Hot Topics in Employment Law

Each month, our Workplace Law Breakfast Series gives members a chance to discuss some of today’s hottest topics in employment law. If you haven’t been able to attend, would like a refresher, or are looking for a quick overview of what’s current, this is the article for you. 

The Gig Economy

By 2020, more than 40 percent of the workforce will be freelancers or contractors, a number expected to rise to more than half of all workers by 2027. While the Labor Department weighed in on the matter in April, stating that one company’s workers were contractors, not employees, the matter is far from closed. With the gig economy here to stay, it’s important to be tuned into developing legal precedents nationwide and to properly classify which workers are employees, independent contractors or project-based workers. Why? Different legal frameworks and compliance regulations apply. 

Paid Leave

An increasing number of states and local municipalities are passing paid-sick-leave legislation nationwide—but in some cases, states are pushing back against local laws. Additionally, as younger generations in the workforce demand more flexible schedules and seek remote-working arrangements, the lines around paid leave can blur. Understanding FMLA leave, how much leave is too much leave, and when legal legislation applies can be tricky, even for experienced HR professionals. It’s important to stay tuned into applicable developments. 

Pay Equity

While most states in the US have had equal-pay laws in place for years, lawsuits are challenging the sometimes-broad language, and lawmakers are pushing to strengthen many laws. Language shifts include moving from “equal work” to “similar work,” according to SHRM, to ensure the closing of loopholes that create pay inequities. 

Expanded Anti-Harassment Training 

The 2018 Philadelphia Starbucks incident resulted in racial bias training for nearly 200,000 of its employees nationwide. The #MeToo movement is two years old and going strong. In this environment, laws mandating expanded anti-harassment and employee discrimination trainings are being passed throughout the country. In Texas, mandated trainings are applicable currently for state employees and supervisors only, but as laws sweep through all areas of the country, change may come to the Lone Star state as well. 

Looking to expand your perspective on the trends and changes in employment law? DallasHR is here to help. 

Since 1939, DallasHR has served Dallas-area HR professionals, helping them advance their careers and build their networks through education, events, and support. With more than 2,200 engaged members, DallasHR is the nation’s third-largest affiliate chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). DallasHR powers The HRSouthwest Conference, the official State of Text SHRM Conference and—with 2,300 annual attendees, speakers, and exhibitors— one of the largest regional human resources events in the US.