Recently, there have been new laws that have gone into effect in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia on July 1st. With some restrictions lifted and VA reopening, these new laws will change some of the things people used to experience. Here are some laws you need to know.
- Paid family leave
The policy was passed by the D.C. council in December 2016 granting D.C. workers paid family leave. As of July 1 2020, this law will now take effect, providing up to 8 weeks of paid leave. If you have a serious health condition, you can take two weeks paid leave. If you need to take care of a family member with a serious health condition, you can avail up to 6 weeks paid leave or get 8 weeks leave with a new child. In order to get this benefit available for D.C. workers, employers are required to pay 0.62% tax starting last July 2019. So, who can use this privilege? Those who have spent at least 50% of their time working in D.C., including through teleworking in the previous year, are eligible candidates.
- Minimum wage
The minimum wage for D.C. workers will be $15 per hour, from $14 the previous year. This applies to workers who do not receive tips. For those who receive tips, an increase of $5 per hour from $4.45 are expected to happen over several years.
In Virginia, there will be many new laws that people should be aware of, including:
- Gun control
Authorities are allowed to take guns temporarily from people who are deemed to be dangerous and gun owners are required to report missing or stolen firearms within 48 hours or will face a civil penalty.
- Voting changes
Voters are not required to show a photo ID, but must show proof of address. Election Day has also been declared a state holiday.
- LGBTQ rights
Virginians who identify with the LGBTQ community are protected by a new law from being discriminated against in areas like housing, employment, and public accommodations.
Women who want to have an abortion can do it right away. They no longer have to wait 24 hours or take an ultrasound.
- Gas tax increase
The gas tax will go from 17 cents per gallon to 21.2 cents per gallon.
- Personal Hygiene Products
Tax for personal hygiene products will decrease at a rate of 2.5%. Products include feminine sanitary pads, tampons, disposable diapers, and more.
- Minimum wage in Montgomery County
Those making the minimum wage will get a raise of $1 per hour
- Tuition for National Guard Soldiers
There will be 100% tuition reimbursement for National Guard members who are active on duty.
- Flood prevention
There are two new laws relating to flood prevention– one will make it easier to spend Bay Restoration Fund money on anti-flooding and the other law gives cities the authority to borrow money in order to manage infrastructure projects.
With all these laws now taking effect starting July 1 2020, people living in D.C., Virginia, and Maryland will surely enjoy the benefits that they deserve.