Passed as part of the 2023 state budget, New Hampshire now has a paid sick leave program with the state paying the premium for state employees while private employers and employees may opt-in, at a price. Under the plan, which will pay benefits up to 60 percent of an employee’s wages for up to six weeks for specific reasons, private employees have the option of participating individually at a cost of no more than $5 per week if their employer does not choose to offer the family leave benefit. If the employer does opt-in, it can pay the premiums entirely or share it with employees. In Louisiana, the Pelican State’s new pregnancy accommodations law takes effect of August 1, 2021. Under the new law, Louisiana employers will be required to provide reasonable accommodations to employees as needed for pregnancy, childbirth or related medical issues. Also taking effect on August 1, 2021 is Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s Chi Biz Strong Initiative, which among other things, expands the existing valid reasons for utilizing paid sick leave to include substance abuse issues, behavioral problems, the closing of a school or child care facility and a government or healthcare provider order to stay home to prevent the spreading of disease. The wage theft provisions of the ordinance, which provides liability for an employer in the event of non-payment of wages (including time off) already took effect on July 5 as emergency provisions. And finally, the state of New Jersey increased the risks and the penalties for employers that misclassify workers two weeks ago when Governor Phil Murphy signed three bills into law. New Jersey businesses can now expect stiffer fines (not less than $1,000/day) and greater legal enforcement from the state in the event they violate the Unemployment Compensation Law, fail to maintain the proper records relative to employee classifications or otherwise ignore stop-work orders from the state. The laws took effect immediately upon the Governor’s signature on July 8.