New HR Laws in 2019
If you work in Human Resources, you’re always keeping an eye out for anything that could impact your organization.
Vigilance is key, and to help you, here is a short summary of some upcoming HR laws and regulations you should expect in 2019.
1. FLSA Overtime Exemptions
In 2016, the Trump Administration invalidated changes to overtime exemptions proposed by the Obama Administration. Until recently, the Department of Labor (DOL) hasn’t said much else on the subject. That changed last month.
DOL proposed changes to the Fair Labor Standard Act’s (FLSA) overtime regulations. While the rule is not yet final, most experts think the new salary level will be somewhere between 30 and 35 thousand dollars. In addition, some anticipate that the DOL will implement a methodology to periodically update the salary level to better respond to economic disparities.
2. Work Visas
Last March, President Trump signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018. This act increased the cap of H2-B visas from 66,000 to 129,547.
The DOL and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) also announced they were looking to modernize and improve the requirements for employers looking to hire H-2B workers. The effort serves two purposes: Make it easier for qualified, nonimmigrant workers to find employment in the United States and improve the dissemination of job opportunities to U.S. workers.
While there is no word whether the cap on other visas will increase, there is a new online registration system for those wanting to hire H1-B workers. While the final rule will take affect in 2020, it is something HR managers should acquaint themselves with as early as possible.
3. Minimum Wage
The hourly federal minimum wage has remained at $7.25 since 2009. That stagnation does not extend to state minimum wage laws.
New Jersey just became the most recent state to adopt a $15 per hour minimum wage. And you can bet more are likely to follow. Labor advocates across the country are calling for government to legislate higher wages. While these efforts are unlikely to influence the federal government, organizations should pay close attention to their state representatives and what could happen if they follow the examples of New York, New Jersey, and California.
4. Sexual Harassment Training
Just like with minimum wage, not all changes impacting labor and employment stem from the federal government. It’s just as important to keep a pulse on state legislation.
Aside from maybe minimum wage, nowhere is this more true than the growing trend to crack down on sexual harassment in the workplace.
States like Delaware, New York, and California are requiring employers to conduct sexual harassment training.
As HR managers and executives know well, creating training programs takes time. It may be in your best interest to get ahead of the curve and institute your own programs before they are mandated.