Overview: Effectively managing employees requires many things from HR. Employee management has many areas of concern. First and foremost, it is critical to draft and implement employee handbooks as well as workplace rules and policies. This sets ground rules for employee conduct and behavior and ensures consistency and uniformity when faced with common workplace issues. With employers under constant scrutiny, it is important to maintain and enforce policies against employment discrimination and harassment and guarantee compliance with equal employment opportunity laws. Employers should also make sure that they know how to properly respond to employee requests for leave and time off from work as well as evaluate employee performance and determine advancement and promotion opportunities.
Other challenges employers may be faced with when managing a workforce include monitoring employee activity while protecting the employee right to privacy, providing training to supervisors and employees at all levels, and communicating with employees regarding workplace issues, employer expectations and discipline.
Trends: Federal, state and municipal laws are expanding equal employment opportunity laws to caregivers, pregnant women, transgender workers and others. There is also a growing movement among the states to pass legislation aimed at combating workplace bullying and ensure a healthy workplace.
Further, with an increase in employee use of the internet and social media, there are two issues employers should be keenly aware of. There is a move for legislation to prevent employers from requiring that employees and applicants provide their user names and passwords to social media networks. Second, the NLRB has shown that it is willing to strike down common workplace policies regarding social media, employee communications, investigations and confidentiality claiming such policies interfere with the right of union and non-union employees to engage in protected concerted activity.
Author: Beth Zoller, JD, Legal Editor
XpertHR Legal Editor David Weisenfeld reports from Washington, DC, on the key Supreme Court cases involving whether Title VII protects LGBT employees.
Updated to reflect Connecticut's strengthening of sexual harassment prevention requirements, effective October 1, 2019; and New York's ban on discrimination based on the wearing of any attire, clothing or facial hair in accordance with religious requirements and additional amendments under the New York State Human Rights Law, effective October 8, 2019, and October 11, 2019, respectively.
Updated threshold, statement and guidance to reflect the ban of discrimination based on the wearing of any religious attire, clothing or facial hair in accordance with religious requirements and amendments to the equal pay law, effective October 8, 2019; and amendments to the New York State Human Rights Law, effective October 11, 2019.
Updated to include New York City Human Rights Commission enforcement guidance regarding discrimination based on immigration status and national origin.
Updated to reflect amendment expanding gender identity protections, effective October 15, 2019.
Updated to reflect forthcoming amendments to California Family Rights Act regarding flight crew employees.
Two former Wendy's employees have filed a lawsuit in Illinois against the restaurant chain claiming that the way that the company stores and handles biometric data violates the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA).
XpertHR has added a helpful new 50-State Chart that summarizes information regarding state and key municipal scheduling laws.
This chart details state and key municipal laws that require flexible or predictable scheduling by employers.
Legal considerations for employers regarding managing employees through HR. Employee management tips and support for the human resources professional.