“Check your applications and handbook policies,” urged Kristina Vaquera, Principal Attorney in the Norfolk office of Jackson Lewis P.C., to the audience in the first installment of the 2019 Human Resources for Business Leaders series on February 28th. Vaquera was joined by co-presenter Milena Radovic, Associate Attorney in the Norfolk office of Jackson Lewis P.C. for their presentation entitled Employment Law Hot Topics: The Impact of 2018 and the Year Ahead for Employers in 2019.
Vaquera and Radovic addressed the current hot topics in employment law including hiring practices, salary wages, harassment and discrimination claims, and more. The session emphasized the importance of staying vigilant on updating company materials both online and offline.
When it comes to hiring employees, the popularity of social media with younger generations has encouraged many companies to use it as a tool in the recruitment process. “Social media can be a great way to get new job candidates,” said Radovic. However, both Radovic and Vaquera stressed that one must be careful when using these platforms. Websites including Facebook allows the employer to target specific demographics for job postings and that can lead to dangerous territory. Radovic added, “Facebook can see what people are circumventing.” If not careful, claims of engaging in hiring discrimination may arise.
“What someone previously earned should not be relevant,” said Vaquera. The topic of salary is one of the most important discussions in the job search process. Vaquera told the audience that employers cannot consider an employee’s prior salary; they should be judged on their skills and other non-discriminatory factors when negotiating or negating a salary.
The session also touched on pay equity in the workplace. Radovic noted an increase in pressures to increase wages recently. She credits that to the media coverage of women’s movements which has heightened the awareness of workplace discrimination in businesses everywhere.
The ever-changing employment laws and regulations mean employers must stay informed. Vaquera and Radovic advised employers to update their company’s information and to be aware of what they are putting out there. The failure to do so could result in substantial legal costs and irreparable damage to a company’s reputation.
The Hampton Roads Chamber means business. The Chamber is proud of its partnership with the Hampton Roads Society for Human Resource Management offering this four-part series helping human resource professionals learn about new strategies and practices in human resource management. The series will continue on Thursday, June 27th with HR Department of One? at the Organization Management Group. For more information or to register, click here.