HRTrain’s Top Ten Workplace Trends of the Decade

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HRTrain’s employment lawyers analyzed the decade’s major workplace trends and discuss what they mean for the future.

HRTrain’s employment lawyers analyzed the decade’s major workplace trends and discuss what they mean for the future.

1. Workplace Sexual Harassment May Not Be As Blatant In Many Cases, But There Are Still A Lot Of Sexual Harassment Claims: During the past decade, workplace sexual harassment became so ubiquitous that several states enacted legislation requiring sexual harassment prevention training. Although most employers took great strides in promulgating effective anti-harassment policies and conducting anti-harassment training, they must continue on this track to avoid exposure, liability and poor morale.

2. The Number Of Overtime Pay Claims Is Exploding: Outdated notions of workers classifications still dominate the question of who is exempt from overtime pay requirements. Federal and state agencies as well as private attorneys are tripping over each other to claim overtime pay from employers. Employers must take preventive measures to guard against wage-hour claims.

3. The Tax Man Will Continue To Look To Employers For Tax Revenues: Payroll taxes are now used to fund subways, highways and other public concerns. Enforcement agencies now view correcting independent contractor misclassifications as a way of increasing tax revenues and will continue to do so.

4. Retaliation Claims Outnumber Discrimination Claims: Retaliation for complaints of unlawful discrimination or for participating in an investigation is now easier to claim, and prove, after several Supreme Court rulings. Employers must take care to make sure all employment-related decisions are well documented and based upon objective criteria.

5. Undocumented Workers Will Continue To Assert Their Rights: Millions of undocumented workers toil in jobs with poor working conditions for unlawful wages. Immigrant worker rights groups and plaintiff employment lawyers will continue to make this working class more visible.

6. The Workplace Is Less Private: Workplace electronic communications such as e-mails are regularly reviewed by employers and lawyers. We will increasingly be held accountable for all such communications. Employers should create and communicate a clear policy concerning workplace electronic communications.

7. It Has Become More Difficult To Comply With Workplace Laws: A myriad of confusing leave, benefit, safety, and EEO laws continue to be promulgated, leaving many human resources professionals seeking guidance on how to maintain compliance.

8. The Employment-At-Will Doctrine Is Out In The Open: Many employees learned about the employment-at-will doctrine and were shocked to learn that an “unjust” discharge may be lawful. This will continue to erode employee loyalty and cause greater turnover.

9. The Unions’ Role In The Private Sector Continues To Deteriorate: A growing number of union members became disenchanted with their unions. Without drastic changes in the law, unions will continue to be less relevant in the private sector.

10. It Pays To Have A Nice Place To Work: Employers are realizing that it pays to prevent bullying and personality clashes that impact productivity. Human resources professionals that enhance positive employment relations are becoming more valued.

HRTrain provides online training about workplace issues. (]. HRTrain’s employment law team of Robert D. Lipman, Esq., Allison Plesur, Esq., and David A. Robins, Esq., are members of the New York employment law firm, Lipman & Plesur, LLP.     

Robert D. Lipman, Esq., Allison Plesur, Esq. or David A. Robins, Esq.


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