Human Resources New Year’s Resolutions for the Donald, Ivanka, Andrew, and Carl Era
If you’re an HR manager, director, or vice president, you’ve probably not only got a pretty long holiday wish list, but also a fairly sizable list of New Year’s resolutions. It probably includes some of those pesky tasks that build up over the year—reorganizing and digitizing personnel files, compiling information for performance reviews, reviewing and updating software for third-party payroll platforms, and the like. Your to-do list probably also includes some new things, like preparing IRS filings under the Affordable Care Act for plan-year 2016 (due in March 2017).
Your company depends on your list of resolutions for the New Year being comprehensive enough to make sure it stays in compliance with the ever-changing legal landscape. The upcoming Trump administration, and the many anticipated legal implications of a Trump presidency, will no doubt make your company’s reliance on your New Year’s resolutions even greater than normal. Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka’s known stance on pay equality, his selection for Secretary of Labor, Andrew Puzder, and his naming of Carl Icahn—who has a history of involvement in shareholder activism—as special advisor on regulatory reform, reflect just a few examples of how things will change in the New Year. Here are some suggested items for your list of resolutions as we ring in the New Year and the new administration, with links to our discussion of the topics:
- Review I-9 compliance in light of the likelihood of increased immigration enforcement.
- Review job descriptions to ensure exempt status of certain roles (which are still important even though the new overtime rules have been stayed) as well as making sure supervisors really are supervisors for labor relations purposes.
- Analyze pay equality issues in the workplace in light of Ivanka’s belief that this is a big issue.
- Revise old employment handbooks, especially codes of conduct that could violate the National Labor Relations Act.
- Review existing training programs (including diversity training, and training on responding to government investigations, and safety training) for gaps in subject matter and to make sure everyone is getting proper training for their roles.
- Update and review forms of severance agreements and confidentiality documents for compliance with SEC whistleblower rules and the disclosure requirements of the federal Defend Trade Secrets Act.
- Determine whether your drug testing policy needs revision based on the new OSHA recordkeeping and reporting rules.
- Work closely with the investor relations department to review public disclosures, executive compensation and Board composition for shareholder activism vulnerability in light of Carl Icahn’s position on the Trump White House staff.
- Determine application of the UK Modern Slavery Act, and if it applies, start preparing to make the required report.
As we emerge from the holiday season into the New Year and the new administration, stay ahead of the curve by keeping up on all the developments and trends that should be on your list of New Year’s resolutions on the V&E Modern Workplace blog.
This information is provided by Vinson & Elkins LLP for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended, nor should it be construed, as legal advice.