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  • Michael Sawicki

Employment Trends for 2024

By: Michael P. Sawicki, Esq.





The biggest employment law trends for 2024 include more employers requiring employees to return to the office, the importance of workplace culture and the increasing use of artificial intelligence (AI) in the hiring process and human resources function.


Return to the Office

The COVID-19 heath pandemic changed the way most companies operated with liberal work from home policies. With the pandemic under control, employers may continue the trend of a modified work from home policy while instituting a mandatory return to work policy for at least a few days a week. A recent study found 90% of employers plan to implement a return to the office policy in 2024. Employers are balancing the complexities in a post-pandemic world of employee wellbeing, operational efficiency and the changing dynamics of the workplace. Most companies are leaning towards a hybrid policy mandating a certain number of days each week in the office.


Importance of Workplace Culture

Return to work policies are having an impact on workplace culture. Being in the office provides a better connection for employees, and fosters an environment for collaboration. It also decreases an employee’s autonomy of a home office environment and self-management of tasks, while adding a commute to the employee’s daily routine. The reviews are mixed. Some employees welcome a return to the office environment, at lease part of the week, while others claim more productivity working from home.


Employers should give thought to drafting a policy that is fair and that will be consistently applied to reduce the risk of claims that the policy is discriminatory or selectively enforced.  Employers should also pay careful attention to requests from employees for exemption or variation from a return-to-work policy as a reasonable accommodation for a disability. A healthy workplace culture reduces the risk of discrimination and harassment claims by ensuring all employees are treated equally and fairly.


Use of Artificial Intelligence

A third trend employers should be aware of is the expanded use of AI in the workplace through the hiring process and automation of certain HR functions. AI is being increasingly used in the hiring process to screen applications and resumes or for pre-screening questionnaires or automated interviews. Employers may face the risk of unrecognized racial and gender bias.


In order to minimize these risks, the Biden Administration created the AI Bill of Rights which provides a set of guidelines for the responsible design and use of AI. The AI Bill of Rights outlines five key principles to guide the development and deployment of AI systems, focusing on safety, fairness, privacy, transparency, and human alternatives:


1.       Ensuring Safe and Effective Systems

2.       Combating Algorithmic Discrimination

3.       Upholding Data Privacy

4.       Providing Notice and Explanation

5.       Prioritizing Human Alternatives and Fallbacks


The enactment of federal and state laws will be on the horizon in 2024 regarding the use of AI.


If you have any questions or would like to get more information regarding employment law, please contact Batoff Associates, P.A. at 410-864-6211.

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