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Staying Compliant with Changing Labor Laws: HR’s Guide to Adaption

31 Aug

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Labor law compliance isn’t easy. OSHA standards. FLSA compliance. ADA regs. The list goes on. For many businesses, employment law compliance is one of their greatest challenges—especially since workplace regulations are continually changing.

And it’s not just on the federal level. Every state has its own set of ever-evolving labor mandates, as do many local jurisdictions. And then, of course, there’s industry-specific mandates, too.   

So, how do you stay compliant with employment law changes and trends—and still run your business, too? The trick is to build healthy habits that will not only keep you compliant today, but allow you to proactively adapt to whatever comes next.

Make It a Point to Stay Informed

Chances are, you receive compliance information from multiple sources, and that’s a good thing. By all means, subscribe to government newsletters and HR publications. Follow compliance-minded HR blogs, like this one. Participate in your trade association and local Chamber of Commerce—both are good sources of compliance intelligence.    

And since major regulatory changes make the headlines, tune into the news. For example, the Department of Labor (DOL) will release its proposed overtime rule updates any day. Take note of where you hear it first!

In addition, ask your HR and managerial teams to do the same—and develop an internal process for sharing information.

Tip: Since many workplace regulations go into effect on the first of a new year, be especially alert in the last calendar quarter.

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Conduct Ongoing Self-audits

It’s a given: if you’re unwittingly committing a compliance violation, you want to be the one to find it first, versus Uncle Sam.

That means regularly auditing key areas of your operation, including payroll processes, employee classification, record keeping, and worksite safety.

Many employers find it helpful to develop an audit checklist to manage the process. For example:

All of these deserve a place on your audit checklist. Keep refining that checklist to stay on top of shifting employment law compliance trends.

Practice Rigorous Compliance Training

Have you heard the expression “all of us are smarter than some of us”? This certainly applies to labor law adherence. The more educated your team is when it comes to workplace regulations, the higher your overall workforce compliance is likely to be.

Specifically, make sure your managers remain up-to-speed on sensitive employment issues like harassment and discrimination law, pay transparency, and ban-the-box mandates—which are rapidly evolving at the state and local levels. 

Finally, keep in mind: that when it comes to labor law adherence, lack of knowledge is not a valid reason for non-compliance. Training is key.   

Leverage Your HR Technology

Robust HR technology is one of the strongest compliance tools available to employers. Automated HR systems not only streamline the various compliance-regulated processes, but help eliminate manual errors and, therefore, liability.

In addition, many HR platforms offer built-in features that track and manage compliance training for employees, while reminding employers of upcoming compliance deadlines, such as report and tax filing dates.

Partner with an HR Expert

For many busy employers, labor law compliance is just too complex and important to handle on their own. In that event, partnering with an HR expert can make all the difference—and offer peace of mind, too.  

At VensureHR, we can help you build strong compliance habits, assist with audits, and provide the training your people need. We can not only provide troubleshooting guidance, but help you adapt proactively to upcoming labor law changes. If you’d rather focus on your core business than worry about ever-changing employment laws, learn more about our compliance services here or contact a VensureHR representative.  

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