XpertHR Identifies 15 Scary Employment Issues of 2015

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Medical marijuana, paid sick leave, affordable care and immigration are among the most challenging concerns for employers in 2015.

Workplace challenges in 2015--such as substance abuse testing and the legalization of medical marijuana, Affordable Care Act participation, and providing safe harbor to undocumented workers--are not only scary, but they can be costly for employers in terms of time, money and resources, says a new XpertHR report. Numerous new laws have been passed at the federal, state and local levels recently that will challenge employers, have a significant impact on the workplace, and increase the risk that an employer will be subject to a lawsuit, civil fines or criminal penalties.

One of the hottest trends in states and municipalities is newly enacted laws requiring an employer to provide covered employees with paid sick leave. It is especially tricky to administer paid sick leave because employers must determine how it is accrued, the purposes for which paid sick leave may be used, and the procedures for using paid sick leave.

Another challenge facing employers is the legalization of medical marijuana in over 25 states. This is directly at odds with federal law, which continues to classify marijuana as an illegal drug under the Controlled Substances Act; additionally, the Department of Transportation insists that marijuana use is unlawful as it can be particularly dangerous for those employed in safety-sensitive positions.

Hiring undocumented immigrants is also a problematic issue. It can result in employer sanctions under federal law, even though President Obama's recent Executive Order could allow as many as 5 million undocumented immigrants to remain in the U.S. if they meet certain conditions.

Computers, email, the internet, Google Glass, cloud computing, smart phones, and other mobile devices continue to place employers at risk in terms of damage to their reputation and potential data security breaches.

"From providing paid sick leave and equal opportunity under state and municipal laws to extending equal rights and benefits to same-sex partners to accommodating pregnant women, employers will have to comply with new obligations in 2015 that may require them to change the way they operate," says Beth Zoller, JD, Legal Editor, XpertHR.

XpertHR's 15 scariest issues employers face in 2015:

1.    Off-Duty Use of Medical and Recreational Marijuana
2.    Paid Sick Leave
3.    Affordable Care Act Employer Mandate
4.    Immigration
5.    Protecting Company and Employee Privacy in the Digital Age
6.    Safe Driving Laws
7.    E-Cigarette Use in the Workplace
8.    Reasonably Accommodating Pregnant Women
9.    Wellness Programs Conflicting with ADA, GINA, and FMLA
10.    Growing Acceptance of LGBT Rights and Same-Sex Marriage
11.    Workplace Bullying
12.    Addressing Domestic Violence
13.    Minimum Wage and Wage and Hour Laws
14.    Providing Workplace Protections to Interns and Volunteers
15.    Ban the Box

"An employer that does not comply with its legal obligations faces numerous costs including the time spent preparing and responding to litigation, investigating potential claims as well as harm to its business reputation," says Zoller.

To view the full report, visit XpertHR.

About XpertHR
XpertHR's online service provides HR professionals with practical compliance tools and comprehensive guidance on federal, state and municipal law, helping employers stay current with evolving and complex employment law issues. XpertHR content is published in association with sister company LexisNexis. XpertHR.com is a unique, easy-to-use solution organized around the day-to-day responsibilities of HR professionals. In addition to smart search features, you can browse through content by task, by topic, or by tool type to help you find just what you need in seconds. Our key features include the popular Employment Law Manual and Liveflo employment workflows.


Media Contact:
Beth Brody, fisher VISTA (For XpertHR)

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Beth Brody
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