“Compliance” Isn’t a Dirty Word – HR Affiliates Blog
Sure, it sounds sort of scary. But with properly trained personnel, compliance doesn’t have to be frightening. It definitely doesn’t have to be the dirty word that some would make it out to be.
Done properly, compliance at your company should be like your home’s air conditioner: working perfectly behind the scenes. And much like air conditioning on these hot summer days, everyone benefits when it’s working, and everyone suffers when it’s broken.
The High Cost of Non-compliance
While folks often think human resources is all recruitment, retention, and benefits, it also plays a critical role in ensuring an employer complies with laws regarding the employer-employee relationship. These laws and regulations exist to protect both employer and employee. The big ones include the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Family Medical Leave Act, the Employee Retirement Security Act, and Federal Civil Rights laws.
If your company doesn’t comply with these and other state and federal regulations, it’s vulnerable to audits, crippling fines and lawsuits. For example, in 2013, the Department of Labor issued $10 million in civil penalties against employers. These significant monetary costs aside, consider the damaged reputation and loss of goodwill your company could suffer. In reality, no company can afford not to be compliant.
Stay in Compliance, out of Trouble
Staying in compliance isn’t difficult, but it requires effort and, given the changing nature of employment laws, constant education.
Start by hiring or engaging qualified HR people who are familiar with employment and regulatory law, and make sure everyone in the organization understands these laws. This is where a comprehensive employee handbook comes in handy. Have legal counsel review it, and update it regularly.
Internal audits can also be helpful by revealing any potential violations. Typically when preparing for an audit, HR departments use a compliance checklist, which should cover policies regarding everything from recruiting and interviewing to safety requirements and social networking.
Is your company behind on a compliance audit? Check out HR Affiliates free compliance review offer. We’ll let you know if you’re not in compliance, and what you should do to fix any issues.