Each year, new legislation is passed, or there are substantive changes, which result in more work for human resources professionals and underscore the importance of remaining compliant in a heavily regulated workplace.
A short list of the many compliance issues that may affect your business include discrimination, harassment, immigration, employee privacy, unemployment, workers’ compensation and employee benefits.
One recent change that businesses should be aware of is the Federal Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) overtime rule. In 2014, President Obama directed the Secretary of Labor to update overtime regulations to reflect the original intent of the FLSA, and to simplify the rules so they are easier for workers and businesses to understand and apply. The Department of Labor (DOL) issued a ruling, which was to become effective December 1, 2016, that will:
- Raise the salary threshold indicating eligibility from $455/week to $913 ($47,476 per year), ensuring protections to 4.2 million workers.
- Automatically update the salary threshold every three years, based on wage growth over time, increasing predictability.
- Strengthen overtime protections for salaried workers already entitled to overtime.
- Provide greater clarity for workers and employers.
However, a federal court judge has issued a preliminary injunction, delaying the DOL’s changes to the FLSA overtime exemption rule. And while many businesses may welcome this news, it also creates concerns for employers who are left wondering: What’s coming next?
With many changes in employment law, and more coming with a new president, it is imperative that your HR department stay informed about labor and employment law. It is also important to proactively revise and implement your internal employment policies on a timely basis in order to assure legal compliance.
So how can you stay up to date on employment law? Here are a few ideas below.
- Subscribe to the Society for Human Resource’s legislative updates.
- Subscribe to email updates from the federal and state Departments of Labor.
- Review updates from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
- Stay connected through online HR social communities.
- Attend professional conferences and training.
- Find a knowledgeable expert or firm and make them part of your team.
All businesses must know which laws and changes will affect them. Whether you stay up to date through attending training, networking with other HR professionals, the Internet, or hiring a professional firm like The Lindenberger Group, be proactive in obtaining critical information that will affect how you do business.