Every company needs to stay compliant with all the laws and standards set by the government, as well as various industries. And every department within a company is likewise responsible for adhering to these legal parameters, most notably HR – where you need to stay fair and equitable in all talent acquisition and management practices. The fallout from non-compliance can range anywhere from steep fines and damage to your employer brand to bankruptcy, in a worst-case scenario.
- Lack of knowledge of compliance obligations is not a legal defense. Mitigating your compliance risk can save your company from costly lawsuits. And as regulatory mandates change, new compliance issues emerge. So it’s critical to stay current and up to date.
- Since 1980, there has been an increase of more than 400 percent in employment-related laws and regulations. HR compliance demands ongoing monitoring and consultative feedback regarding your company’s most important asset: your people. Unlike the more immediate cost savings associated with health or workers’ compensation premiums, the savings associated with HR compliance can take time to be realized, But in the long run, these are by far the most valuable.
Your HR compliance checklist should include:
- Hiring procedures: Make sure you have a proper process that includes your offer letters, new hire paperwork and contracts. This encompasses Title VII, which deals with discrimination based on race, religion, sex, color or national origin. Keep the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) in mind, as well.
- Recruiting and interviewing: Along with your current application and job descriptions, emphasis should rest on compliance with the Fair Employment and Housing Act and the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). Also extremely important are interview procedures and questions and reference checking processes.
- Your employee handbook: Your handbook contains legally required provisions. Any time a business becomes embroiled in employment-related litigation, usually the first items of discovery required by a plaintiff’s attorney are your company’s handbook and job descriptions. These documents will be thoroughly scrubbed in hopes of finding a policy that violates a prevailing law.
- Policies and procedures: This covers myriad areas including health insurance, COBRA and unemployment, the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), pregnancy disability benefits and leave, rehabilitation services, equal pay, drug and alcohol-free workplace specifications, and more.
- Sexual harassment and workplace bullying awareness and training – and measures to report and deal with such behavior.
- I-9 forms: This documentation verifies a person’s eligibility to work for your company. You must have an accurately completed I-9 form for every employee and contractor who work for you.
Insulate Your Business From Liability
Professional employer organizations (PEOs) including Lyons HR extend their Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) coverage to their clients. This saves you the cost and headache of maintaining your own separate EPLI policy. This sharing of liabilities can vary, and is specifically defined in your Client Service Agreement (CSA).
In addition, a PEO can provide expert assistance and ongoing consultation with all aspects of your HR compliance strategy, as one of your company’s Four Pillars of Profitability. To learn more, contact our team today.