Human resources departments have numerous responsibilities, from recruiting and hiring to managing employee benefits and payrolls. However, managing compliance is one of the most important tasks in HR, and getting it wrong can have serious legal repercussions.
How can you make sure your company is following all of the applicable labor and employment laws? Here are some questions to determine whether your business is HR compliant in 2023.
Does your business have updated federal and state employment law posters?
As laws and regulations evolve, it is essential to ensure that your business is displaying the labor law posters required by federal and state laws in places where they are visible to the entire staff. HR professionals report that up-to-date posters are often one of the first things they check for when performing human resources audits.
To ensure your company is displaying the most up-to-date posters, check the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division Workplace Posters page. They list the most recent versions of posters, but businesses need to be aware of which notices apply to them. For example, some smaller businesses may not be subject to the Family Medical Leave Act and are therefore not required to display the FMLA poster.
Have all new hires received the required documents?
A key component of human resources compliance is supplying new hires with essential documents from the first day of their employment. In addition to all of the legally required paperwork, businesses should provide new hires with documents that can prevent disputes in the future. It is equally important to ensure employees are given the required documents when they part ways with the company.
Are your workers classified accurately?
Misclassifying workers can cause significant problems for a business, so it is essential to ensure that every member of the team has been classified properly.
For example, business owners must ensure employees have been correctly classified as non-exempt or exempt to avoid violating the Fair Labor Standards Act. Nonexempt employees do not have limitations or requirements pertaining to the number of hours they may work each week, but they are required to be provided with overtime pay should they work more than 40 hours per week.
Exempt employees, in contrast, are given a salary of the same amount of money regardless of the number of hours they work and carry out administrative, professional or executive duties. They are not given overtime pay and do not qualify for minimum wage.
It is also important to distinguish between contractors and employees. An employee will be on the business’s payroll and receive wages as well as benefits, while contractors are independent workers who have flexibility and autonomy but are not given benefits. Misclassifications can lead to legal disputes, penalties, fines and back taxes.
Is your employee handbook updated?
An employee handbook may not be required in every case, but it is highly recommended for communicating policies to staff and helping to mitigate potential legal disputes. It should be viewed as a living document that must be updated as policies and laws evolve. Your employee handbook should be updated at least once a year, in addition to performing spot updates when laws change to ensure the handbook remains current.
Have you scheduled employee safety training?
Another crucial aspect of compliance is employee safety training. Different businesses may be subject to specific health and safety training regulations that apply to some or all of their employees. For example, those who work with hazardous materials are required to undergo specific hazardous materials training.
Human resources professionals should review their training requirements and implement a plan for ensuring every employee has undergone the required training before the deadline.
Have you conducted an annual compliance audit?
A yearly compliance audit is a great way to identify potential compliance issues so they can be addressed before they grow into major problems. Late summer and early fall are ideal times for most businesses to carry out a human resources audit because there is still sufficient time to correct the issues before the end of the year.
A human resources audit can focus on specific aspects of human resources, such as records policies, safety and human resources functions. In addition to ensuring corporate compliance, human resources audits can identify inefficiencies and help businesses to improve processes that affect their employees to maximize engagement and retention.
Are your interview questions compliant?
An important part of human resources compliance is ensuring that hiring managers follow laws that prohibit discrimination in hiring. For example, they must take care not to ask questions that directly solicit information about protected classes, such as an applicant’s age, year of graduation or family plans.
Are your job listings discriminatory?
There are numerous laws that prohibit discrimination in hiring when it comes to protected classes. This includes age, religion, race, national origin, sex, color and disability. It is important to make sure that the language in the job listings your company posts do not show any type of favor based on such classes.
Speak to a Human Resources Consultant to Learn More About Compliance
Human resources compliance can be very time-consuming and challenging. Our experts can help your business ensure full compliance with all applicable regulations and laws. To learn more about our services, contact us at (844) 201-3612 or Request a Consultation.