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Organizations are seeing increased activity in the area of employment law these days. In 2023, we talked about several labor law poster changes. As well as an increase in union organizing activity. That doesn’t include all the typical compliance matters like anti-harassment training and compensation administration (just to name a few).
It’s important for organizations to maintain compliance. Not only does it help the organization reduce fines for non-compliance but it’s just the right thing to do. And don’t forget the positive impact on the employee experience.
Here are a few articles we published in 2023 as a reminder of the compliance matters organizations should be paying attention to.
We all know that organizations are very focused on efficiency. Truth is, they always have been. But efficiency doesn’t always mean doing everything yourself. This is a great time to explore the options that are available in terms of filing employment taxes. Everyone wants the same thing – to pay our tax obligations on time and pay the right amount. The good news is we don’t have to (and shouldn’t) figure it out all by ourselves.
Just in case you missed it, President Biden signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 on December 29, 2022. The Act has several components including: Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA), telehealth benefits, Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) 2.0 Act, and Providing Urgent Maternal Protections for Nursing Mothers (PUMP) Act. With the PUMP Act, organizations need to update their federal labor law posters.
In addition to placing your company at risk of legal fines and penalties, a real breakdown of trust can happen if an employee discovers that the organization isn’t maintaining employment compliance. An employee will start thinking, “If the company didn’t tell me about this, what else haven’t they told me?” Having a process in place for employees to receive the required employment law notices tells employees that the organization cares about doing the right thing.
According to a study from Cornell that showed seven scenarios to workers in industries with high rates of complaints, only 6% were able to correctly identify the seven situations as sexual harassment. Organizations should have a comprehensive compliance strategy that includes more than just an anti-harassment policy. They should have a communications plan in place, so employees know what to do when they have questions and concerns. And they should give employees training so there is no question about what appropriate behaviors are and what to do if they see something that should be reported.
When it comes to labor relations, one of the first things that individuals need to know is what legislation governs your industry. For instance, many organizations are governed by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). But some industries – like transportation – are governed by the Railway Labor Act. And if you’re in the public sector, the rules are different as well. So, understanding the rules is step one.
Being Proactive is Key When it Comes to Employment Law Compliance
Being able to take a more proactive approach to compliance can reduce any liability (i.e., fines and penalties) for non-compliance. And it shows everyone that the organization places an emphasis on following the law.
If you’re looking for some resources to stay current when it comes to employment laws, specifically on the topic of pay transparency, attorney Kate Bischoff recently partnered with our friends at UKG on a white paper titled “2024 Employment Law Forecast”. It has great information to review as you’re putting your compliance strategy together. It could also be helpful to distribute this around the office so the operation keeps it top of mind as well.
But it got me thinking. Wouldn’t it be great if we had a way to know about labor law changes sooner? The faster organizations become aware of changes in legislation, the faster they can put a compliance plan in place. Well don’t forget that our friends at HRdirect have introduced a new Employment Law Alert Service. This is an annual subscription service that will keep your organization informed of recent employment law changes on a federal, state, county, and city level.
Compliance is always going to be a part of human resources. And that’s okay. The goal is to stay informed of employment laws, communicate changes, and maintain compliance. There’s no rule that says we have to do these things all by ourselves. We can partner with trusted sources to make our compliance strategy more effective and efficient.
Image captured by Sharlyn Lauby after speaking at the Flora Icelandic HR Management Conference in Reykjavik, Iceland57