HR compliance is the laws, policies, and regulations regarding employees put in place by federal and state governments that a business or organization must follow. It affects an organization’s internal systems, policies, and record-keeping and requires that employees receive all entitlements in their employment contract.
It just might be the least sexy part of Human Resources.
But here are some important things you need to know.
Record keeping is the foundation of HR compliance obligations. Adherence to the following guidelines is critical:
The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 requires employers in the United States to verify the identity and work authorization of every employee hired. Form I-9, officially the Employment Eligibility Verification form, is part of the federal immigration regulatory process.
It is a best practice to maintain a reminder system for those employees with temporary employment authorization and send a notice well in advance of the termination of their work permit advising them to update their I-9 form.
Fines can be more than $2,200 for just one I-9 documentation violation. To avoid HR compliance errors and the related fines and penalties, employers are advised to self-check their I-9 forms every 6-12 months and conduct an independent audit every 2-3 years.
So far this year, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has levied over $3 million in fines on employers for I-9 violations – a new record.
To protect the privacy rights of employees and to insulate employers from liability, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that employee medical records be maintained confidentially and separate from an employee’s general personnel file.
The following documents should be filed separately from an employee’s personnel file:
Employee Training is an important component in compliance. The following are examples of training that your organization may be required to fulfill, depending on where and in what industry your business operates:
Sexual Harassment Training: For example, in Connecticut, any employer with three or more employees must provide two hours of sexual harassment training to all employees, not just supervisors. Training must be completed within six months of hire, and failure to do so can result in a fine of up to $1,000. The state of New York requires training within 60 days. Each state has its own requirements.
Occupational Safety and Health Training: Each employee must be trained in the tasks, situations, and tools they will use on the job. OSHA provides information on its website on training requirements for employers.
Mandated Reporter Training: Mandated reporters are required to report, in the ordinary course of their employment or profession, if they have reasonable cause to suspect or believe that a child under the age of 18 has been abused, neglected, or is placed in imminent risk of serious harm.
Again, additional training may be required for your business, depending on your state.
The employee handbook provides guidance and information related to the organization’s history, mission, values, policies, procedures and benefits in a written format. Before outlining your employee handbook, it is important to familiarize yourself with federal, state, and local employment laws as several are required to be included in the company employee handbook.
Among other laws that might require inclusion in employee handbooks are policies regarding accommodation of disabilities, military leave, crime victims leave, and breastfeeding.
The federal government and most states require employers to post notices in the workplace informing employees of their rights and obligations under various employment laws. The notices must be placed conspicuously throughout the workplace so they can be easily seen by employees as they enter and exit.
Unfortunately, we seldom onboard companies or not-for-profit organizations that are in full compliance with all laws.
But, over the years, we have helped companies in many states throughout the U.S. and across nearly every industry assess their compliance requirements to help ensure they become, and remain, in compliance with federal and state laws and regulations.
As a business owner or non-profit executive director, you should not be kept awake at night worrying about whether your organization is fulfilling its compliance obligations.
Our team will help assess your organization’s risk by conducting a comprehensive audit and will work to identify solutions to eliminate that risk.
Contact us today to discuss your organization’s needs.