Employers should keep an eye on harassment prevention, leave mandates, Paychex says
- Sexual harassment prevention, paid leave, and federal support for retirement savings top the list of regulatory issues employers should watch out for in 2019, according to Paychex. "This new year brings with it a new class of legislators and a set of issues — both new and old — that these legislators will focus on at the federal, state, and local levels,” said Martin Mucci, president and CEO of Paychex, in a statement.
- Most notably, the #MeToo movement resulted in an increase in workplace sexual harassment prevention legislation and enforcement across the country in 2018, and its momentum is expected to continue in 2019, according to the human capital management services provider.
- The gig economy, privacy/security, and state healthcare reform also made Paychex's "top 10," along with some other key issues.
Paychex isn't alone in thinking the #MeToo movement is likely to continue or escalate in 2019, with more high-profile sexual harassment allegations and increased EEOC enforcement. But more and more, stakeholders are focusing on harassment prevention — with some jurisdictions mandating it — hoping to keep incidents from happening at all.
Similarly, it appears that paid leave will likely remain a thorn in employers' sides for some time. Currently, at least 10 states and Washington, D.C., as well as more than 30 localities, require paid sick leave, but the details of the requirements vary, making compliance difficult for employers with operations in multiple jurisdictions. There is no federal law requiring paid sick leave law for the private sector, but the Society for Human Resource Management and others are backing various proposals that could pre-empt state laws, creating more predictability for employers.
Paychex's third item, retirement savings, hasn't received quite as much attention as the first two, but the organization says 2019 could be the year. Research shows that employees across generations aren't saving enough for retirement. According to a 2018 report from the National Institute on Retirement Security, many have nothing saved. Paychex said that prospects for legislation that could address that issue are promising.