The Fearless Forecaster has returned with his annual predictions for the year ahead in labor and employment law, unveiling a crystal ball view into the potential hot topics of 2024. Technology emerges as the dominant theme, with a forecast of increased reliance on artificial intelligence (AI) by attorneys for drafting legal documents. The top 10 predictions include:
- Employee Monitoring and Privacy: With the increasing use of technology like Drive-Cam, especially in remote work scenarios, there is a projected rise in employee monitoring, leading to potential privacy concerns.
- Remote/Telework: The shift towards remote work due to the pandemic is expected to bring up new labor and employment issues.
- Behavioral Health and Intermittent Leave: Mental health is gaining attention post-pandemic, and its management in the workplace under various laws is anticipated to be a regular concern.
- Temporary Employees: The Temporary Workers’ Bill of Rights, effective mid-2023, is set to bring changes, especially in equal pay for temporary workers, potentially leading to legal claims.
- Sick Leave: The New Jersey Department of Labor (NJDOL) is expected to enforce compliance with New Jersey’s Sick Leave Law more stringently.
- Independent Contractors and the Gig Economy: There will be a continued focus on properly classifying employees versus independent contractors, particularly in the gig economy.
- Equal Pay: An increase in claims related to the Diane B. Allen Equal Pay Act is expected, requiring employers to provide equitable pay for substantially similar work.
- Age Discrimination: With the financial impact of COVID-19, more baby boomers are delaying retirement, which could lead to an increase in age discrimination cases.
- Sexual Harassment: The forecast predicts continued occurrences of sexual harassment in diverse workplaces.
- Spoliation and Fraudulent Concealment: An increase in spoliation claims is expected due to the extensive use of technology in evidence gathering.
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