It can be difficult for businesses to keep up with all the changes passed by Congress and state legislatures. However, there are ways to focus attention on certain areas of law and how to possibly avoid any compromising situations with company policies. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has created a new set of challenges to businesses, some of which have come from needs for new regulations or emphasizing outdated ones. Outside of the COVID-19 pandemic, state and local governments continue to alter the following laws.
Minimum wage may be the most important law to follow. It varies greatly by state and even county in some states. The rules affect hourly and salaried workers. Exempt workers often see their salary floor adjust based on the local minimum wage. If employees travel for work or operate in multiple jurisdictions, that can also affect wages.
Paid Sick and Family Leave
Paid sick leave and family leave laws are starting to appear in different states and cities, often with different language and guarantees for employees. Many of these laws create challenges for managers and Human Resource (HR) professionals. These professionals may not correctly apply hours or unnecessarily penalize workers for opaque policies.
Legalization and Decriminalization of Recreational Marijuana
More states are now enacting or forming legislation that decriminalizes recreational cannabis. That may alter business practices of drug testing employees. While some states may legalize it, marijuana remains a controlled substance on the federal level and is illegal. Any company looking to do business with the federal government or any of its departments or entities may want to maintain restrictions until otherwise clarified. Additionally, many states have put new restrictions on what employers can ask or demand of job applicants. This can make questions about criminal background or salary history obsolete.
How can Companies Adapt to Remote Work Regulations?
Many businesses have allowed employees to work from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. While the decision has kept millions healthy and productive, the long-term ramifications are evident. Companies must still manage workers operating from home; this includes providing for all breaks, establishing consistent expectations for work output and duties, and making sure employees are in Fair Labor and Standards Act (FLSA) compliance with their work. It is important for employers to communicate clearly and consistently to reinforce expectations and policies.
While it may not be as easy to comply with labor laws, if most workers stay out of the office, there is still a mandate to meet the requirements. Employers can use websites or emails to fulfill their obligations; this can allow for active verification of receipt or engagement by employees, as well as the ability to update with ease. Companies and employees should expect working from home to continue even after the pandemic ends. Adapting to policy changes can create new expectations that can help keep employees satisfied and retain talent.
How Should Companies Adapt?
It can be very difficult to stay compliant with all changes. If businesses can afford to keep wage floors elevated across multiple jurisdictions, it may help worker retention and attract better applicants. Many multi-state companies utilize uniform policies for hiring, leave, and other areas that give the most generous options to workers. Uniform policies also reduce the amount of potential changes that come from new laws and the amount of resources spent monitoring reform efforts. For help with complex litigation matters and abiding by company policies, it is wise to consult with an employment lawyer.
Philadelphia Employment Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Help Business Owners Monitor Employment Law Changes
Following various legislation while trying to run a business is challenging, but legal counsel can help. Our Philadelphia employment lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. have the experience and insight necessary to keep you focused on your success. Call us at 215-574-0600 or contact us online for an initial consultation. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and South Jersey.