure also mandates employers to offer paid sick leave.

Marijuana Use

 This election also saw five states vote on the legal use of recreational marijuana and voters in California, Massachusetts, and Nevada have passed it.  Arizona voters voted against the measure, and the vote in Maine has still not been finalized (Yes leads with 93% reporting).

Voters in Arkansas, Florida, and North Dakota all voted for the approval of medical marijuana initiatives.

California Plastic Bag Referendum

With 99% of precincts reporting, California voters voted “yes” on Proposition 67 which will ban large grocery stores and pharmacies from providing large single-use plastic carryout bags.  Small grocery stores, convenience stores, and liquor stores will have an additional year to make the necessary changes.  Stores will also be required to charge 10 cents for a recycled, compostable, and reusable grocery bags.