Critical Employment Policies for 2024: A Comprehensive Review

Employee handbooks serve as vital tools for setting expectations, addressing workplace issues, and mitigating legal risks. Neglecting regular updates to employment policies can expose employers to potential lawsuits, fines, and liabilities. In the dynamic landscape of employment laws, staying abreast of new regulations is crucial. The start of the year presents an opportune time for employers to revisit and refresh their policies.

Here are five essential employment policies to review in 2024:

  1. CROWN Act Compliance:
    1. Many states enacted laws in 2023, such as the Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair (CROWN) Act, prohibiting hair discrimination based on protected characteristics. Employers should update dress code policies to align with these laws, ensuring inclusivity.
  2. Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA):
    1. Effective since June 27, 2023, the PWFA mandates accommodations for pregnant workers. With an anticipated increase in related lawsuits, employers should incorporate PWFA policies into their handbooks and engage in proactive accommodations.
  3. Noncompete Agreements:
    1. The Federal Trade Commission proposed a rule in January 2023 to ban most noncompete agreements, expected to be voted on in April 2024. Employers should tailor agreements to state and local laws or consider limiting them to avoid potential legal challenges.
  4. Form I-9 Compliance:
    1. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security updated the Employment Eligibility Verification form (Form I-9) in 2023. Employers must familiarize themselves with the new form, establish implementation plans, and ensure compliance to avoid penalties.
  5. FLSA Overtime and Minimum Wage Exemptions:
    1. The U.S. Department of Labor proposed a rule on Aug. 30, 2023, to amend FLSA requirements for overtime and minimum wage exemptions. While the rule is expected in April 2024, proactive employers should review the proposal, assess necessary changes, and prepare for compliance.

In conclusion, staying proactive in reviewing and updating employment policies is a cost-effective approach for employers to mitigate legal risks and ensure compliance with evolving regulations in 2024

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