Are you paying attention to the increasing number of employment laws you must follow and the potential for litigation if you fail to comply? Often, employers are their own worst enemies when it comes to legal compliance in the employment arena.
Unfortunately, we live in a world that grows increasingly more litigious, and employment-related lawsuits are on the rise, resulting in additional costs for you company that can directly impact your bottom line.
Is My Company at Risk?
Companies don’t know what they don’t know. This is especially prevalent in the areas of compliance with wage/hour issues and the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. Failure to comply with these two major federal laws can cost your company heavy fines and, in some cases, jail time.
Here are some questions you should be asking:
- Are you confident that you know how to stay compliant?
- Is your company up to speed on how to accurately identify and pay non-exempt workers?
- Can you say with confidence that the I-9 forms, which are used to identify and certify an employee’s eligibility to work in the U.S., are completed correctly?
- What is the current state of your personnel files? Do you know what goes where?
Many unwary employers have found themselves on the wrong end of an audit, as a result of an employee complaint. Based on findings by the Department of Labor, the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission or the Department of Homeland Security, you could find yourself paying hefty fines, back wages and extensive legal fees. You don’t want to go there!
What Can My Company Do?
To fully protect your company from HR risks, you should have two things: HR expertise and a thorough understanding of your company’s current HR status.
If you or your company lacks the necessary level of HR expertise to address the issues discussed above, utilize an experienced HR professional who can lead you through the maze of ever-changing employment laws, rules and regulations to ensure that you are not unintentionally putting yourself at risk.
To gain a better understanding of your company and compliance, undergo a full HR audit, where no stone is left unturned. The audit should cover everything from your files and documents to your policies and practices. Your audit needs to be comprehensive in all areas of compliance.
Often, companies are reluctant to do an HR audit because they are either afraid of what will turn up and are confident that they are doing everything correctly. In both instances, the companies are leaving themselves wide open to potential litigation.
Ultimately, HR related risks, particularly those surrounding employment laws and compliance, can lead to serious repercussions for your company. To reduce your company’s risk, reap the benefits of an HR professional, if your company requires additional HR expertise, and undergo a comprehensive HR audit to identify any areas of neglect or concern.