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Three new laws you should know about in 2020

3News legal analyst Stephanie Haney shares new laws in effect as of January 1.
Credit: wkyc studios
Ohio's minimum wage increased for many people, effective January 1, 2020.

CLEVELAND — Every new year, new laws and ordinances go into effect that impact your everyday life. 

A few specifically this year relate to your bank account, and how you go about getting your purchases home after a shopping trip.

3News legal analyst Stephanie Haney broke down a few you need to know about on Thursday's Lunch Break with Jay Crawford.

Watch the segment here, and read below for more details on two laws and one ordinance that went into effect on January 1.

Ohio increases its minimum wage

In Ohio, employees who are paid minimum wage got a 55 cent raise. 

This pay raise applies to people who work for a company that brings in more than $319,000 per year in gross revenue, before expenses are deducted.

Effective January 1, for hourly employees, the new minimum wage is $8.70, up from $8.15 in 2019. For tipped employees, the new minimum wage is $4.35, up from $4.15.

This new pay rate does not apply to people who work for employers bringing in less than $319,000 each year.

It also does not apply to 14- and 15-year-old workers. For both of these groups, the minimum wage will stay the same in Ohio.

Changes to federal overtime pay requirements 

The Department of Labor estimates that approximately 1.3 million US workers are now newly entitled to overtime pay.

As of January 1, if you earn less than $35,568 per year ($684 per week), your employer has to pay you an overtime rate of time and half for every hour of work beyond 40 hours each week, pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) .

Previously, employers were only required to pay an overtime rate to employees earning less than $23,660 (an average of $455 per week).

Therefore, this change affects people earning between about $24,000 and $36,000, annually.

Plastic bag ban in effect in Cuyahoga County

As of January 1, the Cuyahoga County plastic bag ban is in effect everywhere except the cities of Cleveland and Independence. 

The ordinance bans plastic bags and paper bags that are not 100 percent recyclable or made from at least 40 percent of recycled material. 

This ban targets retailers, so consumers can still bring their own plastic and paper bags to establishments without fear of being fined.

The ban includes exemptions for bags for newspapers, dry-cleaning, meat, pet waste, prescriptions, bags for restaurant leftovers or carry-out orders, and for partially-consumed bottles of wine.

Although the ban is now in effect, Cuyahoga County Council voted on December 19 to delay the enforcement of the ban on single-use plastic bags until July of 2020, to give retailers in the county a six-month grace period to get used to the change. 

Once the ban begins being enforced, retailers who do not comply will be warned and fined as follows:

First-time violators will be subject to a written warning. Second violations will carry a civil fine of up to $100 and subsequent violations will carry fines up to $500. Violations are defined as each day a retailer doesn’t comply with the ordinance.

Cleveland had previously temporarily opted out of the county's ban until July to allow for a working group of city officials, business owners, environmental leaders and others within the community to study the proposition. 

Independence passed an ordinance indefinitely exempting its larger retailers (establishments that are at least 10,000 square feet) from the county ban under “home rule authority.” Under the "home rule authority" provision of Ohio's Constitution, a charter city or incorporated city can enact its own laws based on the needs of its residents.

RELATED: Cuyahoga County to delay enforcement of plastic bag ban unti July 1, 2020

RELATED: Giant Eagle set to eliminate single-use plastic bags by 2025

Stephanie Haney is licensed to practice law in both Ohio and California.

The information in this article is provided for general informational purposes only. None of the information in this article is offered, nor should it be construed, as legal advice on any matter.