Legal changes combined with fast-moving technology and social issues have major impacts on employment law.
Employment Law: Staying Alert to a Changing Landscape
Every year, companies struggle to stay on top of the latest employer regulations and workplace issues. Changes to local, state, and federal laws can leave companies scrambling to keep up. And with technology and social issues constantly evolving, the workplace continues to change at a rapid pace.
It’s important for today’s business leaders to keep a close eye on employment law and related issues. We’ve gathered the top five employment law issues that leaders ought to watch right now.
1. Marijuana in the Workplace
As more states legalize marijuana use for medical or recreational use, employers will continue to grapple with how to handle the issue in the workplace. With laws varying from state to state and even city to city, it’s difficult for companies to create clear and consistent policies.
There are likely to be many major developments in this space over the next couple of years. Executives and human resource professionals would be wise to stay closely attuned to the changing regulations.
2. Independent Contractors
There has been a lot of talk in the human resources world about the misclassification of employees as independent contractors or freelancers.
Many states are passing legislation that extends new protections to members of the gig economy. For example, the New York City Freelance Isn’t Free Act created new protections for freelance workers’ contracts and terms of payment.
3. Paid Leave and Parental Leave
Several states have been hard at work passing new laws related to paid leave and parental leave.
If your organization is a multi-state employer, it’s important to know that the well-known Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is no longer the only law that companies must follow when an employee is giving birth, adopting, fostering, or caring for a family member.
4. Discrimination and Harassment
Issues of discrimination and harassment are a long-standing concern for human resource professionals.
But with the number of claims filed against employers steadily increasing over the last several years, it’s more important than ever for companies to have clear policies in place about how to handle such issues. Companies will likely want to work with both HR and legal experts to stay current on relevant case law.
5. Immigration and Visa Holders
Immigration policy continues to evolve, and the impact to companies continues to be in flux. Businesses should keep a close eye on not only the current law, but also on new legislation that may be proposed.
Something as simple as slight changes to the I-9 form can cause major issues for companies that fail to stay on top of current laws and paperwork.
No matter how challenging it may be, it’s important for companies to stay on top of employment law and related issues. And partnering with experts is a great way to stay ahead of the curve.
The Management Development Institute is here to help. Our expert-led Legal Issues training walks business leaders through the issues above and more. We take a close look at current case law, impacts to business, and what today’s leaders should be doing to prepare for tomorrow.
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