HR Compliance Issues: Challenges Impacting Employers in 2024

For many HR professionals, maintaining labor compliance is a never-ending game of whack-a-mole. The target is always moving—and you never quite know where the next hot compliance issue will pop up.

That said, four specific compliance challenges are poised to surface this year. Two are at the federal level; two are gaining momentum in numerous state and local jurisdictions. When it comes to managing your compliance risk in 2024, these are the ones to watch.  

New Pay Transparency Laws Abound

Since California passed the first pay transparency law in 2018, nine states have followed suit. For example, Hawaii’s pay disclosure mandate became effective January 1, 2024; Illinois’ law became effective in 2025.

 A handful of cities—including New York City and Cincinnati, Ohio—have enacted pay disclosure laws, and similar mandates are under consideration from coast to coast.

 An offshoot of Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) legislation, these laws require employers to disclose their salary structures—a practice that spotlights wage disparities and helps to ensure equitable pay practices.

 In fact, even if your business isn’t subject to such laws (yet!), you might want to be proactive in developing a pay transparency policy.

Coming Soon: FLSA Overtime Rule Update

While 22 states increased their minimum wage for 2024, this year’s big Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) news is the Department of Labor’s (DOL) proposed overtime rule. If finalized, the rule will raise the annual overtime pay exemption threshold from $35,568 to $55,068, while mandating automatic increases every three years.

The DOL is expected to issue its Final Rule in April, with the change becoming effective 60 days later.

If you haven’t already, now is the time to measure your potential compliance risk—i.e., to determine if you have affected employees, calculate the additional payroll cost, and set a course of action

Beyond FMLA: A Burst of New Paid Leave Laws

One of the fastest-growing compliance trends is the growing number of paid leave laws, which take the Family Medical Leave Act (FLMA) to the next level. To date, 22 states have enacted such laws. More are in the works. Some cities and counties have enacted similar laws as well.

Paid family leave benefits—especially parental leave—are very popular with employees, especially younger workers.

Bottom line: even if you’re not currently required to provide paid leave benefits, you may be soon. Compliance aside, you might consider adding it to your benefits package because it’s such a compelling recruiting and retention tool.

Watch for New EEOC Harassment Standards

Last fall, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) introduced a proposal to update its Enforcement Guidance on Harassment in the Workplace—the first update in more than 30 years. Although this is guidance, not enforceable law, it should inform all employers’ corporate governance standards.

What’s different? The updated guidelines specify protections for LGBTQ+ workers, anti-bias laws covering pregnancy-related issues, and virtual harassment of remote workers. It also encourages employers to update their anti-harassment policies and processes.

For HR professionals, now’s the time to review the proposal—and reappraise your company's anti-harassment initiatives in light of the new guidance.    

Finetuning Your HR Compliance Best Practices

Minimizing compliance risk not only helps your employer avoid violations and penalties but also creates a safe, equitable workplace where employees can perform their best work. To that end:

  • Periodically review your HR policies to ensure that they are clear, specific, and consistent with current compliance legislation.
  • Audit your HR processes for addressing complaints and strengthening weak areas. For example, do your employees know how to report discrimination? Do managers fully understand how FMLA works?
  • Be rigorous in training your workforce on compliance challenges at every level—from anti-harassment classes for employees to training on data protection and privacy regulations for managers and HR.  
  • Create a culture of compliance awareness and accountability. When you discover compliance issues, address them immediately. Develop a process for communicating regulatory changes across the organization.

Stay Up-To-Date & Avoid Compliance Issues in 2024

For many employers, HR software is one of the most powerful labor compliance tools at their disposal. If you’re already using an automated compliance solution, you’re ahead of the game. If not, take a minute to learn how Namely helps clients manage their compliance challenges, through a combination of:

  • Automated safeguards
  • Regulatory changes alerts
  • A robust learning management system, with a focus on compliance issues
  • An accessible, anonymous employee reporting solution
  • A Living Employee Handbook   

We invite you to learn more about Namely’s compliance solution. And if you haven’t already, download your complimentary 2024 HR & Compliance Calendar.

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