HR compliance is a vital component of keeping your business on track to success. Knowing which steps to take can be the difference between a happy and productive workforce and lawsuits that quickly damage your business prospects. Here are a few of the most critical steps you need to take to ensure HR compliance in your company.
Become familiar with labor laws
HR compliance is a lot like going back to school. You and your management staff will need to dedicate time to becoming familiar with labor laws that govern the area where you do business. This means learning federal, state, and local laws that ensure your business practices don’t violate employees’ rights.
A few examples of the main regulations you’ll need to be compliant with are:
• Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA): FLSA establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and young employment standards across all employment sectors. Violating any part of the FLSA can result in huge penalties, fines, or lawsuits for your company.
• Affordable Care Act (ACA): ACA is a comprehensive health care reform law enacted in March 2010 with the primary goals of making health insurance affordable and available to more people, expanding the Medicaid program, and to support medical care methods that would result in overall lower health care costs. The ACA imposes various requirements on employers regarding health care coverage. Businesses that fail to meet these requirements face substantial penalties.
• Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA): FMLA grants eligible employees the right to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year for family or medical reasons. FMLA helps employees balance work obligations with family responsibilities and promotes equal employment opportunity for men and women.
With all of the changes in labor law, proposed changes to the ACA, and other frequent updates, keeping up with all of the regulations governing employee rights and protections in your company may be more difficult or time-intensive than you imagine. Time spent reviewing lengthy whitepapers and updating your policies is time spent away from running your business.
Learn more about how Sheakley’s HR professionals can help evaluate your company’s HR compliance and for more information on how our services can help you get back to focusing on your business and growing your company.
Evaluate recruiting, hiring, and termination processes
Human Resources laws begin regulating the employer-employee relationship before a new worker is even hired. Federal, state, and local laws prohibit employers from asking for protected information and all recruitment and hiring must be done with consideration to ADA compliance regulations.
Reviewing all applications carefully and planning interview questions in advance can help minimize the risk of asking for prohibited information. Even off-hand questions that lead to the divulging of information about marital status or age may get your company in to hot water. Knowing what questions you may and may not ask is not always easy. Working with the HR experts at Sheakley can help you navigate these treacherous roads more smoothly.
Another legally required step in the new hire process is the completion of necessary tax documents, like the I-9. The I-9, or Employee Eligibility Verification Form, establishes that an employee is legally residing in the United States and therefore eligible to work in the country. The I-9 lays out specific documentation that the employer may ask for to determine eligibility; requesting other documents may subject your company to liability for discrimination or inappropriate hiring practices. Federal law states that all employers must report any new hires to their designated state agency within 20 days of the date of hire.
While Ohio is an at-will employment state, employers must still be aware of the issues that can come into play when terminating an employee. From proper wording of termination notices to severance practices to handling unemployment claims, termination is a delicate process that must be handled with care and delicacy to avoid potential litigation. You must develop a clear policy for employee discipline and apply it equally and carefully document all employee infractions. In the event of a termination, any letters of dismissal should be reviewed by an HR expert or HR attorney to help minimize the risk of lawsuits for unlawful termination, discriminatory termination practices, or other violations.
The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) receiving 84,234 charges of workplace discrimination in 2017 with the average cost of an employee lawsuit standing at $250,000. Sheakley’s Human Resources Outsourcing experts will be able to help you navigate all of these potential pitfalls to reduce liability for your company and to help you attract and retain the right talent. Sheakley works with you and your managers to ensure adherence to proper employment practices that can ensure you avoid turnover and lawsuits.
PEOs and HR Compliance
Talk to Sheakley’s Human Resources and Professional Employer Organization (PEO) professionals today to learn more about how they can help your company stay compliant. With in-depth knowledge of compliance issues, Sheakley’s HR and PEO team can guide you through the complicated world of ACA, OSHA, FMLA, ADA and other federal, state, and local laws and regulations. Unlike a human resources advisor or consultant, the co-employment relationship between Sheakley and client companies gives Sheakley skin in the game when it comes to keeping you compliant.
Explore the many other benefits of working with Sheakley
Contact us for your free consultation today and learn more about Sheakley’s HR and PEO team. Stay up-to-date on HR compliance and all things Sheakley by subscribing to our blog and following us on social media. Join in the discussion by commenting below.