Constructing a Human Resources Compliance Program

If there is one thing that all human resources professionals have in common it’s having to tackle a long list of critical responsibilities, including complying with the law. Compliance, of course, should never be taken lightly. In fact, “Human resources compliance is a necessity for any business in today’s legal environment,” reports the staff at allBusiness. “Between the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), OSHA, sexual harassment, and antidiscrimination laws, a business that isn’t aware of its HR responsibilities is headed for trouble.” While this responsibility often feels daunting, especially for executives already under pressure to fulfill many roles, it’s certainly not unattainable.

Educate yourself and your organization on human resources compliance needs

The staff at allBusiness continues: “Effective HR compliance programs need to be integrated into your business strategies and given more than just lip service. Compliance has to start at the top and trickle down to all levels, so everyone in the company knows that the workplace must be kept safe and discrimination won’t be tolerated.” While compliance laws may feel like they’re changing constantly—often because they are—you must educate yourself on current policies and laws to ensure not only that compliance standards are met throughout your organization, but also that your staff is informed of existing policies and changes.

As a small-business owner, you are probably in the early stages of developing a policy manual or employee handbook. This document, however, is imperative to your organization and your employees as it typically covers company rules, expectations and overall business strategy.

Once you have a formal document in place, or if one already exists, you must ensure that every aspect of it complies with the law. Does it clearly explain to your employees that you will be deducting the necessary state and federal tax requirements from their paychecks? Does it outline policies for computer and device usage in the workplace? Such requirements set clear expectations for your employees and provide them with a formal document to refer to when they have any important questions. Build awareness by reviewing the handbook with existing employees, including it in your onboarding and having every member of your staff sign and date it to confirm that he or she has reviewed and understands the company policies.

Get to the root of your compliance risks

Hiring the best talent in the industry may be a large concern for organizations today, but there is a much bigger picture employers should be looking at—and that’s complying with the law. To find out if you’re at risk for common HR compliance issues you must ensure that your organization isn’t using any discriminatory practices in its hiring process. That, however, is just scratching at the surface. Payroll administration and billing, health-care reform, unemployment compensation and safety also contribute to the common risks businesses are facing today. Evaluating risks now may help protect your business from a potential lawsuit down the road.

Leave no room for error

A lack of organization concerning employee documentation can leave too much room for error cause for concern regarding security and confidentiality. Proper documentation will ensure that you’re getting the job accomplished, while complying with the law. If you’re experiencing issues with employee performance, for example, be sure that you record important details in your reporting, such as the date and time of the concerning event, description of the report, as well as the name and role of the employee. Businesses that fail to do so may have a difficult time proving that the event was related to poor performance and not discrimination.

If you’re interested in learning more about compliance and similar topics of interest, check out our blog for more resources.



Topics: HR Compliance