This feels like a good time in the year for a compliance check. Some businesses are starting to bring employees back to the office, either full-time or on a hybrid basis. If you fall in to this category, or even if you don’t, take a moment to scan the compliance horizon and make sure everything is up-to-date and that you’re proactively positioning HR for what may lie ahead.
Here’s a good place to start. Make sure all policies are updated for both in office and remote and hybrid workers. Plus, with employees coming back in to the office, check your bulletin boards. Are your posters up-to-date? Visit the DOL website to download pdfs of posters. Finally, with employees working remotely, be aware of where they are working and modify rules and regulations to accommodate different state requirements.
Familiarize yourself with the latest compliance updates. Caregiver stereotypes can result in violation of federal law. In mid-March, the EEOC released the latest guidelines for employment discrimination against caregivers as it relates to Covid-19. Familiarize yourself with The COVID-19 Pandemic and Caregiver Discrimination Under Federal Employment Discrimination Law, and the update to its COVID-19 “What You Should Know” explaining discrimination against employees and job seekers with family caregiving responsibilities. Also in March, Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act of 2021 took effect. It amends the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) and bans the mandatory arbitration of sexual assault and sexual harassment claims or disputes (“claims”). This is a complicated area with mandatory provisions so you may want to have your legal counsel review handbooks and provide guidance on how to prevent any type of situation from arising in the workplace.
Be prepared for what may come next. As a final consideration, be prepared for new scenarios that were not in the workplace prior to Covid and begin thinking through what your company policies will be moving forward. For instance, employees may request the opportunity to work remotely for other health conditions or to care for an ailing family member in another state. Communicate how your company will handle various scenarios to accommodate workers and their requests and have policies in place.
At HR Elements, we’re here to help guide you and to make sure that your business remains compliant through an ever changing HR landscape. Let us know how we can help.