Sleepless in the C-suite

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John O'Connor
John O'Connor

So you say you've been getting too much restful sleep lately? Your blood pressure is nowhere near dangerous levels? You haven't been feeling tense and morose? You can't remember the last time you wept uncontrollably?

Well here's the perfect antidote: become a senior living employer.

Suddenly your days and nights can be chock-full of troubling thoughts about finding and keeping the right employees, whether and how the bills will be paid, if your business needs to realign — and what your friendly neighborhood regulators might be up to. And that's just for starters.

To get a better idea of why 2016 may be an especially challenging year for employers in this sector, consider the list of “scariest challenges” that was put together by Beth Zoller, of XpertHR.

Here are three that should help bring that insomnia right along:

  • Pending rules that redefine and expand who is entitled to overtime and raising the minimum wage at the state and local levels.

  • The National Labor Relations Board's pursuit of workplace policies such as social media and confidentiality policies.

  • Reasonable accommodations that are necessitated partly by last year's Supreme Court ruling. In a separate decision, the nation's highest court ruled that workplace policies that deny accommodations to pregnant workers that are provided to other employees may violate the Pregnancy Discrimination Act.

But wait, there's more.

Zoller warns that employers also will need to make sure policies address matters such as workplace rights for independent contractors; accommodations for same-sex marriage couples; expanded protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals; new paid sick leave rules; workplace wearables-related risks; joint employer standards; and telecommuting policies.

All in all, it's quite a checklist.

“To best protect themselves and avoid expensive lawsuits, employers should review and revise their workplace policies and practices and make sure that they are legally compliant,” Zoller says.

Oh well. Sleep is overrated.

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