7 Important Items & Laws Employers Should Know Going into 2019

State and local officials were quite busy in 2018, especially when it came to employee-related laws. There were changes in 27 states and several important municipalities that affect employers of all sizes. There are caveats to many of these laws so employers should make sure to take note about which laws apply to their organizations. While there were many changes, below are 7 key items that employers should review:

1. Equal Employment Opportunity

  • Requiring anti-harassment training focused on gender identity and sexual orientation.
  • Defining retaliation procedures.
  • Legalizing medical or recreational marijuana use.
  • Adding discrimination protections based on gender identity and for victims of crimes.
  • Providing nongender, single-user restrooms in public places or places of public accommodation.

2. Reasonable Accommodations

  • Expanding reasonable accommodations for women who are pregnant or breast-feeding.
  • Allowing people who have certain conditions public access to employee restrooms.
  • Providing safety accommodations to people who have been sexually assaulted or experienced domestic violence or stalking.

3. Leave of Absences

  • Requiring paid family leave.
  • Expanding existing leave laws to cover smaller employers.
  • Expanding leave and reinstatement rights for military service members.
  • Requiring safe leave to be incorporated into existing sick-leave laws.
  • Providing domestic-violence leave.

4. Equal Pay & Wage Discrimination  

  • Prohibiting wage discrimination on the basis of gender.
  • Prohibiting employers from asking job applicants and employees about salary history or otherwise seeking such information.
  • Prohibiting employers from banning wage discussions among co-workers.it

5. Safe Driving

  • Prohibiting the use of a hand-held cellphone while driving.
  • Redefining the types of devices prohibited under the law.

6. Smoke-Free Workplace  

More states are including e-cigarettes and other tobacco substitutes in their laws prohibiting smoking in the workplace. Employers may be required to post notices, provide designated smoking areas and make other adjustments under such laws.

7. Weapons in the Workplace

  • Keeping guns in vehicles in company parking lots.
  • Restricting the carrying of a concealed handgun to those authorized to carry a handgun.


For more detailed information, head over to The Society for Human Resource Management and read this great article.

If you have any questions, please contact your HRBP at DecisionHR at 1-888-828-5511.