2009 is a big year as there are many amendments to employment laws; for example, the amendment to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the new family and Medical Leave Act (FML) regulations, and the anticipated passage of the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA). In order to keep with the pace, you must bear the following in mind.
1. Actions to ADA amendment
The new amendments to ADA make it easier for employees to make disability discrimination claims, but harder for employers to defeat these claims. So it is necessary for employers to take active action. First, they should review and update the policies and practices regarding the ADA’s interactive dialogue process. Then employers should record the following: when an employee requests an accommodation, the accommodations denied and/or provided, written documentation for the decisions that are made, and if it requires immediate attention. Last but not least, it is very important for employers to refresher training of HR professional and line management based on the new ADA requirements.
2. Actions to FMLA amendment
As the new FMLA became into effect on January 16, 2009, all employers are supposed to revise FMLA policy and regulations accordingly.
To comply with the changes, you should make the following considerations:
Consider updating your rules on return-to-work certification to take advantage of the new employer rights.
Consider whether to change your rules about the use of paid leave to take advantage of the new flexibility.
Consider whether to begin tighter enforcement of abuse notification rules and procedures.
3. Actions to EFCA
Although the EFCA is not finally released, Non-Union employers still need to make preparation, and they put themselves in a position to launch their union-free campaigns before a union targets them for a card signing campaign.