HR Alert

Summary of State Ballot Initiatives Passed in 2016 Election

New Laws Go Into Effect

Many states passed new laws during the 2016 election. Approved measures that may be of interest to employers include new minimum wage, paid sick leave, and medical/recreational marijuana laws. Below is a summary of the results.

Minimum Wage
The following states raised the minimum wage:

  • Arizona (rises beginning January 1, 2017 to .00 per hour, up to .00 per hour beginning January 1, 2020)
  • Colorado (rises beginning January 1, 2017 to .30 per hour, up to .00 per hour beginning January 1, 2020)
  • Maine (rises beginning January 1, 2017 to .00 per hour, up to .00 per hour beginning January 1, 2020)
  • Washington (rises beginning January 1, 2017 to .00 per hour, up to .50 per hour beginning January 1, 2020)

Note: Employers should check the corresponding state law for subsequent increases in the minimum wage due to inflation/cost of living adjustments.

Paid Sick Leave
The following states passed laws requiring private employers to offer paid sick leave:

  • Arizona (rises beginning January 1, 2017 to .00 per hour, up to .00 per hour beginning January 1, 2020)
  • Colorado (rises beginning January 1, 2017 to .30 per hour, up to .00 per hour beginning January 1, 2020)
  • Maine (rises beginning January 1, 2017 to .00 per hour, up to .00 per hour beginning January 1, 2020)
  • Washington (rises beginning January 1, 2017 to .00 per hour, up to .50 per hour beginning January 1, 2020)

Medical and Recreational Marijuana Use
The following states passed laws regarding marijuana use:

  • Arizona (rises beginning January 1, 2017 to .00 per hour, up to .00 per hour beginning January 1, 2020)
  • Colorado (rises beginning January 1, 2017 to .30 per hour, up to .00 per hour beginning January 1, 2020)
  • Maine (rises beginning January 1, 2017 to .00 per hour, up to .00 per hour beginning January 1, 2020)
  • Washington (rises beginning January 1, 2017 to .00 per hour, up to .50 per hour beginning January 1, 2020)

Note: Employers should also check the corresponding state law to assess any impact on workplace drug testing policies. The federal Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 requires some federal contractors and all federal grantees to agree that they will provide drug-free workplaces as a condition of receiving a contract or grant from a federal agency. While drug testing is not required under the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988, organizations covered by the law are required to take certain steps to provide a drug-free workplace.

For More Information
Employers may contact the appropriate state labor department for additional information on these changes.


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