7 HR Compliance Issues To Monitor In 2018
HR Compliance in 2018
Every year brings new regulations and with them come HR compliance issues.
Here are 7 HR compliance issues to watch for in 2018, as the changing regulatory landscape demands that employers be aware of new regulations.
Confidential Salary History Laws
At the close of 2017, a growing number of states and cities have laws barring employers from asking about salary history when considering new hires. Employers will also have to reveal the pay scale for the new position, especially if asked. Prospective employees can volunteer salary history, but cannot be asked nor be told that revealing salary history is a condition of a job offer.
At the dawn of 2018, this is an HR compliance issue to watch for in California, Delaware, Massachusetts, Oregon, the territory of Puerto Rico, and the cities of New York City, New Orleans, Pittsburgh and San Francisco (though the salary history ban in that city is now superfluous).
Other states and cities are sure to follow, so be prepared to comply – if your company operates in an affected jurisdiction – or to potentially do so in the future.
Marijuana usage is a sensitive subject. More than half the United States – 29 states thus far – have passed laws allowing medical use of the drug and a small (yet growing) number of states are decriminalizing recreational usage.
Laws decriminalizing recreational usage do not include employment protection, as employers can make drug screening a condition of employment. Furthermore, any federal laws prohibiting use of illegal substances for work purposes – such as jobs in transportation, manufacturing and so on – supersede state law decriminalizing recreational use.
However, employment protections are part of some state laws regarding medicinal use. Massachusetts recently saw employment protections of medical marijuana use upheld, but the issue may soon find itself in federal court.
Minimum Wage Increases
Minimum wage increases are another HR compliance issue to watch for. Voters in many states are casting ballots for large increases in the minimum wage to what are felt to be “living wage” levels. Wage increases have been often above the federal wage rate, which is rumored to be due for an increase in 2018.
If your company employs workers at minimum wage, be aware of the minimum wage of your state and whether an increase is going to take effect in 2018.
“Ban the Box” Laws
Currently, ten states and a handful of major cities have passed “Ban The Box” laws, which prevent employers from asking if an employee has a criminal history until after a conditional offer of employment has been made. After that point, an employer can require the prospective employee to explain the nature of any convictions. If the employee is not hired, they must be informed of why they weren’t hired by written notice.
The exact nature of the ban the box law varies by jurisdiction. Usually, both public and private employers (of a state-defined size) are affected, though how the law applies specifically to your company will require consulting the appropriate regulations.
Another HR compliance issue to be aware of is the wave of Predictable Scheduling laws. Also called Advance Scheduling (or sometimes called Restrictive Scheduling laws) these regulations mandate that scheduling not be changed on short notice, as well as other rules.
Employers must offer hours to part-time employees first if they become available. Schedules must be posted at least 2 weeks in advance; any changes will result in any affected employees being paid an additional 2 to 4 hours of wages. If a shift is canceled or an employee called in (even while on call) an additional 2 to 4 hours of wages must be paid.
Part time employees must be given the same benefits as full-time employees, though they can be prorated to reflect hours worked, and must also be given equal consideration for promotion.
Employees also cannot be laid off within 90 days of a company being bought, sold, acquired or merged with another company.
Granted, the exact nature of the law depends on the jurisdiction. Currently, the only state with such a law is Oregon, though larger cities are beginning to adopt them.
Equal Pay Measures
Presently, equal pay is a topic of great debate. Right behind debate is legislation, and more equal pay measures for women and other demographics in the workplace will be issues for HR compliance in 2018.
There may also be a growing number of suits lodged against employers for unequal pay, along with extremely negative publicity. Be sure to review payroll (which can be easy with a good human capital management system) to catch any inequitable pay arrangements, as you do not want to become a headline for this reason.
Paid Sick Leave and Family Leave Laws
A growing number of states are also passing paid sick leave and paid family leave laws.
In the case of the former, any employer over a mandated minimum size must offer any employee paid sick leave. Though the law differs between the states that pass such laws, most forms of the law mandate all employees begin accruing hours paid sick leave at a specified rate. Employers must allow rollover of paid sick leave year over year, though employers may limit rollover to a state-regulated number of hours.
If you need help monitoring employee time after this change, there are several time and attendance management solutions that ensure compliance.
Some states mandate a certain number of hours be preloaded, so check your state regulations if your business is located in one of the affected states or cities.
Paid family leave laws mandate employers also extend paid family leave to employees, though employees must generally pay premiums via payroll deduction as well as the employer. The law varies, but generally the paid family leave laws only mandate up to 12 weeks of leave that accrues at a state-set rate. This leave covers caring for a loved one, maternity leave (and in some cases paternity leave) and other qualified instances.
If affected, make sure to consult state regulations to ensure HR compliance. Many more compliance issues are sure to emerge over 2018, with new agency appointments being upcoming and lawsuits to be settled, but these seven compliance issues will demand many HR departments scramble to comply with them.