Could changes in employment law impact your business and increase your legal exposure?
To stay abreast of the newest legal developments, ESC recently hosted a panel of Employment Law experts. Liz Warren of Employer Services Corporation, along with Hugh Carlin and Scott Philbin of Gross Shuman discussed how recent changes in employment law are affecting every organization, and often in unanticipated ways. Our panel of experts addressed the intricacies of changing laws in:
- Pay Equity and Transparency
- Legal Marijuana and the Workplace
- Hybrid Workforce Best Practices
Pay Equity and Transparency
Over the past few years pay equity and transparency laws have been changing across the country. The shifts have already begun in New York City and are expected to become New York State law in the coming months as well. One recommendation is that employers should prepare by conducting a pay equity analysis of incumbent employees to prevent an increase in employee relations issues. For those companies that will have to comply with the law, it is important to ensure incumbent employees’ salaries match job advertisement salary ranges. The possibility also exists for pay inequity and discrimination allegations to come from incumbent employees if the salary range in job advertisements does not match their current salary.
Legal Marijuana and the Workplace
When it comes to the issue of marijuana and the workplace, it’s important to recognize the similarities and differences to alcohol use and associated policies. Please remember that a clearly written employee handbook is the first line of defense preventing difficult to control situations. Note that “Like alcohol, the use of cannabis at a company event could present workplace safety issues and open up the company to liabilities for any employee misconduct during the event.” Unlike alcohol, there is currently no test to serve as a basis to determine if an employee was impaired by the use of this substance.
Hybrid Workforce Best Practices
Another recent change is that many companies are instituting hybrid workplace policies. Like the previous two examples, unexpected nuances arise with new legal and cultural developments. For example:
- While working from a home office, an employee trips on their work computer’s power cord and falls, injuring a shoulder.
- An alternative scenario is that while working from home, an employee takes a break and rushes to remove clothing from the washing machine, falls and injures a shoulder having tripped on the same power cord.
How is it determined if these examples are work-related injuries? There is precedent for these types of injuries to be covered by the company’s workers comp policy.
As the legal landscape shifts and continually changes, ESC & Gross Shuman are committed to positioning their clients to significantly reduce legal exposure in the area of employment administration.
To learn more about these issues and upcoming ESC events, visit https://myesc.com/resources/