The results of the 2012 election mean central Kansas employers should anticipate four additional years of active enforcement of wage and discrimination laws by the federal government, according to Newton attorney Randy Pankratz.
Pankratz attended an Employment Law Conference in Chicago in the two days following the presidential election, which included an examination of how employers should prepare for the continued emphasis on enforcement by federal agencies.
“The result of the election doesn’t automatically change the flow of the law,” Pankratz said, “but it does likely mean that federal regulatory activity by the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) and the U.S. Department of Labor will continue at a vigorous pace. Local employers need to be aware of that, and be sure they’re prepared if the government comes knocking.”
Pankratz noted particular activity by federal enforcement authorities and private attorneys in the areas of discrimination, retaliation, and allegedly improper classification of employees as exempt from federal wage laws.
“The re-election of the president is seen as a signal to federal agencies to continue on their current course,” Pankratz commented. “In the case of agencies policing employers, that will generally mean more investigators and heightened involvement with enforcement activities.”
Pankratz is an attorney with the Adrian & Pankratz law firm in Newton, where part of his practice is helping employers in planning for the possibility of government inquiries, and responding to investigatory requests.