By Susan E. West, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
QuadWest Associates, LLC – Detroit SHRM Resource Partner
Compliance concerns are at the heart of human resource management. You have concerns about staff, about your company’s policies and procedures, about many different areas of government targeting. These issues cover workman’s comp, sexual harassment, employee time off for sickness or family issues, disability concerns and even more. The HR manager has a lot on their plate at any given time! Here are the top five compliance concerns for HR managers and Small Business Owners.
- Employee Classification
Employee misclassification as a 1099 or independent contractor is a major growing concern these days. Many companies are viewing this as a means by which they can avoid paying out expensive benefits such as healthcare, placing the onus on the employee to pursue the Healthcare Marketplace and pay their own taxes.
The Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division has now created a Worker Misclassification Initiative to address these issues. This means that you need to be sure that your staff is properly classified, not only as employee vs. contractor, but as non-exempt vs. exempt.
- Social Media
Social media has become a big concern for employers. However, disciplining workers for comments and activity on social media sites can be tricky. Many suits have been brought by non-union employees against employers based on unfair labor charges resulting from discipline in this area. It’s important for companies to review policies to ensure their language and procedures are in compliance with such regulations.
- I-9 Workers
Homeland Security has been really kicking up their enforcement of foreign workers. There have been record numbers of investigations, notices of inspection, criminal prosecutions and administrative fees. This sort of compliance carries significant risk from a financial standpoint —even a mistake on the form can result in serious fines. Make sure that any workers are properly documented and authorized to work in this country, and that you catch all the details on paperwork
Discrimination is a major issue in the workplace today. The EEOC is cracking down on disability, pregnancy and retaliation issues, and compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act is going to be ever more important in the coming years. In addition, the EEOC will be taking a very close look at policies using credit reports and criminal histories for hiring, and on policies that negatively affect minorities. Fair hiring and discrimination are things you need to closely look at in your HR compliance.
- Compensation Discrimination
Equal pay for equal work is getting heavy focus by regulatory agencies these days. The very first piece of legislation signed by President Obama in 2008 was of this nature. It seems as though every day something new in this area comes out of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. It is likely that eventually more significant data relating to compensation is going to be required to prove that discrimination along these lines does not occur.
About QuadWest Associates, LLC
Founded in 2004, QuadWest is a management consulting firm with a passion for uplifting Human Resource functions within small to mid-size companies. Our team of professionally-trained HR Business Partners support a company’s success by providing strategically-focused, practical Human Resource Management guidance. We specialize in business driven HR consulting services, onsite and offsite, in the areas of: HR Operations Set-up, Employee Relations, Training, Performance Management, Compliance/Risk Management, Leadership Development/Coaching, Recruiting and Workplace Investigations. Our success stems directly from our commitment to providing clients with the HR services that meet their needs with the breadth and depth of our HR expertise found in our talented team.