If you own a business, you know how important employment and labor laws are. In the United States, labor laws tend to change over time. Policies are added and updated, the minimum wage tends to change, there are rest periods, and other aspects, like scheduling, that can affect how you pay an employee.
It can be hard to stay up-to-date with all of the labor law information that’s continuously changing. To help keep you informed on what’s going on when it comes to labor laws, we’ve done the research for you so you can be aware of how they can impact your business. Let’s dive into it!
The main reason labor laws change is to make sure that employees quality of life improves or remains the same. For example, companies should have the proper amount of time between shifts or let employees work fewer hours per day. Chances are if you have employees working 16-hour days, they’ll be a lot more likely to burn out than employees working 8 hours a day.
Employment laws not only benefit employees but employers as well. When following labor laws, you’re more likely to have well-rested and more capable employees. Make sure your business is following updated labor laws to improve the overall wellness of you and your team.
With labor laws changing so often, you may be wondering what was changed or been updated in 2019, and that’s why we’re here. The main two labor law areas updated in 2019 are scheduling and minimum wage.
The biggest scheduling changes this past year involved the concept of predictive scheduling. Predictive scheduling differs on a state-to-state basis; however, there is a set of rules all states follow.
The first of these predictive employee scheduling rules is that employers are required to keep all records of employee scheduling for a specific time. Luckily, there are employee scheduling apps and software programs that make it easy for employers to keep track of employee work schedules for long periods of time, which we’ll talk more about later.
Predictive scheduling makes it so that an increase in pay is required if the employer changes the schedule after posting it. If you’re in charge of creating and posting the work schedule, all of the labor laws are important, but this one is good to keep in mind.
Lastly, employers have to post schedules at least one to two weeks in advance. Doing this allows your staff to manage their lives outside of work and prevents people from calling in or not showing up at all.
One of the first states to follow the predictive scheduling law was Oregon. You must have at least 500 employees for these laws to apply. Below is a list of places that follow suit after Oregon.
- Emeryville, California
- Washington, D.C.
- Seattle, Washington
- San Francisco, California
- San Jose, California
When it comes to minimum wage changes, California is a great example. California is showing all employees, whether they are part-time or full-time that they are worth at least $12.00 per hour worked.
There are plenty of other laws that were updated when it comes to wages, including equal pay, criminal background checks, safety in the workplace, parental leave, and more. It can be quite overwhelming to try to keep up with all of these changes.
There are over 20 states increasing their minimum wage this year, along with Washington, D.C.; if you're wondering what states, the Economic Policy Institute has an accurate minimum wage tracker online.
You’ve read about the main two updates, but there are many more than that. Labor costs like overtime rates have increased in many states, along with things like meal and break requirements for employees.
Since all of the updates and changes to labor laws can be overwhelming, you may be wondering what you can do to stay up to date. Thankfully, there are plenty of technological solutions that can better manage your business' labor law compliance. Technological advancements led to the creation of scheduling apps that help you when it comes to creating an employee work schedule and notifying your staff about said schedule. Scheduling apps also allow employees to request time off or even change their availability, all from their own devices.
When implementing a scheduling app into your business, you'll find it will take you less time to make the employee work schedule while also increasing communication throughout your team. Some scheduling apps even allow you to keep track of the employee work schedule and what happens during each shift. Your management team can also send you shift reports and document customer experiences so you can see what customers are experiencing while you’re not there.
You can easily use technology to make sure each of your employees is completing the tasks required of them. Making checklists, seeing what is happening, and what is missing can help you prioritize what’s most important for your staff to get done and when.
You’re able to use technology to easily follow labor laws and keep your business running smoothly in 2019, and beyond. A lot of business management software and apps are incredibly affordable and easy to use. Using a scheduling app or employee scheduling software increases workplace communication, keeps the employee work schedule in the palm of everyone’s hands, and allows people to send shift reports and discuss if anything happened during a shift that needs further attention.
Now that you’re a bit more aware of what labor laws have updated or changed this year, you’ll be able to implement them in the workplace. There are plenty of ways you can stay up-to-date on labor law compliance while still keeping employees happy and well-rested. Make sure you’re following the wage guidelines for your state along with scheduling rules to avoid having to pay people extra for things like renewing the schedule or not posting with enough notice.
Don’t be afraid to use technology to your advantage when running a business; it’s there for a reason. Following labor laws can keep your business up and running and keeps employee retention rates high. Specific laws can change per jurisdiction so it can seem daunting to keep up with; plus, labor laws and guidelines change, so it’s best to check regularly to see what you may need to do for your business and employees.