What is the real deterrent in hiring today? Is it the economy or it is the burdensome regulations that employers are facing?
Are you being bombarded with emails about attending legal seminars designed to keep your company out of the courts? How many vital hours are spent each week by your legal and human resources departments learning about another new regulation coming down the pike? Are you siding with the companies that have decided it is less expensive to outsource than to continue to hire in the United States?
Debbie D’Ambrosio, V.P. and Risk Manager for Burnett Staffing Specialists and Choice Staffing Services, contends that the real deterrent in hiring today is the burdensome regulations that employers are facing. Accordsing to Ms. D'Ambrosio, two of the most prominent regulations for 2011 are the:
Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) for 2011 - Briefly stated, the GINA prohibits discrimination based on genetic information of the employee and their family medical history. This regulation became effective January 10, 2011.
Americans with Disabilities Act Amendment Act of 2008 (ADA Amendments Act, or ADAAA) final regulations which became effective May 24, 2011 - The ADAAA expanded the definition of disability. The expansion of this law is thought to shift the approach from focusing on verifying the disability to finding an effective accommodation that would allow the employee to perform the essential duties of a job.
Additionally, in July, 2011, a Dodd-Frank Act amendment to the Fair Credit Reporting Act will take effect. If an employer uses a consumer report that includes a credit score in order to determine eligibility for employment, the employer will be required to disclose that a credit score was used and to disclose information on the credit score, including the credit score itself, up to four key adverse factors in the score, and the identity of the agency that provided the score so that an applicant may contact the agency to correct any errors. Most employers do not use a consumer report with a credit score. Already in the FCRA, if an employer uses a consumer report and makes an adverse hiring decision, a copy of the report, the name of the reporting agency, and the guidelines on disputing the report must be given to the applicant.
These are just a few of the new regulations, but as an employer you need to be aware of new regulations on the federal and on the state level. Additionally, on the state level, one recent development is the passing of a law in Connecticut that will require employers with 50 or more employees within the service sector to provide paid sick leave to their employees. With unemployment over 9%, employees need protection from state and federal governments regulating away their jobs.
Continuing to hire a strong workforce is vital to boosting our economy. Burdensome employer regulations have become a deterrent to the very process everyone is clamoring for. Be sure that your legal and human resources departments continue to learn about each new piece of legislation to protect your company. But also continue to invest in your best resource as the strength of your company lies in the quality of your employees.
Other major U.S. Department of Labor laws can be found at http://www.dol.gov/opa/aboutdol/lawsprog.htm.