It’s safe to say that no one anticipated 2020 playing out quite like this. Perhaps that is why so many businesses are concerned about the months ahead! For hourly, distributed workforce employers, the uncertainty is even greater. You’re not only juggling inconsistent requirements from multiple authorities, but higher compliance standards and more severe penalties than the average business.
Given the complex and conflicting regulations of federal, state and local ordinances – and the unlikeliness of a standardized landscape any time soon – let’s go over the key compliance issues you’ll want to stay abreast of for the remainder of 2020!
Key Issues for Hourly Workforce Compliance
Paid Leave for Workers
Paid leave laws are undergoing a tremendous amount of change, including temporary regulations to address the needs created by COVID-19. Under Title I of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), emergency paid sick leave has been extended to assist working families facing health emergencies arising from Coronavirus. This is set to expire on December 31, 2020.
In terms of standard vacation and medical leave, you will want to watch for individual state changes. Federally mandated paid leave may also occur now that Congress has enacted legislation giving federal workers 12 weeks of paid leave!
In light of the #MeToo movement, states are expanding sexual harassment laws at a rapid rate as well. Employers should expect additional definitions of harassment in the workplace, prevention mandates, and requirements around reporting on this issue. Your hourly workforce operation will likely be required to update its policy and practices for combatting sexual harassment, including anti-harassment trainings, updating employee handbooks, and standardizing investigation procedures if it hasn’t already.
If goes without saying, but the gig economy is growing—especially due to the disruptions created by COVID-19. As you bring various employees back to work, be sure to reference the classification legislation impacting your operation’s state(s)! You and your workers need to be on the same page about their employment status and benefits eligibility at all costs. States will continue to update categorization rules associated with managing exempt and non-exempt statuses, as well as regular full-time, regular part-time, temporary full-time, or temporary part-time employees.
Wage and Hour Laws
As always, wage and hour laws are ever-changing for states and local districts. The more you are able to monitor these changes to over-time exemption rules, minimum wage rates, and joint employer rules- the more successful your hourly workforce compliance will be. Twenty-one states began 2020 with higher minimum wages- so if you’re state hasn’t already seen these rate changes, it soon will. Make sure your workforce management system can track and update relevant pay rules in line with these critical compliance requirements!
Pay equity and pay transparency legislation are central issues for all businesses this year. Since the beginning of 2019, more than 11 states have strengthened or enacted pay laws. These laws include equal pay regulations, quasi-salary history bans, pay scale requirements on job postings, company wage transparency, or newly amended salary history bans for many states. Be sure to monitor these changes closely, as failure to comply could result in costly civil suits and harsh federal and state fines!
Noncompete clauses in employment agreements are another issue that you need to be weary of. In light of the federal Noncompetition Law (which prohibits employers from enforcing noncompete agreements against certain employees, especially regarding contractors), many states and localities are banning such clauses. This is especially relevant to hourly or low-income workers, so make sure you are on top of this unique issue for your state(s) and maintain consistency as you re-structure your policies.
Adaptive Compliance Ease with EPAY Systems
At EPAY, we are no stranger to the compliance struggles faced by hourly workforce businesses. We built our Human Capital Management system with them in mind, as well as adaptability for complex, short-notice compliance changes like those happening in 2020.
Our HCM platform can handle all applicable mandates—not to mention the balancing act between federal, state and local laws. No matter how complex your labor environment, our software and customer support works round the clock to keep you compliant. As a leading workforce management solution, we offer unique compliance safeguards you can’t find anywhere else. See for yourself, and request a demo today!