As we prepare to close out 2017 and begin to look at 2018, employers will need to look ahead to the next wave of regulations regarding labor and employment law. Beginning on January 1, 2018 and throughout the upcoming year, employers across the country will face a host of new or amended federal, state, or local employment laws.


Shifts in the Law

This time last year employers were uncertain as to how the Trump administration and Congress would alter federal labor law, including employment benefits and obligations. The pace of changes is likely to increase as the administration nominates and appoints individuals to critical positions that have yet to be filled. Currently, pending actions on nominations to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), and the Department of Labor (DOL) likely signals expected upcoming changes in workplace policy.

Employers and employees should pay particular attention to possible changes at the federal level, including immigration law and enforcement thereof. Additionally, health care policy still remains up the in air including the viability of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) passed during the Obama administration that the Republicans failed to repeal and replace through the legislative process. As a result, the White House issued an executive order in an effort to reform the country’s healthcare through regulatory channels. Furthermore, the administration’s effort to reform the tax code will have a significant impact on benefits and executive compensation, among other important tax issues.


What to Expect

The upcoming year is likely to include the DOL revising the update to the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) overtime regulations. The DOL’s Wage & Hour Division may pursue further rulemaking to decide the salary level for the purposes of overtime. This past summer, Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta announced the withdrawal of the Division’s interpretations of joint employment and independent contractors.


Lawmakers in Congress are also pushing for an innovative approach to paid leave and workplace flexibility for workers, which would streamline employer paid leave obligations nationwide, saving employers from the current patchwork of local and state paid leave laws clarifying and simplifying compliance burdens.


Employment Law Attorney

If you or someone you know has questions about the changes in labor and employment laws that will likely take effect in 2018, whether you are a business owner, employee, or independent contract worker, contact a knowledgeable Georgia labor and employment attorney today.