What Workplace Changes Can Employers Expect Under the Biden Administration?

workplace changes can employers expect

Changes are coming for small businesses under President Joe Biden’s administration. And, as a small business owner and employer, there’s some things you need to be aware of.

Small Business Trends contacted David Barron, a labor and employment attorney with the national firm of Cozen O’Connor. He supplied some thoughts on how employers should prepare for these changes from the Biden administration. We also contacted some other business owners for their input.

Small Business Employer Changes Under Biden Administration

“The Biden Administration will focus on the rights of employees and organized labor,” he writes. “The Trump administration focused on reducing regulation.”

Barron points to new leadership and policy reversals. Like those at the NLRB and OFCCP. He says these are new trends.  The National Labor Relations Board protects workers’ rights to unionize.  The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs oversees SMBs doing business with the federal government.

Here’s some specific things small businesses can  expect.

On Equal Employment

Barron says the  Biden administration has vowed “to make racial justice and gender equality important issues.” Look for expansion and aggressive enforcement of Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) laws.

On Paid Family Leave 

Barron says Biden has discussed extending the Families First paid sick leave program.

“We may see an effort to make two weeks of sick leave a permanent federal entitlement,” he says.

On Retirement Plans

Bradley Stevens, CEO at LLC Formations, talked about changes to retirement savings.

“ The individual deduction for a retirement plan will be replaced with a flat savings tax credit,” he writes. “The savings tax credit go into the employee’s retirement accounts. This will mean more savings support for all income group employees.”

On Employee Protections

“There’s a clear nod to social distancing/masking and how we think about ERISA protections,” says Colin Rogers, at Zenefits.

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) sets standards for retirement and health plans.

On Minimum Wage

Barron says a current bill wants to increase the minimum wage to $15 over four years.

“This legislation should pass and be signed by the President.”

 On Anti-Discrimination Laws

He also sees a big change in  agencies enforcing these laws and the approach they take to rulemaking and enforcement.

“For example, the Biden Administration will take a much more aggressive view on LGBTQ rights,” Barron says.

On Marijuana

We are very likely to see a federal legalization of marijuana,” Barron says, adding there could be unintended consequences.

“This may impact certain safety sensitive businesses that rely on drug testing programs. It could also make it harder to catch employees working under the influence.”

Image: Depositphotos.com

Rob Starr Rob Starr is a staff writer for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 7 years. He is a graduate of Ryerson University in Toronto with a Bachelor of Journalism degree. His print credentials include employment with various Toronto area newspapers and three works of fiction: The Apple Lady (2004), Creekwater (2006) and Sophistry By Degrees (2008) published by Stonegarden Press In California.