The Practical Employment Law Podcast: Welcome 2021 - 5 Things for Employers to Consider

As we start a new year, here are 5 things employers may want to consider to avoid trouble:

1.  COVID-19 Plans - You probably have a plan in place but this is a good time to take stock of how it is working.  Also, employers need to consider what to do about vaccine policies as the vaccines become more widely available.  Finally, the FFCRA leave has expired as of 12/31/20 but employers may continue to offer leave through March 2021 - consider whether this makes sense for your business.

2.  Independent Contractors - How is your business using independent contractors?  Are thy properly classified as independent contractors or are they employees?  Traditionally, tests focus on the level of control businesses have over workers.  On January 7, 2021, the U.S. Department of Labor issued a new final rule on this topic -

The new rule provides some clarification for employers but its future is not clear as it does not become effective until March after the new administration takes over.  Regardless, employers should check their independent contractors and stay tuned for more information on the new rule.

3.  Exempt Status of Employees - This is a good time for employers to consider whether their employees are properly classified.  There have been a lot of changes over the past year and the bases for employee exemptions may have changed.

4.  Pending Employment Litigation - January is traditionally a great month to settle cases.  If you have pending litigation, this is a good time to consider whether you can settle claims and put them behind you.

5.  New Laws - Several states have passed new laws that go into effect this year - this is a good time to check if any apply to your business.  Ohio has passed one of the most significant laws, overhauling its employment discrimination law.  Three big changes are eliminating most individual liability for managers and supervisors, requiring litigants to file charges before going to court and shortening the statute of limitations for claims from 6 years to 2 years.

The new Ohio law is here.

You can listen to the podcast episode here.

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