A good place to lead off your HR compliance checklist is with hiring. Does your organization have in place detailed and transparent information about sourcing, interviewing, and hiring new employees, including an overview of your current application forms and job descriptions? Make sure your forms and practices comply with the Fair Employment and Housing Act and the Americans With Disabilities Act by answering the following questions:
- Is your hiring process holistic and fair?
- Do your organization’s interoffice documents, job portal, job descriptions, software, website, and social media profiles meet the requirements of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines?
- How accurate are your job descriptions?
- How are you eliminating bias from your interview process?
- Where are you pooling candidates from?
Then, check whether your business is subject to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. HIPAA is a federal law that requires certain individuals and organizations to protect individuals’ protected health information from being disclosed without the individual’s knowledge or consent. If you are a covered entity, answer the following questions to ensure you’re complying with HIPAA standards:
- How are you protecting employees’ health information?
- Are you up to date on the latest regulations?
Equal Employment Opportunity
Next, ensure that all of your employment opportunities are honest and upstanding. They can’t discriminate against any group of individuals (i.e., they must be inclusive regarding age, sex, religion, race, and more). Keep the ADA and Affirmative Action Plan in mind.
Review your organization’s internal 2021 workplace safety concerns and violations and answer the following questions:
- How did the team address or fix them?
- Which concerns and violations slipped through the cracks and why?
- Were you complying with all Occupational Safety and Health Administration-related laws?
- Are you now? If not, what steps can you take to comply with OSHA-related laws?
You need to also answer the following:
- Do you have emergency/evacuation plans in place? Are they clearly displayed? Do you have routine training and refreshers?
- Are you offering workplace safety education courses, such as CPR and first-aid training?
- Do your employees require certain certifications for their jobs and have those certifications expired?
Workplace Dissatisfaction and Harassment
Review your current HR policies and reports with these questions in mind:
- Do your policies create a safe space for employees to air concerns and complaints?
- If not, how can you better facilitate open and honest communication?
- Are you taking all complaints seriously? If not, why?
- Do you need to hire new HR staff or overhaul current protocols in place?
- Are you adhering to all harassment regulations?
- How are you protecting employees? Are you doing enough? What can you do to reduce workplace harassment?
Employees’ Physical and Mental Health
To protect your employees’ physical and mental health, look at the regulations and the policies you have in place:
- Do your policies and procedures work to directly protect employees’ physical and mental health?
- How are you monitoring your employees’ overall wellbeing?
- What are you doing to ensure employees are not a danger to themselves or to their co-workers?
- Do your employees know what resources provided by your company are available to them (Ex: healthcare, Employee Assistance Programs, mental health days if applicable, etc)?
- Do you have policies for handling positive COVID-19 cases and workplace outbreaks?
Benefits and Payroll Compliance
Your compliance checklist needs to thoroughly examine benefits and payroll policies/ procedures.
Are your benefits and payroll packages clearly laid out and defined, with no grey area? If not, you need to readjust legislation so your employees know what to expect. Ensure that all of your policies and procedures comply with the Equal Pay Act and Family and Medical Leave Act.
Termination and Offboarding
Finally, you need to evaluate how your organization handles terminations and offboarding. Ask yourself the following:
- If an employee leaves on their own, how will HR handle offboarding? What processes are in place to tackle the transition period between termination and finding a replacement?
- How are terminations handled effectively without fear of a lawsuit?
HR Compliance Notes to Keep in Mind
Here are some notes to keep in mind as you run through your HR compliance checklist:
- Record keeping and data organization are vital for successful HR compliance
- Push for digital transformation within your company to stay up-to-date regarding modern security, workflows, and efficiency
- Keep looking for ways to improve workplace compliance. This will keep employees and the business safe from injuries and lawsuits
- Know when to ask for outside guidance. Reach out to risk and safety experts who can provide added support and knowledge when drafting compliance standards
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