February 13, 2019

Emerging HR compliance trends for 2019

Lawmakers are already pursuing legislation for fair scheduling, retirement savings plans, and paid leave. Here, Ceridian Product Counsel Adam Wysopal summarizes the latest updates.

Ceridian has been actively monitoring several HR compliance trends (see here and here). Among other topics, we have written about fair scheduling, retirement savings plans, and different paid leave entitlements. We continue to see activity in these areas and will be watching to see if passage of these laws accelerates in 2019. Below is a summary of what we are starting to see so far this year.

Read more compliance and legislation blog posts and news articles here.

Fair scheduling

The number of employees covered by fair scheduling laws is likely to continue to increase in 2019. While there is variation among existing laws, they are built on the same principle: providing employees with more notice and predictability about their work schedules. Hawaii and New Hampshire are in the early stages of adopting fair scheduling laws.

Even though we have not seen any new fair scheduling legislation signed into law yet this year, these types of laws can advance quickly and become effective shortly after passage. For instance, the proposed bill in Hawaii would go into effect on July 1, 2019.

What does this mean for employers?

If you are an employer with employees in jurisdictions that are considering fair scheduling laws, track the proposals closely. You may find value in reviewing your existing policies now to see how they interact with any potential new obligations.

Retirement savings plans

Another trend that is gaining momentum is statewide retirement programs to help private sector employees save money. Several states, including Oregon and Illinois, are currently implementing programs that target employers who do not offer employees a retirement savings plan. These laws usually require certain employers to enroll employees into the program and then make and remit payroll deductions as required under the program.

Legislation has been introduced in New Mexico and Washington to present such programs. And in Hawaii, legislation has been proposed to study the feasibility of a program.

What does this mean for employers?

Unlike fair scheduling laws, these types of initiatives are implemented on a much longer timeline. In addition to monitoring for new developments, affected employers may want to familiarize themselves with how these programs are structured in jurisdictions where they are already being implemented.

Paid leave

Some jurisdictions have also been passing or exploring the adoption of one or two distinct leave entitlements:

  • Paid sick leave
  • Paid family and medical leave

Paid sick laws are typically structured such that an employee accrues paid sick leave hours. The employer is required to administer employee usage of, and payment for, earned sick hours. These laws have been introduced at the city, county, or statewide level. So far in 2019, legislation has been introduced in Hawaii to provide for paid sick leave on a statewide basis. For now, employers should be on alert for other jurisdictions that propose paid sick leave laws.

In contrast, paid family and medical leave programs are more like insurance programs. To date, these have been statewide programs and are typically funded by a payroll tax. A state agency or department administers claims from employees and pays any benefits.  

In New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Connecticut, Maryland, and Oklahoma there have been proposals to establish similar paid family and medical leave entitlements. It is also anticipated that legislation will be introduced in Oregon. Other states, such as Hawaii, began exploring the concept last year.

What does this mean for employers?

For now, employers should continue to monitor for new or revised proposals for paid family and medical leave programs. You may also want to consider how you would communicate programs like these types to your employees. Employees may look to you as the benefit provider and to answer questions they may have about applying for and receiving benefits.

 

Disclaimer: The information provided in this post is provided for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon or construed as legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. You should review with your legal advisors how the laws identified in this post may apply to your specific situation.

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