HR can expect more labor laws out of states and municipalities
- Jonathan A. Segal, an attorney with Duane Morris, told SHRM that states and local governments will pass many more upcoming employment laws instead of the federal government, a trend HR should expect to continue.
- Speaking during a breakout session at the Society for Human Resource Management Employment Law & Legislative Conference on March 13, Segal said that regardless of what happens in Congress, changes in the law won’t happen as quickly as anticipated. Differences among Republican lawmakers, even though they control the House, Senate and the presidency, could lead to interesting outcomes nationally.
- Segal expects more states and local governments to take up such issues as the minimum wage, overtime pay and salary thresholds, predictable schedules for employers, paid sick leave, right-to-work laws and medical and recreational marijuana.
HR must be prepared for new state and local employment laws. New regulations and mandate changes from states and municipalities are often overshadowed by federal requirements, but in a time where few federal requirements will likely come down the line, states are at the forefront of change. The patchwork effect may increase during this administration.
HR must proceed cautiously in advocating for or against minimum wage increases in their states. Employers must ensure that wage levels are fair and competitive while keeping in mind how pay increases might affect their organizations. How court decisions on the overtime rule play out will be critical for employers.
Many state and local governments are moving independently from Congress on mandates covering paid medical leave, right-to-work rules, gender identity, pay equity, ban-the-box and even predictable work scheduling. HR must monitor legislative activity on these key issues in 2017.