According to ADP Research Institute, employment lawsuits have increased some 400% in the last 20 years.
Add to this the fact that numerous new laws and stipulations have been added, which have to be followed to avoid hefty fines and other penalties, including potential harm to a business’s reputation, and it becomes obvious that compliance is key for today’s companies. Consider the following common HR compliance issues that many businesses face and why they are important to understand and adhere to avoid negative repercussions:
Common HR Compliance Issues Your Business May Face
The following are some of the most common compliance issues involving new regulations that you may face as a business owner overseeing a company:
Many federal anti-discrimination laws involve race, sex, color and/or ethnic origin, veteran status, age and disabilities. These laws in essence ensure that employees are never treated poorly based on these factors. Some of the laws that fall under this category include the Americans with Disabilities Act, which obviously involves the way employees with disabilities are treated. The Age Discrimination Act is designed to protect anyone over the age of 40 from age-based discrimination, and a few others. There are steep penalties that come as the result of discrimination in either hiring, or within the working environment under anti-discrimination laws.
Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
This is a federal law that gives employees up to 12 weeks of job-protected, unpaid leave per year. This leave pertains to the birth or care of an employee's newborn and can even include bonding with either a foster care or adoptive child. It also can include dealing with the care of an immediate family member or the handling of an employee’s own health condition that is serious enough to merit an absence for work.
Affordable Care Act (ACA)
This notable change in the way the government deals with health insurance matters means that businesses will face penalties if they fail to offer affordable health care coverage. This includes full-time employees for companies with over a specific number of employees.
Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA)
OSHA was created to ensure employee safety while on the job. The act was designed to guarantee employees have safe working conditions and have access to proper training, education, assistance, and outreach.
Any company with over 20 employees is required to meet COBRA continuation coverage for employees and their dependents when it comes to certain events that trigger termination of coverage.
How to Ensure Compliance With Changing HR Laws and Regulations
The following are some of the best ways to ensure continued HR compliance and avoid fines and penalties:
Hire the Right Talent: Ensure that you onboard candidates correctly and set the tone for your company’s expectations regarding compliance.
Educate and Train Staff: HR departments need to be trained and educated on a continuous basis to ensure all legal and regulatory requirements are met. HR leaders must have access to up-to-date information.
Create an Updated Employee Handbook: Your employee handbook should be a place where all your employees can go regarding all company procedures and policies. Keep in mind, though, that your handbook must be frequently updated to ensure that it adapts to your growing business and ever-changing laws.
Conduct HR Compliance Audits: In order to avoid penalties and fines, conduct your own compliance audit to look for any potential issues that might be in play. This gives you the chance to make necessary changes before you are faced with a fine or penalty.
Bottom Line: Compliance is Key
Use the right software, systems, and ensure support is in place to maintain compliance. Working with human resources and workplace safety experts can help protect your business. Contact us at TPC where we are more than payroll, and we can help you maintain compliance and meet new HR laws and changing regulations.