Ready for the New Year? Hot HR Topics for 2019!

December 11, 2018 / by Caroline Schwerko


With only a few short weeks left in 2018, it’s time to take a good hard look at what the new year may have in store for your business. While you may already be all set with your goals and plans for production, sales, and growth for 2019, there are other important considerations to take into account as well. For example, it’s essential to keep your business’s HR policies and practices up to date each year too! Here are a few of the hot HR topics coming your way in 2019.


Medical Marijuana: Medical and recreational cannabis programs and laws vary widely from state to state, and Ohio’s Medical Marijuana program will finally be in full effect in a matter of several weeks. Is your business ready to tackle the questions and challenges that will come along with it? Will you be able to maintain a Drug Free Workplace, if you so desire? What can—and should—you do if an employee seems high while on the job? Where do terminations and discipline come into play, when an employee has a prescription? Ohio’s first dispensaries are slated to open within just another month or two, so it’s only a matter of time before these concerns rear their heads in the office. Will you be ready?


Exemption Classifications: The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) guarantees certain protections to American workers. What’s more, most states enforce their own additional regulations on wages on top of what the FLSA requires. Among them is entitlement to overtime pay when working more than 40 hours per week, but not for everyone. Employees fall into two categories: Exempt and Non-exempt. But what does that mean, and who lands into each classification? Even if you already feel like you have a good handle on which salary and role description benchmarks position an employee on either side of the Exemption line, there are changes on the horizon! The Department of Labor has announced plans to reevaluate the salary level required to classify an employee as Exempt, and changes may be announced as early as March 2019. Will you be prepared to enact the necessary changes to ensure all your workers are properly compensated?


Workforce Development: Does your team truly have all the skills and tools in place to ensure that your business can stay competitive in your market? Are you able to provide your employees with the training and education that will help them to grow and shine--not only individually, but also in a way that contributes success to your company as a whole? Without a solid program in place to promote career growth, employee engagement, and effective HR practices, you may be selling both your employees and yourself short. An investment in your team’s development is an investment in your business… one that can pay big dividends in 2019!


As you move into the new year, remember that the team at BIG-HR is here to assist with all these challenging and often complicated concerns. Reach out to our Account Executive today to schedule your complimentary HR assessment, and learn how your business can tackle these issues head-on in 2019. And be on the lookout for new free webinars and trainings from BIG-HR that can help guide you through changes and teach you the steps to move forward with confidence!


Topics: HR Consulting, Human Resources, Employers, Business Planning

Caroline Schwerko

Written by Caroline Schwerko

Caroline Schwerko is a long-time leader in our administration department at BIG-HR.