Now is a good time to check if companies are compliant with new employment laws passed last year. Congress, state legislatures, and the courts altered employment law throughout 2020. Certain states mandated new topics to cover and shifts in employment philosophy make other subjects more relevant. States may require or recommend training on:
- Sexual harassment
- Work-site safety
- Industry-specific subjects
- Ethics and compliance
- Diversity and inclusion
- Unconscious bias
For managers and other supervisory personnel, they may need additional training on the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), performance management, the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and other topics. All trainings should be documented, and employees should achieve the necessary assessment scores. When not using computer-based modules with integrated sign-ins to verify completion, keep sign-in sheets and other paperwork in one place or file.
Is the Employee Handbook Current?
It is important to keep up with the laws that may affect certain policies already in place in employee handbooks. Laws will vary by state, which can make it confusing for employers operating in multiple locations. For drug testing policies, look to see if they should be altered. Many companies operate in multiple states and some states who legalized recreational cannabis abandoned testing unless specifically required in some industries.
Many companies allowed employees to work from home in 2020 due to the pandemic. That forced some adjustments to those policies. If the company wants to protect employees by allowing them to work from home when possible, make sure the handbook follows any new laws passed. According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), if work from home does not create an undue hardship on business operations, more employees may be allowed to stay home instead of working on site.
With the federal government passing multiple relief packages to combat the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, there have been new programs to allow paid leave for parents who lost childcare or have children learning from home. Other cities and states created new or expanded paid leave laws. COVID-19 has also created awareness around personal safety. Multiple states adopted new worker protections while the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) introduced new safety procedures specific to the pandemic. If this was not updated during 2020, affected policies should be changed for this year. Additionally, the Supreme Court altered Title VII language to include sexual orientation and gender identity under sex discrimination.
Has the Application Process Been Updated?
Over half the states in America now have some form of banning requested salary histories for hiring applicants, including most states in the northeast. Even within those states, there are different rules for specific cities and counties. Other states and municipalities have altered rules on what can be asked of candidates, such as prior arrests or other considering factors that may not directly apply to the position. Thirty-four states also have legislation that prevents or limits employers from asking about criminal history as an effort to reduce recidivism.
Philadelphia Employment Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Help Employers Stay Compliant with Changing Employment Laws
It can be difficult to keep track of all the legislative changes that may affect your business. Oftentimes, slight alterations can have a bigger impact than high-profile bills. Let the Philadelphia employment lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. guide your company through the changing landscape of COVID-19 policies and how it affects your business. Call 215-574-0600 or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation. Based in Philadelphia, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.