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4 Labor Policy Issues to Review Every Year

Posted by Erin Medina on

Laws and regulations regarding employment are constantly changing and it’s hard to stay up to date on the latest. As an expert in workforce management, Eastridge’s MedTech Division offers up these items as labor issues every employer should review this year, and every year, to ensure they are in compliance with state and federal laws.

Workplace Anti-Harassment Policy

Every anti-harassment policy should cover sexual harassment but other types of harassment should not be overlooked. Harassment based on any protected status is prohibited, including but not limited to age, disability race, color, military or veteran status, marital status, ethnicity, religion and other categories protected by federal or state specific law. In addition to understanding what is legally required to be included in an anti-harassment policy under federal and state specific laws, consider including real-life examples of unacceptable conduct in your policy, examples that will resonate in your organization's culture. Read more from SHRM.

Employment Application

An employment application should not include any questions that will produce a response that are not job related, or would indicate or impact an applicant’s protected class such as age, race, national origin, disability, etc. Even seemingly neutral questions may have an overwhelmingly negative impacted on a protected class and should be avoided.  By way of example only, the following should NOT be on your application:

  • Birth date
  • Graduation dates
  • Race or nationality inquiries (for example, citizenship or language related inquiries, photograph requirements)
  • Salary history
  • Criminal History inquiries (30 states have adopted statewide laws or policies to “ban the box” marking previous incarceration)

Tax Changes

The new tax bill passed by Congress makes multiple changes for employers, including, but not limited to, eliminating the business deduction for qualified mass transit and parking benefits for 2018. Additionally, the law puts in place a federal tax credit for employers that provide paid family and medical leave to their employees. Businesses should review the new tax changes and update their office policies as needed. More details here.

Changes to the I-9

Every employee must fill out a Form I-9 to prove both identity and eligibility to work in the United States. As of Sept. 18, 2017, a new version of the form must be used. Among several other notable changes, employers should know that this new version has revised instructions on how Section 1 of the form should be completed. Prior Forms I-9 required that Section 1 had to be completed by “the end of the first day of employment.” By removing “the end of” from the phrase “the first day of employment,” United States Citizenship and Immigration Services emphasizes that the employee should “complete Section 1 at the time of hire (by the first day of their employment for pay).” Read more.

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