Employment laws are constantly changing. Sometimes the changes can be dramatic, while other adjustments are so minor that you may not realize they have been put in place until long after the event occurs. It’s important to have a modest amount of knowledge about employment laws that are most likely to affect you. The following changes are just a few that are on the books for 2020.
The dispute over the issue of independent contractors being considered employees has been ongoing for years. By claiming a person is an independent contractor, an employer is not obligated to offer benefits, claim taxes, or provide insurance. The new laws are more specific on who can be listed as an independent contractor and who must be claimed as an employee. They will also require that many of the workers who at one time were forced to be listed as independent contractors must now be listed as employees and receive the same benefits.
When it comes to medical or sick leave, many states are going over and above what is already mandated by the federal government. Increasing paid time off for medical issues has been discussed before but rarely came about. Some states are increasing paid time for any medical reason, while others are limiting it to certain conditions like pregnancy, maternity leave, and surgery. With each state enacting different laws, it will be up to the employees to know how much time they are offered and how they have to proceed if they plan on claiming it.
In the past states could force arbitration agreements and demand that an employee to negotiate when it came to discrimination claims. This is no longer the case in many states. Now, employees cannot be forced into arbitration. Instead, they can voice their claims without being forced to waive their rights. With the passage of the new law, employees can pursue whatever legal action they deem necessary when it comes to labor disputes, discrimination, or other violations.
Legalization of Marijuana
With more and more states legalizing the use of marijuana (both for recreational use and medicinal use), it is becoming much harder for states to justify turning away an applicant is they fail a drug screen. Applicants who test positive for marijuana usage are now being given a pass in many states due to many states changing their marijuana laws. States that have adopted marijuana use for medicinal purposes only are finding it more difficult to turn away potential hires due to a failed drug screen that shows a positive for marijuana.
The new salary history law prevents employers from inquiring about a person’s current wage. If an individual applies for a job, it is up to the employer to provide the wage and a description of the job’s duties. The two can then negotiate a fair wage that both parties can agree on. The employer, however, no longer has the right to ask what a person’s past salary was or currently is to determine a starting point for the conversation.
With new employment laws on the books for 2020, you may need to relearn what your rights are. If you have questions about the law, call an attorney who can answer your questions and give you the insight you need. Learn as much as you can. It’s up to you to make sure your rights are protected!