With a new year comes new changes. Already this year we have seen some changes in employment laws. We have noted trends worth watching in 2020. It is critical to keep up with changes pertaining to labor laws. Cutting corners may be tempting. But, failing to stay compliant with state and federal laws can put your business in jeopardy.
The best way to keep your business in compliance with Federal and State laws is through continuous research. Research takes time that a lot of business owners don’t have. Save time by narrowing your research. Focus on specific laws and regulations that pertain to your business. Each state has its own laws and regulations to keep up with. Based on recent hot topics, we predict the following trends may be worth keeping an eye on this year.
Topics to Watch in 2020
1. Marijuana, is it legal?
Today, the use of marijuana is legal in 33 states and the District of Columbia. Currently, 11 of the 33 states have legalized recreational use of marijuana. Employers are responsible for maintaining a safe workplace for all employees. Marijuana is, however, still classified as a Schedule I drug by the Federal Government.
What to watch for in 2020: Specific marijuana testing laws in the workplace. Each state addresses marijuana in the workplace differently. Some states allow employers to maintain a marijuana-free workplace. Other states do not. Workplace marijuana laws are only applicable to medical marijuana use. Little to no protection is available for employees who partake in recreational marijuana use.
2. Paid Family Leave
Paid Family Leave has continued to stay top of mind. Twenty-nine states have already introduced Paid Family Leave legislation. There has been anticipation that additional states will follow suit. For instance, some states are proposing new laws to be considered in 2020.
What to watch for in 2020: The paid family leave administration will continue to become more complex as policies change. Stay up to date on state legislation surrounding parental and medical leave trends.
3. Pay Equity
Federal pay equity laws have been in place for decades. The purpose of pay equity is to eliminate gender and race discrimination in regard to wages. Many current laws lack detail on discriminatory pay practices. Many states have been evaluating their current laws in an attempt to close the gap.
What to watch for in 2020: Changes in legislation that will impact your business. Track what is happening at the state and federal level. A few current changes include:
- Elimination of inquiries on salary-history
- Requirement to provide insight and reasoning on pay discrepancies
- Provide pay transparency to workers
4. The New Salary Threshold
The updated overtime ruling went into effect on January 1, 2020. The new ruling raised the exempt salary levels from $455 per week (in 2019) to $684 per week. The new threshold is equivalent to $35,568 per year. The updated rule will make 1.3 million American workers eligible for overtime pay. Employers need to determine which employees are or are not eligible for overtime pay.
What to watch for in 2020: If your classifications are set correctly based on the 2020 U.S. Department of Labor’s new salary threshold.
Keep up with changes
Dedicate time to monitoring relevant employment changes in federal and state legislation.
Update handbooks and company policies as applicable changes are made in legislation.
If you don’t have the resources to dedicate to monitoring policy changes, outsourcing may be a reasonable solution. Skimping on human resource expertise can be detrimental to the success of any business.
You aren’t alone
Keeping up with the legal side of the business is critical to keeping a business afloat. But, it is also one of the most time-consuming tasks. Requiring time that many growing business owners simply do not have. Outsourcing can free up valuable time for business owners and their employees.
Focus OneSource is Iowa’s premier locally owned and operated PEO. With Focus OneSource as a partner, business owners can focus their time on growing their core business. Allowing for increased productivity and profitability. Our model allows us to take the administrative burden off of the business owners’ plate. Our expertise allows us to keep our customers in compliance with Federal and State laws 365 days a year.