Today’s program managers have a host of issues to consider as they look at their program’s future. From legislative changes to technology choices to talent strategy, contingent workforce program managers must track it all while maintaining a laser focus on their program’s QCER (quality, cost, efficiency and risk). Managers who stay up to speed ensure their company comes out ahead in the race for talent and bring the best and the brightest to the table.

The legislative and regulatory front in particular has been quite active recently. Here are a few updates that and updates could affect your program and your suppliers.

AI Act. The world’s first AI Act was unanimously approved by the European Union in March and will apply to AI that is anywhere, no matter where the user is physically located. It ranks degree of risk, classifies risk and ultimately will subject users to strict requirements for compliance. Expect much more discussion on AI, its usage and be hyperaware of how it may be used in your program, by your suppliers and the downstream implications.

Noncompete agreements. Just last week, noncompetes were deemed an unfair method of competition and banned by the Federal Trade Commission. Some 30 million workers are subject to noncompetes. Even if you and your team are not working under a noncompete, you likely have workers who are, and a majority of your staffing firm partners have used noncompetes for years. If your business is in California, North Dakota or Oklahoma, noncompetes are a non-starter since they are not enforced currently. Companies elsewhere will need to inform impacted workers in 120 days when the ruling takes effect that any noncompetes will not be enforced. The exception is for senior executives who earn more than $151,164 annually and are in a policy-making position.

Overtime salary threshold. Additionally, the Biden administration last week lifted the salary thresholds that exempt executives, administrative or professional salaried workers from overtime pay. An estimated 4 million workers could get a pay boost when the action goes into effect July 1. The threshold will continue to update every three years.

Make sure your exempt employees are paid on a salary basis, paid at least the designated minimum salary and perform certain duties (which vary based on the exemption). Your suppliers will be evaluating their workers for the same and also making adjustments.

H-2B cap. US Citizenship and Immigration Services has given notice that the H-2B cap has been reached for the early second half of 2024. If you have temporary nonagricultural workers and are in hospitality, tourism, landscaping or seafood processing, this may affect your company’s talent pipeline.

Joint employer ruling. The US Senate in April voted to repeal the National Labor Relations Board’s recent joint employer ruling that would treat companies as the employers of many of their contract workers and require bargaining with those workers’ unions. The proposal is expected to be vetoed by President Biden, but program managers should remain diligent in monitoring managers’ direct or indirect control over pay, scheduling, discipline and supervision for contingent workers. While difficult, it’s important to delegate and empower your suppliers as the worker’s employer.

The regulatory environment is always evolving. Just this week, Crain’s New York Business reported the US Drug Enforcement Administration is submitting plans to reclassify marijuana as a lower-risk drug, citing anonymous sources. The shift in classification could affect drug testing policies of contingent workforce programs and their staffing providers.

Today’s program managers must always keep a keen eye on such activity to ensure their programs are running efficiently and are in compliance. Use these updates as you plan and work with your suppliers, procurement, HR, legal and risk to chart a thoughtful, productive and profitable course for your program while increasing quality, controlling costs, improving efficiency and mitigating risk now and into the future.

Are you taking contingent workforce management to the next level? Nominations for SIA’s 2024 CW Program Game Changers recognition list are open. We encourage individuals to nominate themselves or their peers for consideration, and we welcome nominations from all corners of the ecosystem.