Seven Steps for Ensuring Employer Compliance
Director of Compliance
Don’t think your company is alone in struggling to meet a seemingly endless array of legal obligations to your workers, such as those governing leave entitlements, wage standards, break time, and scheduling requirements. Legal compliance remains a challenge for all employers.
Still, you are correct to be concerned about how compliance issues may affect your organization. Not only does legal compliance protect you from lawsuits and other penalties, but it keeps your employees happy and productive, resulting in increased productivity and an improved reputation for your company. Here are a few important steps employers should follow to ensure their obligations toward their employees are being met:
Determine Which Laws Apply to Your Workers. Not every employment law applies to every employer. Certain laws apply to larger employers but not to smaller ones. Other laws only apply to employees who have worked for an organization for a certain amount of time. To promote compliance, you should research and understand which laws you need to abide by at the federal, state, and local levels.
Workplace Posters. Some laws require employers to conspicuously post workplace posters at their worksite summarizing the law for employees. Compliance with posting obligations should be taken seriously. Failing to properly display workplace posters can lead to costly penalties. Additionally, these posters are a valuable source of information in better understanding the law for both employers and employees.
Stay Current with Employment Law Changes. Simply learning about the employment laws that apply to your organization is not enough. To ensure full compliance, every business, large or small, must do their best to stay on top of changes in federal, state, and local law. This is not an easy task since new and amended employment laws are constantly being passed, so make efforts to stay up to date.
Train Your Team. You should make sure that all members of your relevant management team are knowledgeable about the employment laws and policies applicable to your employees. Ongoing training and clearly written employment policies and procedures are key to safeguarding compliance.
Use Technology to Your Advantage. One way to better ensure compliance is through cloud technology. With so many employment laws to contend with and so many regulatory changes to track, manual workforce administration is time consuming and error prone. Reduce the strain of seeking legal compliance using manual processes by investing in an HR software solution. It will eliminate compliance concerns, reduce errors, save you time and money, and provide a great return on your investment.
Recordkeeping. Federal, state, and local laws may contain a provision requiring relevant records to be maintained for a certain amount of time. The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), for example, requires covered employers to keep certain FMLA-related leave records for no less than three years. Proper recordkeeping not only improves the efficiency of your business but protects your company and its employees if a lawsuit or agency charge arises.
Perform Internal Compliance Audits. Every year or two, employers should conduct a compliance audit to determine if they are conforming to federal, state, and local employment laws. Compliance audits are important because they help employers know if they need to strengthen their compliance activities in a particular area, such as internal policies or external regulations. Compliance audits also create a detailed, documented paper trail that will help establish compliance if you are ever involved in an agency investigation or lawsuit.
Meeting compliance standards can prove to be a challenging task for organizations. Nevertheless, if you have the right processes in place, treat your workers fairly, and follow the above steps, you can avoid the costly compliance problems affecting many employers. Do your best to become or remain legally compliant, and it will make your employees better and reflect positively on your organization.
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