Effective Dates

Published:  October 10, 2018

In light of new and reformed legislation, a larger point worth discussing is raised. All new laws have an effective date. This is the date when the new law goes into effect. The timing of the effective date can be very important. It is very rare that new laws will have retroactive effective dates. Attempting to impose new obligations retroactively would be a violation of the ex post facto clause of the U.S. Constitution. In some cases, the effective date can be the date the bill is signed into law. However, it is more common for a law to have an effective date at some point in the future, often several months. Future effective dates are generally preferable, unless circumstances necessitate immediate application. They are also preferable for businesses because it gives employers more time to prepare.

However, future effective dates cause one minor problem for businesses: Those few months can fly by before you know it! Because management is typically comprised of many people, it is easy for a future obligation to get lost in the shuffle. Many people are lulled into assuming that somebody in the company is going to take care of it before it goes into effect. But all too often, that assumption is incorrect. This leaves companies to scramble at the last minute to ensure compliance.

We know employment laws change constantly. It often feels like a new obligation is always imposed just as soon as you’ve achieved compliance with the last change. In order to avoid the constant scramble to remain compliant with new requirements, it is advisable to designate a point-person and begin to formulate a plan for institute compliance measures as soon as new laws are passed. The few months between passage and effective dates are not as long as they seem, especially when you need to institute new policies, new procedures and/or significant operational changes to become compliant.

As always, it is best to consult with employment counsel prior to making any employment decision.

If you have any questions regarding compliance or any other aspect of employment law, please contact the attorneys at Royal, P.C.