What issues and trends do we see on the horizon for employers in 2020? Here are some hot employment law issues that may impact your organization or give you food for thought.
- Arbitration Provisions. The Supreme Court has made it clear that class action waivers in employment agreements requiring employees to arbitrate legal disputes are valid and enforceable. More and more employers are using such arbitration agreements to limit liability exposure for employment law claims. Is this a good option for your company?
- Marijuana Legalization. Colorado has legalized recreational marijuana; Oklahoma and Missouri have legalized medical marijuana; and Nebraska has decriminalized marijuana usage. What does the future hold for Kansas? Even aside from potential legal changes, some Kansas employers have decided to stop testing for marijuana use in light of the tight labor market and changing public perceptions.
- Ban the Box. Kansas state employers under Governor Kelly's jurisdiction and employers in Kansas City, Missouri, are now prohibited from asking about criminal history until after a conditional offer has been made. Many other states and cities have also “banned the box.” As an employer, should you continue to use criminal history to automatically disqualify job applicants?
- LGBTQ Protections. In 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to decide the hotly debated question whether Title VII’s prohibition of discrimination based on sex extends to sexual orientation and/or gender identity. The EEOC says it does, but what will the Supreme Court decide? Many employers have already voluntarily included sexual orientation and gender identity in their discrimination policies.
- Sexual Harassment. In 2018, we saw an increase in sexual harassment claim following the #MeToo movement. The EEOC has not released statistics for 2019 yet, but we will see if the #MeToo movement continues into 2020. While heightened awareness of sexual harassment is a good thing, one unintended consequence is that some male employees may try to avoid mentoring or working with female employees to avoid any situation that could be perceived incorrectly. This could reduce advancement opportunities for women and violate Title VII in and of itself
As always, we will help our readers stay ahead of legal trends and keep you updated as the law changes.