HR Compliance Guide for 2022 – Forbes Advisor

Human resources leaders in charge of HR compliance should be aware of these common issues that can run afoul of US and state labor laws.

Discriminatory Job Listings

Several US laws regulate and define discrimination in hiring, including the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Civil Rights Act of 1991, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Equal Pay Act (EPA) , the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA), the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

These laws prohibit discrimination in hiring based on protected classes, which, according to the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, include “race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation or gender identity), national origin, age (40 or older ), disability and genetic information (including family medical history).” By extension, they also prohibit language in job listings that shows favor based on these classes.

non compliant interview questions

Because of laws prohibiting discrimination in hiring, HR compliance requires careful oversight of questions prospective hires are asked in job interviews. Your hiring managers should steer away from any questions that directly seek information about protected classes—such as “how old are you,” “where are you from,” “what year did you graduate” or “what are your plans for having kids.” “

Thoroughly train anyone who will be involved in the interview process and prepare questions that focus on an interviewee’s work experience and qualifications for the open job.

Lack of Security

Employees’ and candidates’ personal and health information must be kept confidential, and that includes protecting electronic copies and digital information from unauthorized access. Ensure a consistent system for receiving, storing and sharing information such as job applications, resumes, tax forms, bank account information and information related to health care plans that comes with sufficient security.

Printed documents should always be stored properly and should never be accessible to unauthorized employees, and digital forms should be password protected and shared only with authorized employees.

For online applications and document storage, HR management (HRM) software can ensure streamlined processes and secure storage.

Employee Misclassification

Whether workers are classified as employees or independent contractors impacts their pay, tax responsibilities, which rights and benefits they’re entitled to and which requirements you face as a company. Misclassifying employees as contractors means depriving workers of the compensation and protections they’re entitled to under the law.

Deliberately misclassifying employees as contractors to save money is a clear red flag. Assuming this isn’t happening at your company, where you might run into compliance issues is instead in misusing your contractors. You can’t dictate when or where contractors work or the manner in which they complete their work. For example, if your company expects contractors to be in the office or sets a schedule for them, you could be violating tax and labor laws. Adjust your working relationship with contractors or reclassify the roles as employees to extend those workers the proper tax treatment, compensation and benefits.

The FLSA also requires you to pay minimum wage and overtime wages for certain employees who work more than 40 hours a week. Employees are classified as either exempt or nonexempt under this law based on their job duties, so make sure you classify and pay accordingly. Many states have a higher minimum wage requirement than the federal requirement, so understand and follow state laws as well.

Incomplete Documentation of Eligibility to Work

All new employees are required to fill out a Form I-9 attesting their authorization to work in the US, and provide documentation proving their identity and authorization to work. This could include a US passport, permanent resident card, employment authorization card, US state driver’s license, Social Security card or other documents that establish identity and/or work authorization. You’re required to review these documents as part of completing and filing the form.

If you hire an employee who is living in the country with a visa—such as a work or student visa—they must also have an authorization to work. The visa lets them enter and stay in the country as long as they’re working or going to school, but it isn’t a work permit. If you sponsor a work visa as an employer and terminate the employee before their authorized period of stay ends, you’ll be liable for transportation costs for their return home.

Union Interference

Per the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), you cannot interfere with employees’ rights to organize and collectively bargain for terms and conditions of employment. Once employees form or join a union, you’re required to bargain in good faith about mandatory subjects, including wages, hours, vacation time, insurance and safety.

Some examples of noncompliance with the NLRA include: not bargaining in good faith, threatening to fire employees or close the business if they organize, questioning employees about union sympathies or activity, firing or punishing employees who organize, or retaliation against employees who air unfair labor. exercises.

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