Employment Law 2020: Are You Prepared and Protected?

December 9, 2019      By Karina Schultheis

Ultimate Takeaway
  • Trends and best practices in employment law have evolved dramatically in recent years
  • The overtime salary threshold is officially increasing in 2020, but exemptions exist (if employees meet three requirements)
  • Eleven states and multiple localities have now enacted laws granting employees paid sick and safe time. Are you impacted?

It’s a brand-new decade, and employment law changes are occurring at a breakneck speed right alongside technological innovation. Trends and best practices in employment law have evolved dramatically in recent years, and it can be hard for HR practitioners to keep up. But it’s important to pay attention: these potential changes affect every aspect of the employee lifecycle, from recruitment to retirement.

Here are a few compliance issues to keep on your radar as we move to 2020, according to employment attorney Kate Bischoff:

Overtime Threshold Changes

Overtime litigation can be extremely expensive and detrimental to employers, and the Fair Labor Standards Act has been an ongoing source of uncertainty for years. But in 2020, the salary threshold is officially increasing, from $455 to $684 per week. There are three requirements employees must meet to be exempt from these thresholds, and employers must ensure they’re well-versed with these exemptions to avoid hefty fines and collection actions.

Paid Sick & Safe Time

Eleven states and multiple localities have now enacted laws granting employees paid sick and safe time, but intricacies can vary depending on how employers count work time. Many employers will need to review their current paid time-off policies to ensure they are compliant with local jurisdictions.

Medical Marijuana

As more and more states legalize medical and recreational marijuana, employers are facing new challenges when it comes to testing and penalizing drug use. Currently, 11 states have nondiscrimination provisions protecting medical marijuana users from repercussions (assuming, of course, that use occurs during nonwork hours). Other states have established even more drastic measures, prohibiting pre-employment testing for marijuana altogether. Meanwhile, marijuana remains illegal at the federal level, so employers subject to federal Department of Transportation regulations must continue to follow established procedures. Employers navigating this uncertain terrain must be intimately familiar with their local legislation.

Other crucial considerations include predictive scheduling, harassment standards and training, the use of non-competes, LGBTQ+ discrimination, and how to prepare for downsizing. It’s a lot to keep up with – and we have you covered. Join us tomorrow, December 10th, at 2pm EST as employment attorney Kate Bischoff discusses the latest developments in employment law. This webcast is back by popular demand for the third consecutive year and continues to be our highest-attended webinar each year. Trust us – you don’t want to miss this. Click here to register.

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  1. Avatar Julie Eggebeen on December 9, 2019 at 1:14 pm

    Can you list the 11 states that have a current paid sick and safe time?

    • Karina Schultheis Karina Schultheis on December 12, 2019 at 3:03 pm

      Of course, Julie! The 11 states are: Arizona, California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington. Plus the District of Columbia!

  2. Avatar Bonita Taylor on January 17, 2020 at 10:47 am


    I missed the W-4 webcast. Is there a recording that I can reference?

    • Karina Schultheis Karina Schultheis on January 24, 2020 at 4:12 pm

      Hi Bonita! Absolutely – please click here and you’ll be taken to the on-demand recording sign-up!

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