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New Month, New Laws in the Region

Minimum wage and gas tax increases took effect July 1, along with laws impacting the workplace.

Here’s a rundown of what’s new:

The District
The minimum wage in the District of Columbia increased from $15.20 per hour to $16.10 per hour for all workers, regardless of the size of the employer on July 1.

The Work Opportunity Tax Credit took effect Friday and provides incentives to employers and businesses that hire and retain workers from underserved communities with longstanding obstacles to entering the workforce. Targeted groups for the credit include individuals who receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, veterans, residents of empowerment zones or rural renewal counties, formerly incarcerated individuals, those who have been convicted of a felony, individuals

As of July 1, the state’s gas tax increased 7-cents per gallon. A 2013 law ties the state’s gas tax to inflation.

In Virginia, the gas tax rose by 3-cents per gallon on July 1. A 2020 law indexed the motor fuels tax to inflation, but delayed implementation until 2022.

The Healthy Delaware Families Act provides up to 12 weeks of leave and benefits to covered employees for certain parental, family caregiving and medical reasons.

The Act is effective July 1, 2022, but structured to roll out over several years:

• By January 1, 2025, the state Department of Labor must establish the program. Expect significant regulations, guidance, and forms to start rolling out in 2024.
• On January 1, 2025, employers must begin making contributions to the program.
• On July 1, 2026, the program will begin paying benefits to qualified employees.

Delaware is the latest state in the region to offer family and medical leave. Maryland adopted a similar family and medical leave and insurance benefit program, known as the Time to Care Act this spring. Virginia enacted a voluntary program. The District of Columbia also has a mandatory family and medical leave and insurance benefit program for employees of private employers.

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