Employment & Other Changes to Expect in 2020

With every new year comes new and changing regulations for employers to keep up with both at the Federal and State levels.  These changes impact companies of all sizes, particularly multi-state employers and remote workforces. This can make it difficult to keep up with which ones apply to your company.  That’s where we come in. we’re here to help.

Here is an overview of just some of the current changes that are happening in employment and HR across the country: 

  1. Fair Labor Standards Act: This change occurred at the Federal level and has given a new classification for exempt employees, allowing more than an additional 1.3 million employees to be eligible for overtime. https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/overtime/2019/index

A final rule was also released under the FLSA about defining an employee’s regular rate of pay when calculating overtime.  https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/overtime/2019-regular-rate

  1. Parental Leave: Federal employees are now eligible for paid parental leave of up to 12 weeks, which is typically the first step in it moving into the private sector. https://www.hrdive.com/news/congress-oks-paid-family-leave-for-federal-workers/569286/

Some states already have Paid Family Leave laws including, California, New York, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Washington, Washington DC and Oregon. Other states will likely follow suit until a federal regulation is passed.

  1. Salary Disclosures: More and more states and local municipalities are banning employers from asking candidates about salary history to promote pay equity and close the gender pay gap.

Currently there are 17 states and 20 local municipalities that ban salary history questions, and this will only continue to grow.  Even if your state doesn’t ban salary history questions, consider the purpose and importance of it for your company and your role.  We prefer to be transparent about what the compensation is for the role available and candidates can then determine if it fits what they are looking for or not.

  1. The First Step Act and Second Chance Hiring: We will see an increase in second chance hiring programs and support for the formerly incarcerated and their re-entry back into the workforce.

This is an entire candidate pool that a lot of employers, unfortunately, overlook.  The First Step Act passed in December is a catalyst for employers to get on board and re-evaluate their hiring practices.  https://www.shrm.org/ResourcesAndTools/legal-and-compliance/employment-law/pages/senators-approve-sweeping-criminal-justice-reform-bill.aspx

There is a new Federal W4 Tax form that all employers need to update their new hire packet with for new hires moving forward.  https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw4.pdf

  1. Cannabis Legalization: State changes over cannabis legalization will continue to have a huge impact on employers and drug testing in the workplace. Keep an eye on this as the cannabis industry grows (no pun intended).


  1. Hairstyle Discrimination Laws: You heard it right. California and New York are the first to enact laws banning discrimination based on natural hairstyles. Other states will likely adopt the new law. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/nbcblk/new-york-second-state-ban-discrimination-based-natural-hairstyles-n1029931


  1. Remote Workforce Growth: Remote workforces and flexible working arrangements are becoming more standard, so companies should be mindful of how they apply federal and state employment laws to remote workforces as well as how to manage a remote workforce effectively. https://www.hrdive.com/spons/ill-be-dialing-in-the-rise-of-remote-working-and-what-it-means-for-empl/569061/


Need help navigating these changes? Find out how Employers Advantage can be your resource. Contact us today to learn more about our services.