|Sept. 20, 2019 | www.fisherphillips.com|
These days, technology occupies nearly every part of our lives. There is an app for everything, and we can order virtually anything we want on demand and have it arrive on our doorstep nearly immediately. We want things, we want them now, and we want them without having to put much thought into the automated process that led us there.
In today’s business climate, work always seems to be on the mind. But should it be? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the productivity of the average American worker has skyrocketed by an astounding 400% since 1950. And yet, in the furious midst of our all-out race to the top, some of us have found ourselves running head first into the old familiar phrase: “work-life balance.”
We live in a technological world—this is not news. We now communicate more through our electronic devices than we do in person—this is also not news. Yet, one interpersonal mechanism necessary for securing a job has remained largely sacrosanct—interviews. While you may be reading this thinking, “Well, what about Skype or video interviews? I’ve had at least one of those,” you have acutely identified the growing trend of “interview by anywhere.”
When faced with a problem or question, do you reach for a resource book or simply Google it to find a solution? Chances are, you Google it (or ask Alexa). Typing in a quick search for an answer is not only easier but usually significantly quicker. Similarly, chatbots powered by artificial intelligence (AI) may provide an easier and quicker way for employees to obtain fast answers to their questions, rather than having to dig up their old employee handbook from onboarding and painstakingly read through the 100-page PDF in search of the applicable policy.
When the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a memorandum last year announcing that agency inspectors are now authorized to use camera-carrying Unmanned Aircraft Systems—or drones—to collect evidence during inspections in certain workplace settings, employers across the country should have collectively raised their eyes to the sky. This development means that OSHA inspectors are not only authorized to conduct in-person inspections of your workplace, they can fly remote-controlled aircraft above your worksite to track down safety violations. While most would agree that workplace safety is of the utmost importance, the use of drones to inspect a worksite raises new concerns for employers.
It’s hard to keep up with all the recent changes to labor and employment law. While the law always seems to evolve at a rapid pace, there have been an unprecedented number of changes for the past few years—and this past month was no exception.