2022 Labor Laws – What Should You Expect?
In 2021, manufacturers saw the passage of numerous labor and employment laws — most notably surrounding COVID-19 — with many businesses still grappling on how to best address them. The pandemic’s continued impacts on our economy and in our workplaces saw further federal, state, and local responses, having passed laws and regulations addressing vaccination and workplace safety, paid leave, and pay transparency. Likewise, with the recent addition/expansion of paid family and medical leave laws now in ten states and the District of Columbia, employers are dealing with longer-term work absences and the resulting operational and HR challenges. Below are some of the issues and trends that may impact manufacturers and other industries heavily reliant on hourly workers in the year ahead.
Several states and localities imposed vaccination and/or testing requirements upon employers in 2021. The federal government also imposed vaccination requirements upon certain federal contractors, healthcare facilities, and private employers employing 100 or more employees. Although the Occupational and Safety Health Administration’s COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) has been withdrawn, many new laws are still unfolding.
For healthcare workers, “OSHA strongly encourages all healthcare employers to continue to implement the ETS’s requirements in order to protect employees” including the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and the Respiratory Protection Standards outlined here.
As litigation unfolds, manufacturers may expect additional developments concerning federal rules, while state and local governments continue to implement their own initiatives. Visit your State Department of Public Health website for state-specific business guidelines.
California Signs New Sick Leave Law in 2022
Numerous employment-related bills were passed in California in 2020 to provide workers with COVID-19 protections and expand family leave. As of February 9 this year, 2022 COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave was signed into law, retroactive to January 1, 2022. All employers, public or private, with 26 or more employees are covered, including those with collective bargaining agreements. The law provides covered employees with up to 80 hours of COVID-19-related paid leave:
- Up to 40 hours for isolation and quarantine, receiving vaccines, and childcare when school or place of care is closed.
- Up to an additional 40 hours when an employee or family member for whom the employee provides care, tests positive for COVID-19.
Employers with California operations will want to take note, as this will directly affect workforce operations.
Minimum Wage Increases Across the Nation
Minimum wages will increase in more than two dozen states and localities in 2022, mirroring 25 states in 2021 that changed their state minimum wage to remain competitive in a tight job market. As an example, Seattle will see a $17.27 minimum wage for companies with more than 501 employees. California, Colorado and New York — among other states — also increased their salary thresholds, setting the bar for how much employees need to earn before they no longer qualify for state-mandated overtime pay.
For a full list of states that will see an increase – and how they compare to the federal levels – visit the DOL’s State Minimum Wage Law page.
Predictive scheduling laws continue to be refined with an increasing number of cities adopting regulation: New York City, San Francisco, Berkeley, Emeryville, San Jose, Seattle, Philadelphia, and Chicago. The states of Oregon, Vermont, and New Hampshire are now adding specific regulations around flexible working hours. Other states considering predictive scheduling now include Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, North Carolina and Rhode Island.
While every jurisdiction will look slightly different regarding predictive scheduling, employers must follow some basic guidelines:
- Advance notice of work schedule, generally at least 14 days.
- A written estimate of each employee’s anticipated work schedule (at the time of hire).
- Predictability pay in the absence of sufficient advance notice of work schedule.
Other guidelines include allowing your employees to decline modifications made to the schedule and offering choice hours to existing employees when shifts are available past the deadline. Employers also must give adequate time off between shifts and keep scheduling records for a set amount of time. Check here for the latest information on predictive scheduling laws by jurisdiction.
As of January 1, 2018, California’s Equal Pay Act prohibits employers from requesting applicants’ salary history and requires that companies provide a salary range to applicants upon request. Recently, several additional states and localities (Washington, Maryland, Ohio (Toledo and Cincinnati only), Colorado, Nevada, Connecticut, and Rhode Island) also have imposed pay transparency obligations on employers in order to reduce discriminatory wage gaps and to increase pay equity. Such laws include providing wage ranges to new employees or including wage ranges or compensation on job postings. As more industries adopt these scheduling laws, hourly workplace employers will want to take steps to follow their relevant disclosure obligations in 2022 and beyond.
The current administration designated both a new General Counsel and Chairman of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in 2021. Both entities intend to expand employee rights and protections under the National Labor Relations Act. Consequently, manufacturing and healthcare may see momentum in the labor movement, with higher rates of union organizing among employees across these and other industries. In addition to monitoring labor movement, employers can help train supervisors on labor laws and seek guidance when necessary.
Labor Law Compliance Doesn’t Have to Be Impossible
Staying compliant with ever-changing federal, state, and agency regulations is no easy task. Adapting your processes to rules around predictability pay, for example, can be a burden for always-on businesses in manufacturing, energy, and healthcare. Yet compliance failures can bring a host of legal complications and damage your employee satisfaction and retention rates. The good news: intelligent workforce scheduling technology can confidently protect your organization from non-compliance.
Recommended Additional Resources
4 Proactive Strategies to Manage Absenteeism
In this best practices guide, learn four ways employers can more effectively manage absenteeism in their workforce.
Shiftboard Fatigue Risk Management Solution Sheet
Learn how Shiftboard helps operationalize fatigue-related scheduling standards to mitigate worker fatigue and productivity issues.