The Website and Blog of HR Author and Speaker Lori Kleiman

What I Might Not Even Know About Human Resources

Human Resources is all about people -- the employees who help you get it done. So what are the big HR issues for 2016, and how do you stay on top of them?As a business leader, you have to be on top of the initiatives that will drive sales, enhance profits and keep your organization moving forward. But likely the biggest expense in your budget are the employees and all the expenses that go along with retaining top talent. So what are the high impact human resources issues for 2016 and how do you stay on top of them.

A few of the key human resources changes for the year include:

  • Changes in wage base to your exempt level employees. The department of labor is making a drastic change to how salaried employees must be classified and paid.  You can assume that by the end of 2016 all exempt employees that are exempt from overtime will be earning approximately $50,000.
  • Minimum wage changes by municipality. We have always been familiar with the various minimum wage standards by state, but now awareness of the minimum wage by city and county is essential.  This is particularly onerous for those that operate in multiple locations, or entities that complete across lines with different wage basis.
  • Ban the box. This is the regulation that dictates when in the employment process you can ask candidates whether or not they have been convicted of a felony. To date, regulations are in place in 19 states and 100 municipalities and growing. Ban the box does not say you can’t ask – it simply requires you to remove the question from employment applications and inquire about convictions later in the employment process. We anticipate seeing this expand throughout the country fairly quickly.
  • ACA compliance. The amount of reporting required by the Affordable Care Act has many professionals in a tizzy. Your benefit broker and payroll vendor should be aligned with your team to ensure the data they need is at their fingertips and easy to generate the required reports.
  • Paid leave. There are an increasing number of states and municipalities that are now mandating paid leave for employees. This is generally seen in a number of sick or personal days an employee must be given during the year. The regulations vary based on the region.
  • Pregnancy accommodation. While pregnancy is generally viewed to be covered under FMLA and ADA, we are now seeing specific laws introduced and passed that will provide additional coverage.  Many of the laws define guidelines for lactation, infertility treatments and other situations that come up in the employment relationship for pregnant employees.

It is anticipated that the federal congress will remain quiet during an election cycle in 2016, but beware this will only fuel the fire of your state and local politicians. Be aware of what is on the table, and compliance dates that might be relevant to your organization.

Lori Kleiman is a HR speaker and consultant who will bring many other action items to the presentation specifically focused on helping the small business owner or manager understand what they need to know about human resources, and take the mystery out of many compliance processes.

1 Comment
  1. Very helpful! Thank you for providing a few key changes.