Employment Laws Trends You Need To Know
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the landscape of employment law in many ways. Employers and employees alike must be mindful of these laws in order to create a solid legal employment standard and promote positive company culture.
Small and medium-sized businesses across the country are struggling with labor shortages. Staying up-to-date with the latest employment laws and trends not only helps protect a company legally, but also helps attract and retain top talent. Having clear policies that comply with local, state, and federal employment laws is imperative to staying a competitive employer.
Post-Pandemic Employment Laws and Trends
The pandemic has resulted in many changes to the workplace. Some of these changes are temporary, while others may be here to stay. Here are some post-pandemic employment laws and trends you need to know about:
- Remote working accommodations – The pandemic forced many companies to allow their employees to work remotely. This trend is likely to continue. Employers should have clear policies in place regarding remote working arrangements, such as hours of work, expectations for productivity, and use of company resources. Employers must find ways to monitor productivity without violating employees’ privacy. Cybersecurity also becomes a top concern when more employees are working remotely.
- Religious and medical accommodations – The pandemic has brought religious and medical accommodations to the forefront. State and federal law allow exemptions from vaccine requirements for medical, religious, or personal reasons, but unvaccinated employees may be required to undergo weekly COVID-19 testing. Make sure your policies are in line with state and federal employment laws and that your employees clearly understand the policies.
- Paid family leave – Illinois employers with at least 50 employees must comply with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and are also required to provide up to 12 weeks of leave for victims of domestic violence. Employers with at least 15 employees must provide leave for employees with a spouse or child being deployed with the military. Many employers are going above and beyond the bare minimum requirements by increasing the amount of paid and unpaid leave employees are eligible for.
- Increased focus on diversity and inclusion – The COVID-19 pandemic has shone a light on the disparities that exist in our country. This has led to an increased focus on diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Employers should review their policies and practices to ensure they are promoting a diverse and inclusive workplace.
- OSHA requirements – Workplace safety has never been more important, and employers must ensure they are in compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requirements. Review your policies and procedures to make sure they are up-to-date and that employees are trained on how to stay safe at work.
- Pay transparency – Promoting equality and reducing discrimination is a top priority in Illinois. Last year, the state amended the 2003 Equal Pay Act to require annual wage and salary reporting for employers with at least 100 employees.
- Physical and mental health concerns – Many companies are expanding health benefits and wellness programs. One study found that approximately 85 percent of companies increased support for mental health benefits in response to soaring depression and anxiety rates. Employers should make sure they have policies and procedures in place to address employees’ mental health needs. This may include offering employee assistance programs, providing access to mental health resources, and training managers on how to identify and address employees’ mental health concerns.
Call Us for Help
Staying up-to-date with employment laws and trends is one of the best ways to promote a positive company culture, attract and keep high-quality employees, and protect your company from lawsuits or other legal trouble. The Naperville employment law attorneys at the Gierach Law Firm can help you navigate the ever-changing landscape of employment law. Call us today at 630-756-1160 to schedule a consultation.
Please note: These blogs have been created over a period of time and laws and information can change. For the most current information on a topic you are interested in please seek proper legal counsel.