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Webinar Recap | HR's Year-End Review

Recap: Adams Keegan Live Webinar | HR's Year-End Review

Our last live webinar of the year focused on the latest developments within HR, payroll, and benefits.

Charles Rodriguez, Amanda McCollum, and Brandon Roland from Adams Keegan reviewed notable HR practices of the past year and addressed common issues, such as wage and hour, terminations, hiring practices, and more.

Missed the conversation on December 20? Here’s a rundown.

Leave Management

In 2023, as the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) celebrated its 30th year, employers navigated through a landscape of evolving state-level actions impacting leave management. Amidst these changes, it became evident that a clear understanding of basic FMLA and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) practices was crucial to avoid confusion stemming from diverse state actions.

Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) programs also surged, becoming a pivotal focus in leave management. Employers encountered the intricate interplay between PFML and existing practices, especially in multi-state environments. Audits and recalibrations were essential to accommodate nuances in state programs and consider the impact of remote work. As these programs expand in 2024, employers face increased complexity, emphasizing the necessity to navigate diverse state-specific regulations.

Grievances, Investigations and Resolutions

A significant shift unfolded this year in employer expectations regarding grievances, investigations, and resolutions within workplaces. Employees demonstrated increased awareness of their rights, heightening employer responsibility for addressing grievances effectively. Employers needed proactive measures like explicit policies in employee handbooks delineating harassment and discrimination reporting, along with managerial training on response protocols.

Creating multiple reporting pathways, including anonymous options, was crucial to empower employees and ensure issue escalation when necessary. Employers grappled with the challenge of decision-making amidst conflicting narratives, emphasizing the need to base resolutions on the prevalence of evidence, fostering a fair and prompt process while acknowledging the possibility of error.

Harassment Plans

The landscape of harassment training also experienced a significant change, notably driven by state-specific mandates dictating training content, duration, and reporting structures. Multistate employers have faced complexities this year in ensuring compliance across diverse jurisdictions and remote workforces.

While traditional in-house training remained valuable, states' prescribed courses available on their websites emerged as free, accessible options. Employers have navigated the challenge of determining the adequacy of their existing training in meeting state-specific requirements.

Keys to Effective Separations

Conversations frequently revolved around separations, involving employers and managers in navigating the intricacies of terminations. Emphasis has been placed on comprehensive checklists, disciplined approaches, and understanding state-specific requirements. Documentation of performance issues has become vital to safeguard against legal challenges, emphasizing thoroughness and clarity in the separation process, acknowledging its cultural impact within the organization.

Unemployment Benefits

In 2023, the focus on unemployment benefits extended to dispelling misconceptions, emphasizing the pivotal role of effort, thorough documentation, and reasons behind separations in dictating eligibility. Entitlement isn't automatic – an employee's conduct and circumstances determine benefit allocation, challenging the notion of employer preference. Moreover, navigating the resignation trap unveiled complexities, showcasing how decisions around employee departures impact benefit claims.

The webinar also featured discussions around the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA), the 2023 U.S. Department of Labor’s Proposed Overtime Rules, the NLRB’s New Joint Employer Rule, and more.

View the entire webinar for an in-depth discussion! Give yourself around 45 minutes to delve into the conversation.



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