8 HR MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 2018
harassing,” said Randi Kochman, an
attorney with Cole Schotz in Hackensack, N. J.
Take state requirements into account as well. California, for example,
has mandated that content on harassment based on gender identity, gender
expression and sexual orientation be
included in supervisor training. The
change took efect Jan. 1.
3PAREN TAL LEAVE
Leave laws are expanding in many
states. In California, for example,
businesses with 20-49 employees
must ofer job-protected baby-bonding
leave beginning this year.
Workers in New York will be eligible
for paid family leave in 2018, and even
in states without such provisions, many
businesses are opting to provide paid
parental time of.
When updating handbooks, don’t
include separate baby-bonding rules
for mothers and fathers, Kochman
said. While employers can include
difering standards for mothers
regarding the physical limitations
imposed by pregnancy, they should
use genderless terms such as “pri-
mary caretaker” in their parental
4DISABILITY AND OTHER ACCOMMODATIONS
An employer’s obligation to provide
leave could go beyond the 12 weeks
aforded under the federal Family
and Medical Leave Act. For example, a request for intermittent leave
to treat a medical condition may be
considered a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with
While the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of
Appeals ruled that leave that extends
beyond FMLA isn’t considered a reasonable accommodation, the Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission and other courts disagree.
That’s why it’s important to carefully review policies and keep up with
Medical marijuana case law
is also evolving. In 2017, several
courts ruled that registered medical
marijuana users who were fired or
passed over for jobs for using the
drug could bring claims under state
“HR professionals should review
their drug-testing policies and practices and consider consulting counsel
before taking any adverse action following a positive drug test for marijuana in a state in which medical or
recreational use is legal,” said Cheryl
Orr, an attorney with Drinker Biddle
in San Francisco.
5THE BIGGER PIC TURE
With all the state and local changes, it may no longer work to have
a single handbook with blanket
policies for workers in different locations. “Now is a good time to add
state supplements to the handbook
that are distributed only to employees within the relevant state,” said
Jeffrey Pasek, an attorney with
Cozen O’Connor in Philadelphia.
—Lisa Nagele-Piazza, J.D., SHRM-SCP,
SHRM’s senior legal editor, and Beth Zoller,
J.D., a legal editor with XpertHR
THE ROBOTS ARE COMING
Employers expect 17% of work will be automated by 2020, up from 9% in 2017 and 5% just three years ago.
Yet less than 5% of companies have fully prepared for the changing requirements of digitalization.
Among the actions employers plan to take in response to a more automated workplace:
51% 43% 49%
will require fewer
employees in the
next three years. will use more freelancers or
benefts to ft a
Source: Willis Towers Watson, The Global Future of Work survey.