In 2022, there was a significant increase in union organizing. This, in turn, has led to the expanded protection of workers’ rights at a Federal and State level. So far, we’ve seen several bills passed and led to larger discussions about what should fall under protected workers’ rights.

And at the end of the year, two laws expanding the workers’ rights were passed by Congress. The first one, the Pregnant Workers Protection Act, obliges employers to provide reasonable accommodation for temporary disabilities related to pregnancy. The second, the PUMP Act, extends the right to breastfeed at work to nearly all workers.

Since then, many states and cities have passed laws governing pay equity, hair discrimination, and other worker protection laws. And it seems like 2023 will be the year of workers’ rights.

Already this year, California has passed several new employment laws that will start going into effect soon. These include expanded paid medical leave for family members, protected bereavement leave, and banning discrimination based upon off-duty cannabis use.

Additionally, New York City isn’t far behind. The Big Apple already has a law prohibiting fast-food restaurants from firing employees without a reason. Now, the New York City Council is currently discussing a bill on whether to extend this right to all businesses in the city.

The bill states that employers need a legit reason or “just cause” for firing workers. For example, this would be defined as the “employee’s inability to complete their job satisfactorily” or “misconduct that is clearly and materially detrimental to an employer’s legitimate business interests.”

Therefore, in the coming months, make sure to pay attention to any new laws in your state or city that offer workers additional protection. If you need help designing or to implement an employee benefits package, at VertiSource HR, we are experts in HR outsourcing and benefits administration.