'Tis the Season...to update your policies!

Folks, this is the ultimate “Do as I say, not as I do” blog post. It’s December, which means new laws are going into effect in many states in January. FUN TIMES for the beneficiaries of those regulations, but lots of work for those of us who are responsible for making sure our organizations are up to date.

For some of us, this will mean updating our employee handbook to remove a requirement that employees give 24 hours notice of an absence; a lucky few will need to put out new minimum wage posters; many of us will be revising our sexual harassment policies (again) to make sure we are complying with the training regulations in states like California and New York.

While I haven’t yet made the necessary revisions for my current organization, you really should. DON’T BE LIKE CAITLIN, PEOPLE.

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To kick things off (and maybe scare a few folks into action), here are some of the exciting changes to laws and regulations in the HR world for 2019:

  • NATIONWIDE: Make sure your tip-pooling policy doesn’t allow for managers or supervisors to get in on the action; FLSA now makes it clear that tip-pooling arrangements can only include non-managerial staff.

  • CALIFORNIA: Even you very tiny employers with just 5 or more employees now have to comply with California’s impressive sexual harassment training law. Build some extra time into onboarding!

  • SEVERAL STATES: Employees in at least 20 states, including California, Oregon, Washington, and New York, will see an increase to the minimum wage starting in 2019—or weirdly, in New York, on December 31, 2018.

  • COLORADO: Employers now have to offer prescription plans that supply at least three months’ worth of contraceptive coverage.

  • MASSACHUSETTS: All hail any state that requires paid family & medical leave for employees. Massachusetts joins this esteemed group in 2019.


There are, of course, many many more. Get yourself a good employment lawyer, or feel free to contact me if I can help. Happy New Year!!!