It’s a new year, and with that always brings new trending issues in the human resource department. And this is no department to ignore since they have to maintain compliant and proactive. Looking into the new year our experts have pinpointed 5 main areas to watch for.
1. SEXUAL HARASSMENT IN THE WORKPLACE
Everyone who watches or reads the news knows this was a big issue throughout the end of 2017 and it seems to keep coming up with new allegations everyday. This is no new issue, harassment has been something HR experts have been fighting for years. In fact, NBC News and The Wall Street Journal (ironically) conducted a poll and found that 48% of employed women in the US have been verbally or physically harassed or had unwelcome advances during work hours. This is something that cannot be ignored within a company.
Key HR cannot stress enough that employers should make the following a priority in 2018:
• MANDATORY TRAINING ON HARASSMENT – All employees require this training. At least 2 hours of sexual harassment prevention, including harassment based on gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation. This should also be repeated to supervisors every 2 years thereafter as a separate training compared to non- supervisors. Did you know that employers may even be held liable for an unlawful harassment by supervisors? That’s why is crucial to prevent this level of harassment to ever occur. Once training is complete, require a signed receipt of acknowledgment that will be kept on file.
• STRESS AN OPEN-DOOR POLICY – Provide your employees with safe spaces at work where they can speak with HR or a supervisor about any issue.
• CREATE A HARASSMENT-FREE CULTURE – Set the example of a workplace that is a respectful, safe company. Workplace culture is created from the top down so it’s leaders need to comply fully and at all times.
• HIRE HR EXPERTS – Experts in the area human resources are up-to-date on all the policies and processes to combat sexual harassment. It’s so important to have qualified HR experts or an attorney to help create a culture of zero tolerance through policies and procedures.
2. OVERTIME RULES VIA THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
In 2016, Obama administration’s Department of Labor introduced a new rule to increase the minimum annual salary for most “white collar” overtime exemptions (executive, administrative and professional) under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) from $23,660 to $47,476. This is the new rule. Trump administration’s DOL has stated that it intends to withdraw the final rule and issue a different rule with an increased minimum salary threshold. In the meantime, it’s a good idea to review your FLSA classifications and have a plan in place to potentially address this threshold to stay ahead of the game.
3. ACA (AFFORDABLE CARE ACT)
This one is a BIGGEY! Since no one knows the future of the ACA. President Trump campaigned to repeal and replace the ACA. BUT Congress has only been able to repeal the individual mandate requirement, beginning in 2019, through the measure’s inclusion of their tax legislation, which passed the House and the Senate on Dec. 20, 2017 and signed into law by the president on Dec. 22, 2017. This means that the ACA will continue to govern over individuals who receive medical insurance through their employers. The IRS has also stated that it will not accept 2017 tax returns that don’t indicate whether the filer had insurance for the year. It’s so very importmant that you or your HR expert keep up-to-date with the complicated ACA requirements.
4. EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION WAGE REPORTING
The Obama administration, a ruling was issued that would have required companies that file EEO-1 Reports to provide data on employee compensation and hours worked, categorized by sex, race and ethnicity. This requirement was supposed to apply to the EEO-1 Reports for 2017, which would have been due by March 31, 2018.
The Trump administration stayed the wage data reporting requirement of the EEO-1 Report for further study. The EEOC is expected to provide more information in the near future about the revised EEO-1 Report’s status and what employers should expect.
Employers should still take steps to ensure that they are providing equal pay to employees who perform similar work, regardless of factors such as sex, race, ethnicity, etc., to comply with any applicable equal pay laws and anti-discrimination laws and to be at the forefront of best practices. Start by reviewing the current compensation bands within your company. Review your pay bands within each individual job title or each department and see where pay gaps lie. Determine whether there are legitimate factors for the pay gap and, if not, develop a way in which you can begin to close the gap. This can be done with incentive programs, greater annual wage increases for high performers or even temporary wage increase freezes until you are able to level the playing field.
5. SALARY EQUALITY
Gender gaps in salary have been a hot ticket item within the last several years and it looks like that trend will continue into 2018. Several states have created laws that intend to keep employers from asking or relying on salary history as a basis for compensation negotiations. If you live within the following states, please look up your states restrictions on this matter. Some of those states include: California, Delaware, Oregon, Massachusetts, and New York. The state list is growing as each one seeks strategies to address pay inequality so please keep yourself current.
These 5 topics are just a few main topics that will be hot in 2018. KeyHR has experts in every area of HR and can help your company stay compliant.
This communication is for informational purposes only; it is not legal, tax or accounting advice; and is not an offer to sell, buy or procure insurance.
This post may contain hyperlinks to websites operated by parties other than KeyHR. Such hyperlinks are provided for reference only. KeyHR does not control such websites and is not responsible for their content. Inclusion of such hyperlinks on KeyHRo.com does not necessarily imply any endorsement of the material on such websites or association with their operators.
- Posted by admin
- On January 19, 2018
- 0 Comment