As 2013 draws to a close, our Labor and Employment group put its collective head together to come up with our top predictions, from the cautious to the audacious, for what the new year will bring. Stay tuned in 2014 to see how we do! In the meantime, happy holidays! Here goes:
1. Cost and morale pressures will lead more and more employers to adopt policies that allow (or require!) employees to use their own cell phones, tablets, and other mobile devices at work (i.e., Bring Your Own Device, or “BYOD,” policies). Implementation of these policies will require close coordination between HR and IT functions, as well as revision of policies on confidential information, time keeping, discrimination/harassment, and other policies to ensure compliance in various legal areas.
2. Employers will increase their use of mobile applications to engage with employees, track their attendance, manage their benefits, monitor their productivity, and help them do their jobs. Employers will need to be sure that use of these apps complies with various laws, including the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”), the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act (“GINA”), and others.
3. Our Seattle office predicts the Seahawks will win the Super Bowl! Employers in the Pacific Northwest will struggle with record levels of absenteeism the following day.