In recent years, a number of changes have rapidly changed the way HR works, as transformations in society, government, culture, technology, communications and the legal landscape impact employers and the workplace.
From the #MeToo movement to a growing emphasis on paid leave and new pay equity laws, HR managers have their hands full. Speaking at the Society for Human Resource Management’s annual conference recently, Lori Kleiman, president of HR Topics, identified 10 issues as some of the biggest challenges for human resource professionals.
She suggested visiting for the EEOC Select Task Force on Harassment website. “It gives you some really nice of what to do for your harassment training,” she said. For example, first make sure you’re giving people multiple options to report to, she noted. I always suggest it be a man and woman.
Also, she added, discuss what is and isn’t harassment, “sometimes people are complaining just because they don’t like someone,” she added. And do meaningful, ongoing training to get employees to begin talking about issues when they’re happening.
One of the things we know, sort of a new twist, is your drug testing companies will now exclude marijuana if you want them to from the tests, she said. “A lot of people have just said I don’t want to deal with it anymore.”
The issue with marijuana and drug testing is it stays in your system for 30 days, she noted. “Unlike other drugs and alcohol that they’re not under the influence at the time of the test. In your states where this is becoming legal, it’s something you really have to think about.”
“I’m hearing most likely it’ll go in effect January 2020; what I’m telling people to do, think about this in terms of next year’s budget as your main to do,” she suggested. “Look at all the employees you have that are between $23,363 and $37k or $38k. There are some of those people above the threshold you’ll still need to give a little bit of increases to keep them from getting upset when all their coworkers get bumped,” she noted.
“We are just waiting,” she said, noting that leadership teams need to monitor the legal cases and communicate how the decision might impact corporate policy and practices. “It goes back to diversity, inclusion and respect in the workplace.”
Some other interesting thing, she added, is lawmakers are going to implement rules around protecting employees from discussing salary and will build in money to offer negotiation training for women.
Every industry is going to be a little different, she added, but in this past year, a lot has changed with the next tax laws. “Make sure you’re up to speed.”
Make sure you know what you’re doing, she advised. The portal for the salary info opens July 15. “I think we’ll know a lot more once that portal gets open, but if you’re at 100 employees or getting close, I’d start to pay attention to this.”
For example, the idea of opportunity to work. A few states, like Illinois, are passing laws that say you have to offer full-time work to your part-time employees first. “Stay on top of all these laws as we move forward,” she said, “and make sure you are auditing your HR functions.”