Almost 1,200 HR managers responded to our poll about how they view the employment policies of President Barack Obama, and how those policies will affect HR. Here’s what they said, and here are 10 relevant pieces of legislation that probably will come into play in 2009.
The poll, and how they responded:
Do you think President-elect Obama’s policies on employment law will:
- Make your job more difficult — 69%
- Have no effect on you — 22%
- Make your job easier — 9%
“Please share the results of this poll with Obama and his staff. They need to try and fully understand the implications of their impending actions on this country.”
“I do believe that Obama’s policies will have a profound and accelerated degredation of an already overburdened and undersupported function…Human Resources.”
“Everyone enjoy[s] working here, the company provides excellent benefit, fully paid POS health insurance with tier-one carrier, Safe Harbor 401K, annual cash bonus with average of 6.6% annual salary increase, stock options. We did not need Federal government to tell us how to treat employee[s].”
What’s coming in ’09
Here’s a rundown of the employment legislation that’s likely to cross the new president’s desk:
- Paycheck Fairness Act: Among other changes to the Equal Pay Act, the legislation proposes that, for the purpose of demonstrating pay discrimination, a plaintiff can use compensation comparisons of employees who do not even work at the same physical place of business.
- Working Families Flexibility Act: Expands an employer’s obligations when an employee requests a change in hours or venue to accommodate family needs.
- Employee Free Choice Act: A proposal to make it easier for employees to form a union.
- RESPECT Act: Redefines the term “supervisor” in certain industries, thereby making some supervisors eligible for union membership — and empowered to act in the best interests of the unions and not the employer.
- Patriot Employers Act: Awards tax credits and other benefits to employers who, for instance, keep their operations from moving overseas and offer health insurance to their employees.
- Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act: Changes the statute of limitations on how far back and employee can go to file a pay-discrimination suit against an employer.
- Employment Non-Discrimination Act: Would provide protections to gay, lesbian and bisexual workers against employment discrimination similar to the protection provided under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
- FMLA Expansion Act: Would expand coverage under the Family and Medical Leave Act to companies with at least 25 employees, as opposed to the 50-employee minimum in the current law.
- Healthy Families Act: Proposes that any company with at least 15 employees would required to provide paid sick leave.
- Civil Rights Act of 2008: A far-reaching piece of legislation that would amend a number of employment laws affecting, for instance, discrimination charges involving age and pre-employment tests, and changing the rules under which disputes can go to arbitration.