There is an intuitive and palpable activity that is emerging in global workplaces. It is the anxiety between what is potentially understandable and what is apparent actually. It is the pressure between the present and the future state of the global work ecosphere. The tension is between what was is, and what might come in the future of the workplace.
The present and future of work are changing daily both dynamically and profoundly by a series of factors which is led by exponential creation of data, newer technologies, and artificial intelligence (AI) the impact of whom is not unassuming. Modern employers have access to an unparalleled amount of data which impacts their workforce, from data about the trends and types of employee behaviors to the data that concerns people analytics used in hiring, deciding compensation, and employee welfares, to the data that analyzes the composition of the employee workforce itself. But it is very sure that AI will continue to upset how virtually every employer interprets its HR model in the organization. On the base level, employers are already examining which functions have the potential to be automated, augmented, and aligned to meet their future business models.
And, yet, there is an equal, offsetting force in power which is the increased demand for responsibility, transparency, civility, and impartiality. The passing year has already seen this force playing its part, most remarkably in the movements related to pay equity, data privacy, and security. So, it is expected that these movements and trends will continue to gain adhesion and motion in legalization, regulation, and the international conversation in 2019 and beyond.
Hence, with the dawn of 2019, employers are looking forward to the next wave of labor and employment laws and regulations that will be in effect in 2019 and beyond. This article hence summarizes the laws and regulations taking effect in this year that will impact most employers, and highlight some of the most anticipated activity in the coming months.
A majority of labor and employment bills has been stalled in the 115th Congress. One of the most important federal legislative developments of 2018 that had impacted employment law was the compiled budget bill by Congress and it was known as the Consolidated Appropriations Act or (“the Act”). This Act revised the Fair Labor Standards Act in reference to the rules that affected tipped employees and tip ownership. The act precisely expresses and prohibits an employer from keeping the tip money which is received by their employees regardless of whether the employer takes a tip credit.
Alteration is also expected by “The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act”, which was introduced as a law on December 22, 2017, which will impact certain deductions and recording provisions for 2018 and 2019. Let’s say, the law it has been established, at least till 2025, the exclusion for employer-paid transfer expenditures, the reduction of the marginal employer-paid transportation benefits, and the business deduction for entertainment expenses will be covered.
This tax law also includes a provision that removes a business expense deductions that ate related to nondisclosure agreements or (NDA) in connection with the claims settlement of sexual harassment cases. The law further amends section 162 of the tax code, which usually allows an organization to reduce certain expenses related to the business, or provide that no business expense deduction will be allowed for the following purposes:-
- Any settlement or payment which is related to sexual harassment of the employees, especially if such settlement or payment is subject to a nondisclosure agreement (NDA).
- Fees of the Attorney which is related to such payments or settlement.
This prohibiting applies only to amounts that had been paid or experienced after December 22, 2017, the date on which the tax bill was enacted.
As a matter of fact, this new restriction actually means that employers must decide to keep each case in mind and if any of the amounts that have been paid to settle a sexual harassment claim is important enough to be worth the tax deduction under the expense reduction of NDA.
Immigration policies and enforcement have still remained as a priority with Trump’s administration. Although there is no immigration-related bill that has to be advanced in 2019, employers are likely to see an increased Immigration and Customs Enforcement activity in the U.S. in the ongoing year. However, there will be amendments in the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) policy initiatives in special response to directives from the White House on immigration. Further changes are also expected from USCIS in 2019.
For the major part, federal employment law activities have been narrowed to the compliance and regulatory areas only. As for example, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) presented a new rule in September that would contradict the NLRB’s 2015 Browning-Ferris Industries resolution and explain the requirements for joint employment. The stipulated period for the proposing in favor and against the rule has closed on December 13, 2018. The final rule is expected sometime this year. The DOL’s Wage and Hour Division may also propose a joint employer rule, which would be a re-vamped “white collar” overtime suggested rule, specifically a rule that will clarify the “regular rate” of pay calculation of overtime payments of the employees.
Though some final rules are expected to take effect immediately, there are some other tax rules that might afford employers a compliance grace period.
Internal Threat Risk Assessment Processes and Programs
Though this might not be a part of the employment rules that are expected to change in 2019, an internal assessment should be made in order to protect the organization from an internal threat. Crucial technologies are at risk from employees and trusted business partners who might be unfaithful workers. Employers hence should perform an insider risk assessment process and program in order to recognize inside threats to their most important technologies and systems by addressing the specific risks. Businesses should also consider whether it would be beneficial to add or strengthen their inside threat control measures to be consistent with the outcome of the risk assessment.