A wrong step in the HR compliance process may be very costly. As we close out 2023 and enter 2024, now is the perfect time to review your internal HR compliance.
Below is a list of HR considerations that every employer should consider.
HR Compliance Checklist: Necessary Items
Keep these items in mind when crafting your HR policies and training.
Recruiting and Interviewing Practices
- Avoid discriminatory or preferential language in job listings.
- Prohibit inappropriate interview questions.
- Standardize hiring and interviewing procedures to ensure fair hiring.
Onboarding Procedures and Company Policies
- Document all company policies and ensure easy access for employees.
- Provide a thorough orientation for all new employees that include their responsibilities for HR compliance and clearly explain policies for reporting noncompliance.
- Document company policies and employee responsibilities in an accessible and easy-to-navigate employee handbook.
- Make the handbook available to all new hires and include a thorough discussion of policies during new employee orientation.
- Collect signatures from new employees to document their receipt and review of the handbook.
- Notify all employees of any changes to the employee handbook and collect signatures to document their receipt of the notification and review of changes.
- Document federal, state and local laws prohibiting harassment in the workplace.
- Clearly define what constitutes harassment.
- Create a standard procedure for reporting, investigating and responding to harassment, and include this process in the employee handbook, and train all employees.
- Collect an I-9 form from all employees to document eligibility to work in the U.S.
- Examine original documents for proof of identity and eligibility to work within three (3) days of the start of their employment.
- Store I-9 forms and other personal information securely in print or electronic form.
- Classify workers properly as employees or contractors to ensure access to unemployment benefits they are entitled to.
- Report employee wages to your state’s unemployment benefits agency as required, and pay the UI tax due.
- Become familiar with U.S. DOL workers’ compensation laws that entitle workers to disability benefits if they are injured on the job, as well as state laws and procedures for filing claims.
- Post required documentation and notices of workers’ rights to compensation and the procedure for reporting injuries.
Employee Benefits and Leave
- If you have 50 or more employees, offer minimum essential health care coverage to all full-time employees.
- Meet minimum standards for retirement and health care plans as set in the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).
- Provide information about Healthcare.gov, the health insurance marketplace.
- Provide a summary of benefits and coverage (SBC) during open enrollment periods.
- Provide adequate plan information to employees who enroll in health care and retirement plans, as defined under ERISA.
- Distribute Forms 1094-C and 1095-C, regarding employee health care coverage, to employees by February 28 if filing on paper or March 31 if filing electronically, dates may be subject to change.
- Comply with paid and unpaid leave requirements under FMLA.
HIPAA and OSHA Regulations
- Store employee health plan records with proper security and access controls to ensure health information privacy per HIPAA regulations.
- Conduct periodic audits of processes that include personal health information to ensure proper procedures and spot breaches.
- Provide employee job and safety training according to OSHA training requirements.
- Keep proper safety records, including a log of work-related injuries and illnesses, and provide employees OSHA Form 301 as soon as any accident, injury or illness happens.
- Report injury and illness to OSHA each year by March 2, date may be subject to change.
- Work with legal counsel to draft thorough employee contracts that cover details such as work hours, paid time off, work location, compensation and benefits, start and end date and worker classification.
- Become familiar with an employee’s local contract regulations if you hire employees who live outside of the U.S.
The regulatory guidelines for HR are very complex. Failure to comply with federal or state guidelines may be very costly. Employers should always consult with an employment law attorney in order to ensure compliance, and to avoid a potentially costly mistake.
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