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Guest blog by Haifa Aboobacker – growth assistant at airtract.com.

All organizations need to comply with the rules, regulations, and laws of the State where they are based. HR has to take a proactive approach to make sure that the organization meets those legal obligations. This not only means being responsible to meet the health and safety needs of the employees but also ensuring that the employees receive their statutory and contractual workplace rights.

The rights range from preventing workplace discrimination, following the right recruitment policies, to making sure the employees are paid what they deserve. Thus, HR compliance needs to stay on top of any changes initiated in the employment law, be it gender pay reports or employing foreign staff.

Being an HR is a challenge. It is the human resource issues that break or make a company. Deciding how the organization meets the responsibilities and handles compliance issues is also an important task for them. Following are 6 issues that every HR official needs to stay aware of.

  1. Hour and wage compliance issues

The Hour and Wage Laws include rules on child labor, the number of hours worked, overtime, minimum wage, and recess time. The Fair Labor Standards Act is a federal law that establishes overtime and minimum wage requirements, but even then, many states have their own laws.

Compliance issues on the inaccuracy of wages are bound to come up when a company does not keep a track on the attendance and time of the employees. This error is most likely to pop up in businesses that still use the manual entry of the payroll information. HR needs to ensure that all employees are fairly compensated, according to their working hours.

  1. Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

A federal law which allows the staff to get up to twelve weeks off from work due to medical or family reasons. This act protects employees from losing their job when they have to take an extended leave.

Employees that need twelve weeks of time off, though being unpaid, should be allowed to come to work without any penalties. As an HR official, you must make sure that the employees are treated fairly as per the regulations of FMLA.

  1. Workplace safety compliance

The OSH (Occupational Health and Safety) Act was enforced for ensuring that the employees have safe working conditions. The Act, which is enforced by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, states that every working woman and man has the right to safe and healthy working conditions.

Though the Act is still undergoing changes and rectifications due to administrative issues, the HR officials must keep an eye on reporting and recording requirements.

  1. Compliance to Immigration Laws

Under the US Immigration laws, businesses can only hire employees who are eligible to work in the country. This includes the citizens, the non-citizen nationals, permanent residents, and foreigners with a work permit. Organizations not only have to verify the eligibility of the candidates through the documentation but should also make sure that there is no discrimination against the employees who are aliens.

Immigration has been a topic of discussion for the past few years, and will remain to be in the next couple of years too. With the administration tightening its restrictions, HR leaders need to make sure that their recruitment processes are at par.

  1. Federal Civil Rights compliance

Federal civil rights for employees are all about protecting the civil liberties of the individuals looking for employment. The rights are also about protecting the employees from getting fired when the decision is related to their civil liberties.

Organizations cannot take into account age, gender, or race at the time of hiring. Cases against organizations regarding infringement of civil rights can turn out to be really costly, and HR plays a crucial role in protecting the business from that.

  1. Employee retirement plans and other benefits

Proper compliance is a must when it comes to employee retirement plans, benefits programs, overtime compensation, and other areas of entitlement. There are several laws like the Affordable Care Act, the Patient Protection Act, and the Employee Retirement Security Act that pertain to employee benefits.

These are the top areas where compliance issues arise, and the human resource team needs to pay attention to. Employee benefit and retirement laws have not seen much change in the last few years, and so, keeping track of those should be easier for the HR officials.

Dealing with the compliance issues effectively keeps the employees happy, and keeping the employees happy also means a more productive workplace. And, that is exactly what every organization wants, and every HR team strives for.

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