04 Oct 6 Employment Law Issues You Need to Watch
Every company needs employees. Without good workers, no business can hope to survive in a highly competitive and oversaturated market. It’s safe to say that many companies have a lot of issues regarding their employment practices and the majority of these issues are, in fact, legal in nature. But why is that?
The main reason is that many employers are not up to date with the latest employment laws and regulations, which means they’re not compliant with the workplace regulations that should’ve been made a priority to begin with. This can create major problems for the company and for its employees as well. With that in mind, here are a few employment law issues you need to watch out for.
Wage gap and equal pay law
The wage gap has been a sensitive topic for some time now. In order to put the differences aside, the government decided to introduce The Equal Pay Law that will ensure every employee will be paid the same regardless of how many employees a company has.
The law by itself is not gender-specific, which means the same rules apply to everyone. Moreover, the law doesn’t require discrimination intent to be enforced. If you’re not aware of this law, an individual employee may sue you under federal law and easily win back the lost salaries while you as the employer will be facing penalties.
Workplace discrimination is yet another sensitive subject that’s at the focus of pretty much everyone these days. The law itself changes very often, which means employers must be up to date with this law.
What’s more, employers must consult with their HR department regularly to determine if certain actions or practices may be perceived as discrimination or even harassment.
As an example, many employers refuse to hire people with disabilities without even realizing the benefits of hiring people with disabilities. This is a form of discrimination and it can lead to claims, as well as lawsuits against your company.
Every company considers hiring freelancers or outsourcing some of the business operations sooner or later.
One law, in particular, called the Freelance Isn’t Free Act, enforces additional protection to independent contractors in terms of contracts, payments and protection from company retaliation. If you happen to misclassify employees as independent contractors, you won’t get off easy in the eyes of the law.
Social media use
The fact that social media has become an integral part of our everyday lives can be seen in the fact that it has become a major topic in the workplace. So much, in fact, that social media usage by employees at the workplace is now regulated by law.
The fact of the matter is that employers are concerned about employees disclosing company sensitive information on their social media pages. This can be regulated by educating employees and implementing company policies that are specific on the matter. However, what you should watch out for is how much you restrict employees with such policies. What you may not be aware of is that it’s within every employee’s right to openly discuss their wages and working conditions on social media.
Paid and parental leave
Every employee has the right to paid leave. This doesn’t just include vacation days, holidays and sick leave but also parental leave as well. The FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) is no longer the only law in place.
The fact of the matter is that every state can add more laws and regulations on the subject, which means you must be up to date with it. In other words, there may be additional regulations when employees decide to give birth, adopt a child or take care of a family member. If you’re not compliant with these regulations, you may face serious consequences.
ACA – The Health Care law
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is still the governing law for health care in workplaces. Every employer must be compliant with this law, which includes ensuring tax provisions and employee health care coverage.
It’s within every employee’s right to be compensated accordingly should they get sick or injured while employed. If you fail to remain compliant with this law, you will have a lot of penalties and even lawsuits on your hands..
Jacob Wilson is a business consultant, and an organizational psychologist, based in Brisbane. Passionate about marketing, social networks, and business in general. In his spare time, he writes a lot about new business strategies and digital marketing for Bizzmark blog.