In 2021, we face a changing labor force. The global pandemic has genuinely shaken the world up, so employment has changed to include new practices and management styles.
State and local jurisdictions have passed new laws to counteract the pandemic’s effect on the workforce. However, this has left the landscape of employment unfamiliar to many.
In this article, we will cut through the uncertainty to discuss new labor laws and trends and learn what you can to make sure you are taken care of during these trying times.
Trends in Labor Law
The world was largely shuttered from the impact COVID-19 had on the economy and the workforce. Slowly, the populace begins to return to a sense of normality. However, as the machine kicks into a higher gear, specific issues are brought to light, and so we need to discuss why these issues are happening and how we can make sure workers are protected.
These are all dynamic changes that could or will impact both employers and employees. To prepare, we will start by identifying the most notable trends of 2021 and how they can affect the force working to bring our economy to its feet again.
Typically the hard part is identifying the trends in the first place, but fortunately, many of these trends began in 2020, giving us loads of time to work out a pattern. This has given us an advantage in knowing what to expect and what we can do.
Trend #1. Pressure from Unions
As the pandemic has brought the issue of employee health and safety into the light, unions have seized the opportunity to push employees to unionize to make sure they aren’t being left in the cold.
By demanding more benefits, more say in employer response to the pandemic, and even more safety equipment, the union has found no shortage of ways to put pressure on employers during the last year.
A quick and easy way to prevent unions from being an issue is to improve employee engagement by finding out what your workers need. This can be accomplished by ensuring your voice or the voice of your employees is being heard.
Trend #2. Ensuring True Inclusion in the Workplace
The troubles brought to light in 2020 have largely included a lack of social justice and racial inequality. This has caused many businesses to set or raise their goals for diversity to ease the pressure. However, these goals come up short as the hire begins to feel like their only purpose is to fill the diversity hire and become unable to feel like a part of the team in the eyes of many.
The solution is to create a culture that encourages people to feel comfortable speaking on bias and discrimination in the workplace without fear of retribution. The people are tired of empty promises and gestures, and an easy way to invite trouble is to make more of them.
Trend #3. Remote Work and How Efficient It Has Been
In 2020, the pandemic made working a bit of a problem. To deal with it, many companies made a heavy switch to working remotely and it has yielded some interesting results. As we begin returning to the workplace, the efficiency of the work done remotely comes up, and with it, the idea of a continuation of remote work.
If your business is one of these, then a reasonable solution is to strike up a balance for a hybrid workplace that allows remote work to be an option while also having in-person work.
It is also essential to make sure that your at-home employees receive all of the rights due to them as an employee.
Legal Troubles Are On The Rise
Unfortunately, employers have experienced a trend of COVID- 19 lawsuits. Some of the more common claims include but aren’t limited to:
- Negligence leading to increased health or safety risks
- Violating family and medical leave laws
- Discrimination based on age, race, gender, pregnancy, disability, and national origin
- Failing to recognize an employee’s alleged disability or medical condition
These have already been the basis of many litigations and are watched closely to gauge the rising rate. It is projected to increase as we dive deeper into 2021, particularly once laid-off or furloughed employees are recalled, and more still as hours are increased, and employees working from home are made to work in-person.
Trust Sundquist Law Firm
2021 is shaping up to be a definitive year for labor unions across the country, and Sundquist Law Firm wants you to know that we’re on your side. Our work with the Union Construction Workers’ Compensation Program and workers’ compensation laws firmly put our team on the side of workers.
If you need a worker’s compensation attorney or work injury lawyer to help you navigate Minnesota worker’s compensation, reach out to us today.