New Employment Laws of 2015

Compliance   |   

With just two weeks into 2015, businesses across the country have made a full recovery from the holiday season. And with the New Year came new projects, new hires, and new employment laws. Be sure your company is up to date with the latest HR legislation that may affect your organization.

1. Immigration Reform

What is it?

In 2014, President Obama announced his executive plan to make significant changes in the "˜broken' US immigration system. As changes within government agencies slowly begin to take place, an estimated 5 million unauthorized immigrants will be allowed to legally remain in the country and acquire valid work permits.

How will it affect you?

Companies must make sure that as the immigration reform plan is rolled out in the next 12 months, in-house HR teams should carefully monitor any impact the new law may have on existing employees. In addition, employers will need to update candidate screening and hiring processes, especially when it comes to I-9 and other work authorization verification.

2. Mandatory Paid Sick Leave

What is it?

While the Paid Sick Leave Laws are currently being voted upon on a state and local level, this new legislation provides covered employees the right to paid time off from work when recovering from an illness, or caring for a sick family member.

How will it affect you?

While California, Massachusetts, and New Jersey have already made strides toward enacting this legislation in 2015, employers should be aware that many other states are likely to follow this trend. Businesses should be prepared to provide employees with appropriate accommodation and pay during a sick leave as well as prepare for any anticipated labor gaps.

3. The Affordable Care Act

What is it?

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPCA), or the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for short, was passed in 2010 to reform the existing healthcare system by providing more American citizens access to quality health insurance at a reasonable price.

How will it affect you?

Starting Jan 1st, 2015, larger firms must abide by the Employer Shared Responsibility (ESR) provision of the Affordable Care Act. According to the Internal Revenue Service, this provision requires employers that choose not to provide affordable healthcare coverage at a minimum level to full-time employees (and their dependents), must pay "an Employer Shared Responsibility payment if at least one of their full-time employees receives a premium tax credit for purchasing individual coverage on one of the new Affordable Insurance Exchanges, also called a Health Insurance Marketplace."

4. Ban-the-Box

What is it?

"˜Ban-the-Box' refers to the popular campaign that urges local governments and employers to actively remove investigation into a candidate's criminal history from their job application. Doing so will provide jobseekers an opportunity to be judged purely on their skills and qualifications instead of their convictions.

How will it affect you?

Last year, Ban-the-Box made headlines as numerous cities, counties, and states adopted the legislation. Businesses should expect this momentum to continue into 2015, meaning that employers must review their internal hiring and staffing procedures to ensure that they are compliant with the new legal regulations.

Ban-the-Box is active in all of these U.S locations as of January 2015.

Hiba Haider

Hiba Haider

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Hiba is an expert product marketer with a background in inbound and digital marketing. She writes about recruiting, HR laws, and how to build a great culture and is a proud Babson alumna.

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