Harassment, workplace violence, cybersecurity, workforce planning, medical marijuana and the Affordable Care Act are among the most difficult HR challenges facing employers in 2018, according to a 2017 survey of over 1,000 human resource professionals.
The challenges and obstacles for employers are a result of overall significant changes in the workplace, government and legal landscape challenges and obstacles for employers.
- Workplace Harassment
From entertainment to Fortune 500 companies to the media to the halls of Congress, it seems that sexual harassment has become an even greater risk!! Vigilance must be practiced by employees and employers alike. The employer could be liable for EEOC violations, fines, penalties, and share negative press and reputation damage along with the employee / alleged harasser.
- Workplace violence
In this unfortunate age of mass shootings, bomb threats and terrorist attacks, workplace safety and preparing for an act of workplace violent is paramount. Training on early detection and emergency action procedures can assist and make your team more confident.
- Marijuana Usage
In the age of marijuana legalization, addressing and managing drug use and drug testing remains one of the most challenging issues for employers. Thirty-five percent of survey respondents feel very or extremely challenged by managing employees who use marijuana medically or recreationally and 32 percent found addressing the impact of substance abuse on the workplace to be very or extremely challenging. Legally sound and specific company policies regarding the use of marijuana is necessary along with training supervisors and managers on identifying reasonable suspicion of drug use.
- Data Breach
In today’s increasingly digital world with so much information stored on the cloud, data breaches carry high costs in terms of time, money and resources and may also tarnish an employer’s public image and reputation.
With an evolving workforce and changing societal demographics, workforce planning is another top challenge for employers. In today’s increasingly global environment, employers must face critical issues such as the rise of gig economy, the increased use of technology and automation and how to address the management of five generations in the workforce. In addition, the White House’s hard-line stance and often-restrictive policies towards immigration and travel bans can limit employer’s ability to recruit a diverse workforce.
- Affordable Care Act
The Trump administration has created a great deal of uncertainty, chaos and anxiety in the workplace. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the uncertain future of healthcare continues to plague many employers as 46 percent of survey respondents viewed the ACA as very or extremely challenging and 40 percent of respondents viewed ACA reporting as very or extremely challenging.
- State and Local Laws
Given the gridlock and inaction on the federal level, states and local governments have taken the lead in addressing workplace issues by enacting laws and regulations affecting the workplace. Popular new laws this year surround solving issues such as leave, especially paid sick leave and family leave, pay equity (including bans on salary history inquiries ), predictive schedules and reasonable accommodations for pregnant and breastfeeding women.
A positive take away from all the changes and struggles…
The appointment of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court is sure to have an impact on labor and employment law cases ensuring a conservative majority in favor of employers and management-side issues.
The roll back of agency authority and more restrictive policies of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and the EEOC will potentially have a positive impact on employers who may be subject to less regulations.