5 Ways to Improve HR Compliance
Human Resources compliance is a necessity for any business, now more important than ever. Today Americans are suing employers for overtime pay in record numbers, ICE has become less willing to negotiate/settle for errors found in I-9 inspections, and the Department of Fair Employment and Housing has reported a dramatic spike in claims. During the economic downturn, companies looked to cut costs in many areas, often resulting in decisions that were not compliant. Unfortunately, many of these changes are creating an adverse impact and now employees are fighting back. No company is protected from these charges; even large corporations like Verizon and Oracle have faced large wage-and-hour lawsuits in the past year. Employers of all sizes should re-evaluate HR compliance in order to avoid costly litigation.
Numbers to know:
- 7,006 wage-and-hour suits were filed in 2011, many of them class actions (up 32% from 2008 and quadruple from 2000)
- $225 million was recovered in back wages for employees in 2011
- Civil penalties exceeded $5M in 2010 (up from $700k in 2008)
- 2,200+ I-9 inspections in 2010 (up from 500 in 2008)
- $110-$1,100 penalty per I-9 violation
- Between 1997-2010, disability discrimination and harassment claims increased by 75.6%.
Here are 5 tips to implement HR compliance:
- Make sure your employees are properly classified as exempt or non-exempt, or contractor status in accordance with FLSA standards. Employees must be paid overtime unless they fall under the exemptions defined by the FLSA.
- Keep your documents current: Make sure your documents are regularly updated as employment laws change every year. Be sure to incorporating compliance and workplace philosophies into your Employee Handbook update. SharedHR promises an HR compliance guarantee.
- Audit Your Employee Files: Be sure to have all necessary paperwork for each employee in a secure place. (Employers must retain I-9s for all current employees.)
- Review your recruiting and hiring process: Ensure Equal Employment Opportunity Commission compliance by evaluating the steps taken to identify, evaluate and select incumbents.
- Implement Harassment Training Programs- This is required for California employers with 50 or more employees, but we recommend this for all.