2018 labor front: lots to think about for employers, workers

What’s in store on the American labor front in 2018?

According to multiple commentators in a recent employment law article, lots. The collective view of those parties stresses that a number of trends will materially impact both employers and workers. Moreover, note those voices, differences in emphasis on many matters will be strongly apparent at federal and state levels, respectively.

Here’s a bottom-line conclusion stated in the above-cited analysis of likely 2018 workplace developments: a more employer-friendly approach from federal labor officials and agencies that is counterbalanced by a pro-employee slant emanating from state government entities.

That could make for an interesting year in the employment law realm.

What could feature at the federal level?

Foremost, what is being signaled at the U.S. Department of Labor is a retreat from progressively pro-worker rules and policies that were steadily promulgated or suggested in the latter years of the Obama presidency.

Among other things, for example, the DOL has revisited a federal overtime rule regarding salary thresholds for exemptions. An Obama-era regulation called for a doubling of the threshold. The DOL under President Trump is expected to issue a new rule that will provide for something less than that.

What’s being spotlighted in states across the country?

Reportedly, and unsurprisingly in the wake of myriad high-profile instances, sexual harassment will likely be an uppercase topic and concern in workplaces nationally this year. One commentator notes the “trickle down” effect and says that there could be “new harassment laws and more training mandates at the state level.”

Employers across the country might also need to respond to additional exactions implemented by state and municipal labor agencies regarding things like retaliation, drug use policies and company practices that guide interview questions concerning salary history and prior compensation.

As a result, a close look and tailored updating of company handbooks might be in order for many businesses in Connecticut and nationally. A proven employment law attorney can provide guidance and drafting acumen to ensure compliance with evolving legal norms.

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