FLORES COO/VP Michelle Flores-Gonzales and Director of HR Clients Service Mia Arnesano are back with another FLORES Solutions episode, reviewing 2023 HR regulations that may impact employers through 2024.

Michelle and Mia discuss how employers can prepare and take a proactive approach to various HR changes, such as:

  • Religious accommodations
  • Affirmative action
  • Arbitration agreements

View the clip to learn more about how these new laws may affect your decision-making and policies. Contact our team if you’d like to learn more about these rulings and how to be strategic.

Audio Transcript

Michelle Flores Gonzalez (00:06):

Hello everyone and welcome to this edition of Flores Solutions. My name is Michelle Flores Gonzalez, COO here at Flores, an outsourced back office accounting, HR and payroll solutions company. And with me today I have Mia Arnesano, director of HR Client Services. So HR is a very complex subject. We had many things come down the pipeline for 2023 employment law decisions that this late last term dominated the headlines and many rulings that are going to impact us well into 2024. So considering that, what should our clients look out for and what’s coming down the pipeline for HR law in 2024?

Mia Arnesano (00:48):

Yes. So need to talk about, but if I’ll talk about all of them, we might be here forever, right? So let’s limit it exactly. But this year in 2023, specifically religious accommodations were being discussed. And then there were final rulings in regards to religious accommodations, arbitration that happened early 2023, union strike misconduct over time pay and so much more. But then I would like to talk on specific items that affect a lot of the employers and businesses handling anything in regards to their workforce and how to better prevent them and be proactive instead of being reactive. So one of that is affirmative action ruling, which may have ripple effects on employers. So what this basically means is it restricts the use of race and ethnic backgrounds as part of their rehiring process. It may not affect you right now, you may not see it right now, but it can have rippling effects as we later go down through 2024. And if you’re not proactive and you’re not prepared in regards to how you do your recruitment process, then you know what now is the time. Right? And then another one over there.

Michelle Flores Gonzalez (02:05):

Absolutely. So affirmative action coming your way changes there. Be sure to look out for that. I heard you mention earlier something about religious accommodations. Yes. What can you tell us about that?

Mia Arnesano (02:16):

Yes. So religious accommodations. Well now you know what, in order to, if you terminate an employee or you do not provide reasonable accommodation due to their religious background and what they’re requesting for, it’ll be harder for you to prove that if your reason is due to undue hardship of your business. So you need to come up with a better explanation or have supporting documents to really show that is undue hardship for your business to not provide that religious accommodation because they’re going to be a little bit more strict in actually saying that, Hey, it’s all right. Your business cannot accommodate that. No, it’s not as easy as it sounds.

Michelle Flores Gonzalez (02:59):

Okay. And then lastly, on the third item, what should we expect in regards to arbitration agreements coming in 2024?

Mia Arnesano (03:07):

Yes. So the ruling that protects three of the top benefits arbitration as all of your employers know why we have arbitration in place is because it helps lower the cost and creates efficiencies. And instead of having to go through litigation and having to deal with the court and all of that, we would like to have arbitration in place. However, as I mentioned earlier, earlier 2023, there was a big win for California employers where they can enforce arbitration or have employees arbitrate as a condition of their employment. However, because of this, of course, it’s always not going to make it easy for employers. And the ruling also states that it can potentially increase the cost. They can continue the arbitration, but it will potentially increase the cost. So to better avoid this, you need to strategize properly in regards to any decision that you make, and we can definitely help in strategizing with those decisions.