There have been a number of lawsuits filed testing the accessibility of websites and compliance under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). It is costly for organizations to defend these lawsuits, and especially will be as “tester” applicants muddy the waters.
Now that it's 2019, the crystal ball is brought out to provide a glimmer of the future. What should HR expect down the road? How can HR be more proactive and ahead of the curve? In HR, it’s like putting out fires every day, and strategic thinking goes to the wayside when every minute something new and distracting takes precedence. The following are predictions by various seers as to HR in 2019 and beyond.
OFCCP is moving at light speed to make changes as to how it operates. There have been a number of new directives in 2018 already, “righting the ship” from the previous administration. Now comes three new directives for Fiscal Year 2019 (DIR 2019-01, DIR 2019-04, and DIR 2019-03). These directives are officially changing the way OFCCP is doing business and how audits will be handled in the future.
For employers defending an equal pay act (EPA) discrimination claim, the “factor other than sex” affirmative defense generally prevails, except when it doesn’t. And lately, courts have been more reluctant to accept the affirmative defense.
Last week was a big push by the Trump administration to reduce benefit burdens on small businesses by re-energizing Health Reimbursement Accounts (HRAs) and 401Ks. These efforts will make an impact towards coverage of small employer employees with both healthcare and 401K access and allow these employers to be more competitive in the war for talent.
With health care costs growing more than two times the rate of inflation consistently over the years, and employers growing weary of increasing deductibles and cost shares, an old idea has resurfaced for employers: Referenced Based Pricing (RBP) programs. Under Obamacare, the transparency of costs among providers has become more commonplace, thereby enabling these types of programs.
In the last month, OFCCP (Office of Federal Contract Compliance) has been very active issuing a number of directives. Two new ones were released last week.
Although cross functioning teams are the rage, and at times rightly so, it appears that too many bosses are like the adage too many cooks. According to a Gartner survey, more than two-thirds of employees around the world say they have to consult with more than one boss to get their jobs done. What does that mean? It means that these employees waste significant amounts of time waiting for guidance from senior leaders.
The answer is no, according to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals (which covers Oklahoma, Kansas, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah, plus those portions of the Yellowstone National Park extending into Montana and Idaho). This decision brings it in line with other circuit courts of appeals.
From the service dog to the emotional support peacock and ferret, employers are receiving more requests from employees who want to bring these animals to work. Title I of the ADA prohibits disability discrimination in the employment context and requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to applicants and employees. But Title I is silent in reference to service and emotional support animals.
There are times when an employee’s disability is problematic to accommodate. For example, an employee with a latex allergy working in a latex environment. If it is not reasonable for the environment to change via an accommodation, how does the employer demonstrate that the employee, by working in such an environment, would be subject to a direct threat of imminent harm to him/herself?
Employer health care spending has grown from 6% of total wages in 1988 to more than 12% in 2018. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) estimate that this growth will continue, with national health spending projected to be 20% of the economy by 2026. Employers are seeking innovative approaches to keeping healthcare costs down.
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