It's time to start planning for how a Biden presidency will affect your business. Some things may matter to you and some may not, but there will be change. Here's what is likely to happen that may influence how you run your workplace.
Critical Race Theory Back In
While Trump never mentioned the term "critical race theory" in his recent executive order regarding diversity training for federal employees and contractors, it was a clear removal of this controversial method of talking about diversity, in which existing institutions are racist and White people maintain power at the expense of people of color. This will probably be one of the first things undone by Biden when he takes office in January. But expect to see lawsuits as many people, including U.S. Civil Rights Commissioner Peter Kirsanow, say that critical race theory training violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Code.
Minimum Wage at $15 an Hour
Biden supports a $15 an hour minimum wage. Several states (including Florida, which just passed a ballot initiative on minimum wage) have already put plans in place to reach a $15 minimum wage and then increase it with inflation. Expect to see federal action, where the minimum wage hasn't increased from $7.25 since 2009, even though the Senate may still oppose it. It was a key point of Biden's platform, and he will likely push for it.
Be Heard in the Workplace Act Will Become Law
This proposed law is designed to increase protections against sexual harassment in the workplace. While it will undoubtedly change as it goes through congress, it will make big sexual harassment law changes. For instance, it includes extending the statute of liability for claims (increasing the time an employee has to make a claim) from less than six months to more than four years. It also places restrictions on nondisclosure and nondisparagement clauses. If the bill becomes law, businesses will also be required to hold sexual harassment training, whereas now that's up to the states.
Changes to the National Labor Relations Board
National Labor Relations Board members serve five-year terms, and the president appoints them. Changes here will be slow, but right now, there is a strong Republican majority on the board, and you can expect that to change--one person will be replaced every year. Under the Trump administration, the NLRB has shifted to pro-business, and you can expect it to start to shift back to pro-employee and pro-union as Biden appointees begin to add to the board.
Higher Standard for Paycheck Discrimination
Gender discrimination for pay has been illegal for a long time, but the Paycheck Fairness Act, which Biden supports, makes those protections stronger. Currently, the law prohibits variation based on sex but allows variation based on "any other factor other than sex." So, for instance, you could have a legal pay discrepancy if you base salaries on the salary an employee held at a previous job. This law would likely remove that excuse at a federal level (many states already prohibit it). Under the Paycheck Fairness act, only "a bona fide factor other than sex, such as education, training, or experience," can justify a pay difference.
Undoubtedly, there will be additional changes to come, and many of these must be approved through Congress as well. Still, you can expect these to be first up under the new administration.