New Year, New Laws: 2020 Compliance Checklist for Employers

By Kris Janisch
Published Dec. 31, 2019

New Year, New Laws: 2020 Compliance Checklist for Employers

Across the country, new laws will go into effect Jan. 1, 2020. Here are five things employers should do heading into the new year.

As you know, each new year brings scores of new laws. And that can mean plenty of work for employers to remain compliant. With that in mind, here is a checklist of five things employers should be aware of to ensure compliance in 2020.

  1. FLSA Overtime Check

The U.S. Department of Labor in September 2019 issued its final rule update for overtime pay. More than a million additional workers will soon be eligible for overtime.

2019 Employment Law Trends and 2020 PredictionsUnder the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the new overtime rule will raise the pay threshold for exempt employees to $35,568 per year ($684 per week) from the previous level of $23,660 per year ($455 per week). The final rule goes into effect Jan. 1, 2020.

What does that mean for employers? You may have to estimate how many hours employees near the new threshold are working and determine whether you should pay them a salary or hourly wage.

Also note that some experts believe the new standard will have more of an impact in rural areas and the South more than urban hubs.

  1. Location Audits

Taking stock of each of your locations — especially for large employers that operate in several states — must be part of your 2020 checklist.

Labor Law Postings

Be sure each location has up-to-date labor law posters. These should be part of your communication strategy to employees, as well as your first line of defense in case of an employment law complaint.

Minimum wage

More than 20 states and dozens of smaller jurisdictions will increase minimum wage rates at the start of the year. You don’t want to end up in the headlines as part of a wage theft suit. Make sure your employees are being paid the correct wage.

Related: Early 2020 State Minimum Wage Updates

Paid leave

From paid family and medical leave to paid sick leave and even paid leave for any reason, we’re seeing a wave of new laws in this area. Paid leave laws are often more difficult to track than minimum wage, for example, because of the varied accrual rates, reasons for usage and other factors.

  1. Review Hiring Procedures

Can you ask about a job prospect’s criminal history? What about pre-employment drug testing for marijuana?

The past year has seen several laws enacted regarding hiring practices. Refresh your procedures as part of your 2020 compliance checklist.

It’s more than “ban the box” legislation. In Illinois, the state has regulated employers’ use of artificial intelligence in the hiring process. Brush up on local laws and ensure your hiring managers know what they can and can’t do.

  1. Predictive Scheduling

From Philadelphia to Chicago to San Francisco, predictive scheduling laws have begun to sprout up across the country.

In addition to giving employees their schedules in advance, these laws also have notice and recordkeeping requirements for employers.

Some laws are already in place. In Chicago and Philadelphia, the predictive scheduling rules go into effect this summer.

Also, companies with employees in California and New York City should take steps to ensure compliance with predictive scheduling laws in 2020.

  1. Other Stuff

ABC's of Labor Law Poster ComplianceYou really didn’t think your 2020 compliance checklist would only be five items, did you?

Each industry has its own compliance concerns. Here are a few others you might need to keep in mind for 2020:

The world of employment law continues to evolve. HR, payroll and executive teams must evolve along with it.

Here’s to a successful and compliant 2020!

This Labor Law News Blog is intended for market awareness only, it is not to be used for legal advice or counsel.

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