Membership Discusses Pressing HR Challenges on the Horizon at Fall Labor and Employment Meeting

October 25, 2019

HR Policy Association and the NYU School of Law Center for Labor and Employment Law jointly presented this fall’s Labor and Employment conference, which focused on the labor and employment landscape in the context of evolving transformative technology in the workplace.

Employment Rights Committee Chair Johnna Torsone, Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer at Pitney Bowes Inc., noted: “The question is what kind of thinking and resources do you need in order to benefit from these technologies without doing something negative?”

NYU Law Professor Sam Estreicher, who co-hosted the meeting, said “if you want to know what’s going on in the business community, or understand what lawmakers are thinking, look to HR Policy.”

HR Policy CEO Dan Yager observed, “now more than ever we will need independently-minded academics like those here at NYU’s Center for Labor and Employment Law to help us make our case in the battle of ideas that is happening and will only get more critical moving forward.”  Senior Labor and Employment Counsel Roger King further cautioned that changes in the political leadership in Washington, combined with potential elimination of the 60-vote threshold for Senate passage of bills, could result in an onslaught of new legal restrictions and requirements for employers.

Representatives from member companies led in-depth discussions on a variety of future of work issues, including:

  • Substance abuse challenges for employers, exploring and offering examples of practical options for company policies regarding marijuana, opioids, and other controlling substances;

  • The legal and policy issues presented by artificial intelligence in the workplace, taking a close look at the workforce trends and policy developments in the U.S. and abroad;

  • A dive into how employers are using artificial intelligence in the human resource function and best practices gleaned from the experiences from the membership;

  • Company perspectives on the impact of technology on the workplace, including worker displacement and workforce engagement, among other issues; and

  • An update on developments in labor and employment laws and regulations, focusing not only on proposed regulations, bills, and judicial decisions, but also how the political environment plays into these developments.

The discussion on company policies and practices regarding artificial intelligence comes at a time when the issue is seeing more coverage in the press, including this recent piece in the Washington Post, as well as attention paid on Capitol Hill.