Happy New Year: Ready or Not, Here Comes 2022!

January 12, 2022

By: Colin A. Walker

Happy new year everyone!  I hope you all had a great holiday season and are off to a good start in 2022.

The beginning of a new year is a good time to review your employment policies and practices. Here are some to-dos that should help you stay ahead of the game in 2022:

  1. Review your employee handbook. New legislation in the past year may call for changes in your policies. Some laws, like minimum wage, change almost every year. Others only occasionally, but you need to keep up with them. Or, perhaps your operations or workplace has changed in ways that have rendered policies written many years ago obsolete. For instance, with many workers performing their duties from home due to the pandemic, perhaps you should have a teleworking policy. In any case, this is a good time to dust off the employee handbook, make any appropriate changes, and issue an updated version to your workforce.
  2. Review confidentiality agreements, NDAs, non-competes and similar agreements.  Again, the laws may have changed or they might just not be up to date in light of changes in your workplace. In some states, such as Colorado, the enforceability of non-compete agreements (including non-solicitation of customer agreements) is judged at the time the employee signs the agreement, which means that, if an employee signed the agreement years ago when he/she was in a more junior position, it might not be enforceable. In other states, consideration such as a promotion is required to support a non-compete agreement. If, as is often the case, promotions become effective at the beginning of the year, it may be time to have some employees sign new agreements.
  3. Check new laws which go into effect, or change, on January 1.  In Colorado, the Healthy Families and Workplaces Act (“HFWA”), applies to all Colorado employers, regardless of how many employees they employ, as of January 1, 2022. In 2021, employers with fewer than 16 employees were exempt. This will be a big change for smaller employers.

State and federal legislatures are likely to be very active regarding workplace legislation in 2022, and significant new laws are expected. C-Level Law will continue to write about these and other important developments. Those who have taken the time to review their policies and practices at the beginning of the year will be ahead of the game and better able to cope with the new laws that are likely to come. Happy 2022!