How will employment legislation change this year?

January 12, 2023

As anyone who owns a business knows, organizations are beholden to a wide range of employment regulations. The scope and nature of these issues tend to vary, oftentimes pertaining to matters  such as working hours, minimum wage and occupational health and safety. Complying with these laws is vital to avoid fines, lawsuits and even shutdowns.

Such legislation is written, promulgated and enforced at both federal and state levels, so it's also important to know which takes precedence in any given situation. All that said, what legal developments can we expect to see over the course of 2023, and how can you ensure that you stay abreast and in line with them? Let's take a look:

Employment law forecasts

The legal intelligence site JD Supra anticipates numerous changes to labor law over 2023, particularly regarding pay transparency, paid time off (PTO), anti-discrimination and harassment policies and sick leave.

As Mondaq explains, we can safely assume that lawmakers will try to create rules that will further protect workers' physical health and safety. In light of the pandemic, legislators created more rigorous regulations, placing the onus of protecting their workforce from illness on the employers, especially within California. It's expected that these laws will be brought into effect this year.

The same platform also says that some members of Congress and the House of Representatives will work on laws that call for businesses to make pay data reporting and pay scale disclosure public or, at the very least, more readily available. Some states will require businesses with 14 or more employees to post salaries or a wage range (pay scale) and benefits on all job listings, while others will need organizations to furnish this information only upon a candidate or employee's request.

We can also expect some states to increase the legally mandated minimum wage and enact more stringent data protection and privacy laws. Finally, as part of the Crown Act, nearly 20 states will prevent discrimination based on employees' hair, particularly that of Black workers.

How to stay compliant

The overarching takeaway is that every organization — whether it's for-profit or charitable — must keep up to date with developments in local, state and national law. On a more granular level, employers would do well to:

  • Determine what factors make employees exempt from changes to overtime and minimum wage regulations.
  • Ascertain whether their state of incorporation dictates the provision of meal and rest breaks and how they may affect wage statements.
  • Establish if they're subject to bereavement policies that give employees time off to attend funerals and administer estates of deceased spouses, first-degree relatives, grandparents and parents-in-law.
  • Take note of the "family member" definition's expansion to accommodate employees who need to take time off to care for ill or aging dependents.
  • Find out whether there have been amendments to applicable equal pay laws, as well as legislation regarding gender and racial discrimination.
  • Verify the applicability of drug testing rules for both current and potential employees (with particular regard to cannabis use).