Employment Law Compliance in 2021
At the Federal level, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) ramps up enforcement of COVID-19 workplace protocols with a National Emphasis Program (NEP) with focused inspections of employers. At the state level, several states have increased efforts to address workplace safety violations. In Michigan, over 200 organizations have been cited and many of them fined for violations of the workplace safety guidelines under MIOSHA, Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration during the pandemic.
Be sure to attend the Webinar “Human Resource Essentials & Trends” May 20, 2021 at 2:00 PM EST. Register Here.
There a numerous employment-related regulations that employers must follow from local, state and federal authorities; and in 2021 there are several more on the horizon. COVID-19 has brought even more for employers to follow. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) included provisions which required paid leave in 2020 which was extended on a voluntary basis for Q1 2021 and ultimately extended through September 30, 2021 on a voluntary basis. Several states have specific paid leave laws as well, including COVID-19 related paid leave requirements.
The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) provides several employment-related rules in 2021 impacting unemployment benefits, continuation of health insurance subsidies and extended election periods under COBRA, additional PPP funds, changes to health savings accounts and flexible spending account provisions and extension of FFCRA tax credits.
The alphabet soup of employment regulations is enormous and can be overwhelming to small businesses. One pitfall for small businesses is that they aren’t aware of which regulations impact them. Several of the regulations are applicable based on the number of employees the organization has. Other rules have alternative factors for applicability.
On the horizon are federal regulations and interpretive guidance from agencies that relate to independent contractors (ICs), tip sharing, wellness programs, H1-B Visas, vaccinations, protections relating to COVID-19, safety and health, Department of Labor’s PAID program for payroll audit findings, pregnant worker protections, unionization and right-to-work states and a focus on collective bargaining, discrimination and protections relating to gender identity and sexual orientation. Each state has several pending regulations as well.
EEO-1 reporting returns after several delays. Gathering employment data for years 2019 and 2020 for employers with at least 100 employees; and employers with at least 50 employees with Federal Contracts of at least $50,000. The information gathered in this federal reporting is used to analyze trends relating to women and minorities and support civil rights enforcement.
Diversity, equity and inclusion gains momentum with increased guidance and enforcement of regulations which provide protections to women, minorities and people with disabilities. Policies, training and culture initiatives in all sizes of organizations are needed to be compliant and build an organization that attracts and retains talent.
The May 20th webinar will walk through a 3-Step process for preparing for pending regulations impacting employers and highlight the top 16 pending changes and actions.
To learn more about preparing for the pending and new employment law regulations in 2021 be sure to attend the Webinar “Human Resource Essentials & Trends” May 20, 2021 at 2:00 PM EST. Register Here.