Thursday, May 5, 2016

Fast-Track Compliance

Compliance: employment lawyers love it, business leaders sometimes see it as a roadblock to innovation, and human resources professionals know how difficult it is to achieve and maintain. Laws change constantly, and now that more cities and counties are getting into the employment law game, staying compliant is even harder. Case in point: in just the last five weeks, five significant changes  have occurred in employment law.  Here’s what’s new:
When you add those developments to new NLRB interpretations, recent decisions from the U.S. Courts of Appeal interpreting Title VII, the ADA, and the FLSA, and recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions, it’s enough to make even a seasoned HR pro’s head spin.  And we haven’t even mentioned the new overtime regulations, which will be issued any day now, and will affect nearly every employer.
HR professionals and in-house counsel often don’t have the time or energy to keep up with all the employment law action, all the time. With that in mind, here are some tips for staying current:
1.         Read blogs.  Employment lawyers are prolific bloggers, and there are some great ones out there.  In addition, the Department of Labor has a blog that provides guidance and reports on workplace trends.  The EEOC’s newsroom is a great place to see what the agency has been up to and read about new initiatives.  Spending 15 minutes a day reading employment-law related blogs will go a long way toward keeping you up to speed.
2.         Attend webinars.  Employment lawyers also hold free webinars designed to educate about current and new employment law issues.  Webinars can provide up-to-date information and sometimes include PowerPoints you can keep and reference.  (We’re busy planning one on the new overtime regulations, scheduled for June 2.)
3.         Attend HR conferences.  HR conferences almost always include legislative updates and sessions on employment law developments. 
4.         Let an employment lawyer treat you to coffee or lunch.  We’ve never met an employment lawyer who doesn’t like to talk about employment law.  If you want to learn more (or are just hungry or caffeine deprived), let your employment lawyer know.  Don’t have time for lunch?  Then buzz us over email, social media, or on the phone.  We can’t speak for all of our colleagues, but we here at the Navigator promise to respond.
HR compliance is tough stuff.  It requires vigilance and, at times, creative problem-solving.  Employment lawyers are eager to help. 
Posted by Kate Bischoff