In the workplace, employment laws define and establish the rights and responsibilities of employers and employees. Occasionally, the government modifies employment laws to make them more beneficial to employers and employees. The government has amended several laws, including employment laws, over the past year.
A number of employment laws were updated over the past year, including the following:
1. Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act
A major change was made to the federal arbitration act regarding sexual harassment and assault cases. President Joe Biden signed the new Act, which ends forced arbitration in sexual assault and harassment cases last year. Arbitration clauses in employment contracts will no longer suppress the victims and deprive them of justice. The new law gives them the right to go to court before any kind of settlement and sue the person for sexual harassment or assault-related cases. Furthermore, the act gives them the freedom to pursue their cases after sexual assault or harassment has occurred.
The 60 million workers in the United States who are subject to mandatory arbitration clauses will benefit from this act.
2. Equal employment and opportunity commission’s updated guidance on Religion accommodations and Covid-19 vaccines requirements
On 1 March last year, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) updated section L of its Covid-19 guidelines regarding vaccinations and Title VII religious obligations to Covid-19 vaccination requirements. Religious discrimination is prohibited under Title VII of the civil rights act (1964). Employers are not required to accommodate employees’ religious beliefs, practices, or observances if it would unduly burden their operations or negatively impact other employees or if an inquiry reveals that the employee does not sincerely follow their religion.
3. Changes in OSHA’S Severe Violator Enforcement Program
The U.S. The Department of Labor has expanded the criteria for placement in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program (SVEP).
A new set of criteria was added by the U.S. Department of Labor for placement in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program (SVEP). With the expansion of the criteria, workplace safety standards will be enforced more effectively and compliance will improve, which will lead to fewer injuries and illnesses for workers.
Updates to SVEP
a) In the past, cases involving deaths, hospitalizations, high-risk hazards, leaks of harmful chemicals, etc. Currently, it includes all hazards and OSHA standards.
b) In the new criteria, only two violations could land the employer in the Severe Violator Enforcement Program. If OSHA finds two willful or repeated violations or issues failure to abide by notices based on serious violations will now land an employer in the SVEP.
c) Previously, OSHA did not conduct follow-up inspections at any particular time after the final order. But now follow-up inspections must be conducted within one year but not longer than two years after the final order.
The changes mentioned above are just a few examples of the many small and big changes in employment law that happened last year. Changes of this kind are important for both the employer and the employee alike, as they both benefit from them.