Earlier this week, we reviewed the social media discovery trend that could affect personal injury cases in 2013 in the state of Pennsylvania. Building off our review of trends to follow this year, let us take a look at the climate surrounding employment law as it relates to the workplace and minimum wage.
Increase in Federal Workplace Scrutiny
To begin, I wanted to bring to your attention this January 14th article by Kristin R. Erenburg at TLNT.com that explains how we should expect federal scrutiny of the workplace to increase. What this means is a shift toward a more pro-employee and pro-labor mindset that will basically be overseen by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
EEOC’s Strategic Plan
Erenburg gives more insight on the overall trend, particularly with EEOC’s actions:
On a larger scale, the EEOC issued its Strategic Plan for 2012-2016. This document, perhaps more than any other action taken, clearly signals the priorities of the agency by identifying five areas of increased attention.
- Class/systemic discrimination;
- Protecting vulnerable workers;
- Addressing issues arising under the ADA (the Americans with Disabilities Act);
- Title VII coverage for LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) individuals;
- Accommodations for pregnancy.
The EEOC has already begun to take action. Very recently in fact, the EEOC issued new workplace guidelines to protect victims of domestic violence and stalking under Title VII and the ADA. With just this one act, the EEOC arguably touched on three of the five categories listed above.
As further proof, the EEOC also recently instituted multiple class actions alleging sexual harassment and abuse on behalf of farm workers who are “particularly vulnerable due to isolated working conditions and lack of familiarity with the protections of the law.”
Talk of Increasing the Minimum Wage
Something else you can expect is more talk about increasing the minimum wage. After all, the issue is a hot one right now as a Google News search for “increase in the minimum wage” yields over 32,000 results. That is just from the News section of Google and not the overall search. So, this is a very important topic indeed and one to continue to keep your eye on.
Overall, it appears that 2013 will be just as interesting (if not more so) than 2012 for employment law. I look forward to what the rest of this year has to bring. If you have an employment or business law matter, please call our Yardley office at 215-493-8287 or send us an email HERE. We will be glad to help.