Executive Summary

As 2017 dawned, many employers expected the new presidential administration to initiate a 180-degree reversal of prior rules and policies affecting workplace regulation, management and diversity. While it wasn’t quite as dramatic as expected, employers needed to realign various policies and strategies to address certain changes, examined further below. Meanwhile, the fundamental organizational cultural shift sparked by the #MeToo movement has focused much more attention on workplace behavior and gender parity, a conversation that can be expected to continue into other realms such as fairness in pay and equal employment opportunities. 

Workplace Regulation

The shift from decreased regulation in the areas of healthcare and overtime pay to increased regulation and enforcement of legal and illegal immigration has compelled companies to focus significant time and resources on rewriting internal employee hiring, training and retention policies. Also, state and local governments have become more fragmented as a result of the new business-friendly approach to workplace regulation.

Workforce Management

Cultivating a strong company culture has stepped to the forefront of importance for employers after increased attention on sexual harassment, whistleblowing and data protection. Meanwhile, big data and advanced analytics are proving valuable in helping employers understand how employees can assist in building more vibrant company cultures.

Methodology/Demographics:

  1.           Background of Respondents:
    • 58% Human resource professionals
    • 34% In-house attorneys and corporate counsel
    • 8% C-suite executives or other professionals
  2. Size of Respondents:

    • 49% with >1,000 employees
    • 11% with 500-1,000 employees
    • 29% with 100-500 employees
    • 11% with 25-100 employees
  3. Size of Respondents’ Legal Departments:

    • 20% >10 in-house attorneys
    • 15% 5-10 in-house attorneys
    • 65% 1-5 in-house attorneys
  4. Respondents Annual Spending on Outside Legal Counsel (normally regarding labor/unemployment):

    • 4% >$5,000,000
    • 10% $1,000,000-$5,000,000
    • 11% $500,000-$1,000,000
    • 29% $100,000 to $500,000
    • 45% $25,000-$100,000>