HCC’s President and Founder, Steve Kellam, recently attended the National Association of Professional Employer Organization’s (NAPEO) Legal & Legislative Capitol Summit. Every year, HCC participates in this conference to better understand changes to laws, regulations, and judicial interpretations of those laws and regulations. In addition, NAPEO members were on Capitol Hill for a day visiting Senate and House lawmaker offices. This summit serves as a way for our members to educate lawmakers on small business issues that our PEO clients face. In addition, we work to improve the climate for the small businesses we serve our PEO clients. NAPEO also tracks state laws and regulations. Changes for every state are reviewed and efforts made by our organization to improve the state business climate are discussed. This ultimately helps provide better services to our clients. It also ensures that HCC is doing the best we can as a PEO to stay on top of developments at the federal and state level.
Below are just a few items learned during this conference:
Department of Labor (DOL)— The DOL Chief of Staff, Alexander Acosta met with the group. He provided statistics from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) that demonstrate a growing increase in claims from sexual harassment and pay equity claims. The #MeToo movement has led to a 12% increase in sexual harassment charges, 22% increase in money collected by the EEOC for sexual harassment and a 50% increase in sexual harassment civil suits filed by the EEOC. Pay equity and harassment education are a focus of the EEOC. The EEOC is putting budget dollars and, therefore, staff behind improving this area. Claims, investigations, and money collected will undoubtedly continue to increase.
Economic Job Growth— Andrew Olmem, Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of The National Economic Council, gave insight to economic growth in the workforce. Since January 2017, 5.4 million jobs have been added and the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has grown from 1.9 to 3.2 percent. The administration attributes this to the reduction in taxes and deregulation. The administration would like another tax cut but that may not happen. They are continuing to look for ways to reduce regulations.
Marijuana and the Workforce—There has been an increase in legalizing marijuana in states across the country. This presents an issue because federal laws have not changed and on a federal level, marijuana and its products remain illegal. States continue to pave the way for various stages of legalization and we are seeing changes in drug testing policies in certain states. Forty-seven states have workers’ compensation laws that address marijuana and drug use. Forty of those states allow the employer/carrier to deny all benefits for a positive drug test. Some states specifically ban the use of marijuana in treating a WC claim – (i.e., Florida). This area of the law is something that is ever-changing. With employees in over forty states, we will assist clients as we work through issues with marijuana in each state.
If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to your HR service provider and we will get you an answer.