In today’s legal environment, it’s absolutely necessary for every business to have a robust human resources compliance program. Whether you’re just starting out with a new business or have been employing people for years, it’s time to review or implement your HR compliance strategy.

At the end of the year, it’s a good idea to take time over the holiday lull to review and update your HR department’s regulatory compliance. With the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), OSHA, antidiscrimination laws, sexual harassment issues, paid time off and other regulations and rules, it’s vital to keep abreast of changes and updates to employment law.

HR Compliance: There’s No One-and-Done Solution

If you’re handling your company’s HR compliance correctly, it should be an ongoing process with strategic benchmarks and checkpoints built in. That’s why we recommend reviewing your compliance at the end of each year—and often. Many regulations change, go into effect or expire on a yearly basis, and your state or city could have upcoming legal changes you’re not aware of.

Compliance requires more than a one-and-done check: it’s an ongoing process that demands buy-in from top management and communication to the rest of your company. Keep these things in mind when developing your company’s HR compliance program. 

Stay Aware

HR laws change all the time. If you’re not paying attention, you could be failing to comply with new or updated laws. Consider making it one person’s job in your HR department to keep abreast of all local legal and regulatory changes, or hire a consultant to keep you up-to-date. In the end, time and money spent on staying aware of regulatory changes could save you thousands in legal fees.

Talk to the Experts

If HR regulations seem to be written in a different language, it’s time to call in the experts. Make sure your HR staff has the expertise you need to stay compliant. If you don’t have the cash right now to hire a team of full-time HR specialists, consider an on-demand HR service to fill your need.

Train Your Team

Your company should be doing more than just paying lip services for HR compliance: your employees and managers should know the rules and play by them. Your managers should know how to uphold company standards and regulations, and your employees should know what’s expected. Everyone should know their rights in regards to harassment, leave policies, and other rules.

Document Everything

Document everything, including key decisions your HR team makes about policies. Be sure that all employee evaluations are also recorded and filed. When the HR team updates important policies and procedures, have each employee read and sign them and retain up-to-date personnel records.

HR Compliance Updates for 2019

To bring your HR compliance up-to-date for the New Year, review these critical areas.

  1. Research new state, city, or federal labor laws.
  2. Ensure employee classification (exempt/non-exempt) compliance. Employees should be in the correct classification for the work they perform.
  3. Develop or update your employee handbook.
  4. Audit and organize personnel files for compliance.
  5. Audit I-9 forms for compliance.    
  6. Verify that the correct labor laws are properly posted.
  7. Separate active and terminated employee files and I-9 documents.
  8. Check for federal and state minimum wage changes.
  9. Review HR processes for compliance and effectiveness, including recruiting, interviewing, onboarding, engagement, and retention. 
  10. Review employee termination processes to minimize legal and financial risk.
  11. Review unemployment claim processes to minimize legal and financial risk.


Do You Have a Workforce Plan for 2019?

Download our free White Paper, How to Win the War for Talent, to develop your own workforce plan for the coming New Year.

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Scholley Bubenik, founder and CEO of Premier HR Solutions, has over twenty years of senior management experience. Scholley published her first book, “People Power: An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Managing Human Capital,” in 2018.

Scholley began managing people at the age of twenty-four when she opened her own business. She quickly realized the challenges business owners face in the management of people. Scholley has helped numerous companies in multiple industries establish human resource departments. She has a Master’s Degree in human resource management from the University of Texas and is PHR Certified. She has proven success in managing all human resource activities including payroll, benefits, employee development, recruiting, compensation and employee relations. She understands and is comfortable working at a fast pace that start-up and expanding companies demand.