5 New Workplace Laws | March 2020 Newsletter
Have you studied the new workplace laws taking effect in 2020? Emily M. Dickens, JD, writing for shrm.org, tackled some of those changes. Here are 5 changes to the law you can expect in 2020:
Overtime – The Dept. of Labor now provides a change to the salary threshold to qualify for overtime pay. As of Jan. 1, 2020, employees who make less than $35,568 are now eligible for overtime pay under this new rule.
Appearance Discrimination – The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission challenged grooming and appearance policies for targeting certain hairstyles associated with race and now said policies are facing increased scrutiny from the courts. Both California and New Jersey passed laws in 2019 protecting employees from discrimination based on natural hair/styles, & some other states will move in that direction.
Pre-Employment Marijuana Testing – Some state laws will prohibit employers from conducting pre-employment marijuana testing. Exceptions will be made for safety-sensitive positions and jobs regulated by the Federal Government that require drug testing.
More Predictable-Scheduling Laws – Some businesses, such as restaurants and retail stores, will be required to provide advance notice of work schedules. Some of these will take effect in 2020.
Paid Leave – Some states have already enacted paid leave and many others are considering it in 2020. The House Ways & Means Committee may examine a proposal to provide paid leave using a new payroll tax, and the House Education & Labor Committee may consider mandatory family leave.
What Employers Should Know about the Coronavirus Threat
The buzz has been circulating for weeks about the dangers of Coronavirus. News from China does nothing to allay concerns with death toll numbers rising. No one really knows how deadly or how contagious the virus is but medical experts from Johns Hopkins are downplaying the threat. The CDC has now warned Americans to take preventive measures and be prepared.
These guidelines may help companies deal with the rumors, drama and actual facts concerning this flu-like disease in the workplace and even prevent the spread of misinformation:
- Don’t allow fear to dictate your response to rumors or employee concerns and undermine employee morale.
- Ensure your employees are not refusing to interact with colleagues or customers of Asian descent. Any such actions should be based solely on whether the person is likely to have been exposed to the virus.
- Review company policies on illness with your staff. You don’t want people coming to work sick.
- Keep plenty of hand sanitizer available for everyone to use.
- Sanitize common surfaces, such as toilet handles, elevator buttons, door knobs, handles and surfaces in cafeterias frequently.
- Flexibility & Work-Life Integration. 3 of 5 employees expect to be allowed to work some from places other than the office.
- Prioritize Your People. Today’s employees are stressed at home, work, and everywhere. Managers need to understand those stressors, along with the company’s bottom line.
- Understand the Value of People Analytics. Deloitte Research found companies that make use of people analytics outperform their peers in quality of hiring, retention, and leadership capabilities.