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Jul 26, 2016

Declaring that “The pro-employee tide is rising,” a report out this morning identifies four developments in regulations and compliance that if they don’t yet affect your workforce, they soon may.

New overtime regs, the push for a $15 minimum wage, paid leave, and “ban the box,” are the leading pro-employee trends, says the report from HR platform vendor Namely. Only the first — the Department of Labor’s doubling of the salary threshold for overtime exemption — has nationwide reach. The rest are being put in place state-by-state or city-by-city and the trends are gaining steam. Says Namely’s whitepaper, The Pro-Employee Tide: Trends in HR Compliance, “The pro-employee tide is rising — and if the last six months are any indication of what’s to come, we have yet to see its
peak.”

Here’s a brief look at each trend in the report:

  1. Overtime: Announced in May, the new regulations will take effect in December. With only a few exceptions, employers will be obligated to pay overtime to workers earning less than $47,476 annually. Be prepared for the expansion of OT pay by following the steps outlined in this article.
  2. Minimum wage laws: Stymied in Congress, minimum wages are being raised by the action of cities and states across the nation. So far, 29 states have raised wage minimums above the federal $7.25. Several locales have enacted a $15 an hour minimum to be reached in stages over the next few years.
  3. Paid leave:Namely report Paid leave chart “Paid leave laws are not new to the scene, but it was in the last year that they
    gathered serious momentum and became a topic of discussion nationwide,” says the Namely report. Here, too, states and cities are taking the lead, requiring employers to provide a minimum number of paid leave days. Citing surveys showing a majority of voters in favor of paid leave, Namely says, “With the added attention, emotional potency, and electoral repercussions of paid leave at a high point, state lawmakers have pushed it near the top of their agendas.”
  4. Ban the box: 24 states and over 100 cities and counties nationwide have adopted some form of prohibition preventing employers asking job candidates about their criminal history. Noting that the pace of state action is accelerating, Namely says, “With bipartisan support and
    momentum from last year, expect to see ban the box laws continue to pass across the country.”
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