Effective January 1, 2022, Alabama’s Non-Disparagement Obligations Act (“Act”) allows contracts to include a non-disparagement obligation (which is a requirement that the parties to the contract don’t disparage each other). Under the Act, a “disparaging statement” is a statement that detracts or diminishes an individual’s or business’ property, services or business, diminishes them via comparisons to something negative, questions their integrity and honesty, discredits their reputation by disclosing private information, among other negative statements about individuals or businesses. Non-disparagement obligations do not have time limits, and may be included in separation, termination or post-employment settlement or release agreements, among other employment and business termination agreements.
The contract containing the non-disparagement obligation is enforceable when the following exist: 1- the contract is in writing, 2 – executed by all parties, 3 – supported by adequate consideration, and 4 – the disparaging statement is made and damages the individual or business target. See Alabama HB 494.
Arkansas has newly approved legislation to grant certified nurse practitioners (NP’s) full and independent practice authority. NP’s need approximately three (3) years, or 6,240 hours of practice under a collaborative agreement with a physician in order to earn the right to practice independently. NP’s with independent practice authority shall have their licenses renewed every three (3) years, and may receive and prescribe medications, therapeutic devices and drugs. See House Bill 1258.
Effective January 1, 2022, the Silenced No More Act (SB 331) prohibits non-disclosure clauses in settlement agreements involving workplace harassment or discrimination on any protected bases, not just sex. The new law voids provisions within any agreement signed on or after January 1, 2022 that restricts an employee from disclosing factual information on any type of harassment, discrimination or retaliation.
Effective January 1, 2022, Senate Bill (SB) 803 has significant impacts on cosmetologists, hair stylists, and aestheticians in California.
SB 803 does the following:
1 – Reduces the cosmetology/barbering training program hours to 1,000 (from 1,600 for cosmetology/1,500 for barbering).
2 – Aestheticians may now perform lash perms/brow lamination, and should ensure that they are fully trained prior to performing this service for the safety of the consumer.
3 – Aestheticians may perform dermaplaning. Dermaplaning may now be performed by aestheticians and cosmetologists. Licensees should ensure that they are fully trained prior to performing this service for the safety of the consumer.
5 – Out of state licensure: Anyone who is licensed in another state may receive a license in California in the same practice.
6 – Moving to another state: Moving out of California will depend on the other state’s rules. Most states accept the 1,000 hour course, but every state differs in whether additional exams are required. (See SB 803, Questions and Answers, California Department of Consumer Affairs, Board of Barbering and Cosmetology).
The Hawaii Cruelty Free Cosmetics Act (HCFCA) makes Hawaii the 6th state to ban cosmetic animal testing. The HCFCA prohibits the sale of new products tested on animals after January 1, 2022.
The HCFCA does not call for the removal of cosmetics currently, but will not allow for any new imports unless the animal testing was required by state, federal or foriegn law.
Hawaii joins California, Nevada, Illinois, Virginia and Maryland in its restrictions on sales of cosmetics that involve cosmetic animal testing. Additional states are considering their own bans, such as New Jersey, Rhode Island and Oregon. Over 40 countries worldwide have already banned the sale of animal tested cosmetics.
Effective January 1, 2022, The Illinois Freedom to Work Act has been amended (the “Amended Act”). The Amended Act applies to agreements entered into after January 1, 2022. The Amended Act prohibits non-competes with respect to any employee earning at least $75,000 (which amount shall increase to at least $80,000/year beginning on January 1, 2027, at least $85,000/year beginning on January 1, 2032, and at least $90,000/year beginning on January 1, 2037). A non-compete entered into in violation of these restrictions is void and unenforceable.
The Amended Act prohibits an employer from entering into a covenant not to solicit with an employee unless the employee earns at least $45,000 (which amount shall increase to at least $47,500 beginning on January 1, 2027, $50,000/year beginning on January 1, 2032, and $52,500/year beginning on January 1, 2037).
Governor Charlie Baker signed legislation that went into effect on January 1, 2021 that allows certified nurse practitioners (NP’s) who have completed at least two (2) years of qualifying supervised prescriptive practice to be eligible for independent practice authority.
NP’s with less than 2 years of supervised prescriptive practice will still need guidelines for prescriptive practice, and may be supervised by a Qualified Healthcare Professional (including a physician or a NP who has independent practice authority).
New York now requires employers to provide employees with up to 4 hours of paid time to receive Covid-19 vaccinations. The time off must be provided at the employee’s regular rate of pay and shall not be charged against any other leave such employee is otherwise entitled to, including sick leave. This law became effective on March 12, 2021 and will remain in effect until December 31, 2022. Please see the FAQ. cd6-paid-leave-for-covid19-vaccinations-10-12-21_0.pdf (ny.gov)
Effective January 1, 2022, Oregon law provides that the maximum post-employment restricted period for a non-compete is twelve (12) months, and that any restricted period over 12 months is void (not just voidable) and is unenforceable in Oregon. Previous versions of this law provided that non-competes that exceeded 18 months were “voidable,” which placed a burden on employees to take action to void a non-compete that exceeded the limits of the statute by, for example, notifying the employer of the employee’s intent to void the agreement.
The current law does not require the employee to take any affirmative actions if the non-compete exceeds 12 months, as such non-compete will be void any agreement that exceeds 12 months is void. The current law has salary thresholds that are applicable. The current law also does not prohibit non-solicitation provisions. See SB 169, and ORS 653.295.
A nurse practitioner with a current, unrestricted license, other than someone licensed in the category of certified nurse midwife, certified registered nurse anesthetist, or clinical nurse specialist, may qualify for autonomous practice by completion of the equivalent of two (2) years of full-time clinical experience as a nurse practitioner until July 1, 2022. Thereafter, the requirement shall be the equivalent of five (5) years of full-time clinical experience to qualify for autonomous practice.
- Full-time clinical experience shall be defined as 1,800 hours per year.
- Clinical experience shall be defined as the postgraduate delivery of health care directly to patients pursuant to a practice agreement with a patient care team physician (See 18 VAC 90 – 30 – 86. Autonomous practice for nurse practitioners).
As of January 1, 2022, it is unlawful for a cosmetic manufacturer to conduct animal testing for cosmetics in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Virginia law states that no cosmetics manufacturer may “manufacture or import for profit any cosmetic or ingredient thereof, if the cosmetics manager knew or reasonably should have known that the cosmetic or any component thereof was developed or manufactured using cosmetic animal testing that was conducted on or after January 1, 2022”
Furthermore, Virginia law also prohibits selling within Virginia, any cosmetic, if the cosmetics manufacturer knew or should have known that the cosmetic (or its components) were developed or manufactured using cosmetic animal testing.
These prohibitions will not apply if the cosmetic animal testing is conducted to comply ith a requirement of a federal or state regulatory agency. See Code of Virginia, Section 59.1-572. Prohibited Conduct.
CMS Authorized Direct Payment to Physician Assistants
Effective January 1, 2022, PA’s may be paid directly under the Medicare program, as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) authorizes such direct payment to PA’s in the 2022 proposed Physician Fee Schedule. This will authorize PA-owned corporations to receive payment under the Medicare program, and allow more flexible employment models. PA’s do not need to take extra steps to re-assign payment, as payment will still be received by their employer.
*The above is meant as general guidance and not legal advice. It is important that you consult with an attorney well versed in the laws of your state and the industry. Failing to get it right at the beginning can end up a costly mistake.