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Navigating HR Compliance Challenges: Employers in 2024

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For many human resources managers, compliance with labor law regulations is a never-ending competition. The target is always moving, and you never know exactly where the next hot compliance issue will emerge.

However, there are four specific compliance challenges this year. Two of these are located at the federal level and two are gaining importance in numerous states and municipalities. When it comes to managing your compliance risk in 2024, keep these issues in mind.

New pay transparency laws abound

Since California passed its first pay transparency law in 2018, nine states have followed suit. In Hawaii, for example, the salary disclosure law went into effect on January 1, 2024; the Illinois law went into effect in 2025.

A handful of cities - including New York City and Cincinnati, Ohio - have passed salary disclosure laws, and similar regulations are being considered from coast to coast.

These laws, which grew out of Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) legislation, require employers to disclose their pay structures - a practice that uncovers pay disparities and helps ensure fair pay practices.

Even if your company doesn't fall under these laws (yet!), you should proactively develop a pay transparency policy.

Coming soon: Update to FLSA overtime regulations

While 22 states have increased their minimum wages for 2024, the biggest news this year is the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the overtime rule proposed by the Department of Labor (DOL). If the rule goes into effect, the annual overtime exemption threshold will increase from $35,568 to $55,068, with an automatic increase required every three years.

The U.S. Department of Labor is expected to publish the final rule in April, so the change will take effect 60 days later.

If you haven't already, now is the time to identify your potential compliance risk, determine whether you have affected employees, calculate the additional labor costs, and determine a course of action.

Beyond FMLA: A Flood of New Paid Leave Laws

One of the fastest growing compliance trends is the growing number of paid leave laws that take the Family Medical Leave Act (FLMA) to the next level. To date, 22 states have enacted such laws. More are in the works. Some cities and counties have also passed similar laws.

Paid leave for family reasons - particularly parental leave - is very popular among employees, especially younger workers.

Bottom line: Even if you're not currently required to provide paid vacation, you may soon be. Aside from compliance, you should consider including these benefits in your benefits package because they are such a compelling tool for recruiting and retaining employees.

Be aware of the new EEOC harassment standards

Last fall, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) submitted a proposal to update its workplace harassment enforcement guidelines - the first update in more than 30 years. Although this is a guide and not an enforceable law, this guide should serve as a basis for all employers' corporate governance standards.

What is different? The updated guidance includes protections for LGBTQ+ employees, pregnancy-related bias laws, and virtual harassment of remote workers. It also encourages employers to update their anti-harassment policies and procedures.

Now is the time for HR managers to consider the proposal - and re-evaluate your company's anti-harassment initiatives in light of the new guidance.

Fine-tune your HR compliance best practices

Minimizing compliance risk not only helps your employer avoid violations and penalties, but also creates a safe, equitable work environment in which employees can do their best work. To this end:

  • Regularly review your human resources policies to ensure they are clear, specific, and consistent with current compliance regulations.
  • Review your HR processes to handle complaints and address vulnerabilities. For example, do your employees know how to report discrimination? Do managers understand how FMLA works?
  • Consistently train your employees on compliance challenges at all levels - from anti-harassment courses for employees to privacy and data security training for managers and HR.
  • Create a culture of compliance awareness and accountability. If you discover compliance issues, you should address them immediately. Develop a process for communicating regulatory changes throughout the organization.

Stay informed and avoid compliance issues in 2024

For many employers, HR software is one of the most powerful employment law compliance tools available to them. If you're already using an automated compliance solution, you're one step ahead of the game. If not, take a minute to learn how IceHrm helps its customers overcome their compliance challenges through a combination of:

  • Automated security measures
  • Alerts about regulatory changes
  • A robust learning management system with a focus on compliance issues
  • An accessible, anonymous employee reporting solution
  • A living employee handbook

In conclusion, proactive management of HR compliance issues is crucial for businesses in 2024. Utilize best practices, stay informed, and consider leveraging tools like IceHrm for streamlined compliance solutions.

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