By Wayne Smith, Trüpp.
Remember when employment law was easy?
OK, so maybe it was never easy, per se, but at least you could build out a set of policies, treat your employees well, avoid a few common pitfalls, and you were good to focus on growing your business. Today, employers are faced with an ever-changing and growing landscape of employment regulations that vary from state to state, and in some cases, even from city to city.
Paid time off, wage and hour, health care, protected leaves, pay equity, and a host of other laws and regulations dip their fingers into every aspect of employment, requiring endless research, policy updates, and changes to procedures. As soon as you get them implemented, political priorities change and bam! With the stroke of a politician’s pen, your newly updated policies need to be changed again.
Ain’t nobody got time for that!
Good to go, or is it?
Okay. You’ve done your research and implemented new policies, but how confident are you that all the nuances of the new regulations have been addressed? Sadly, the odds are not in your favor. With the Department of Labor (DOL) estimating that 70% of employers are violating the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) alone, many employers are at risk of costly fines that could bring an organization to its knees and most don’t even know it.
What’s an employer to do?
Fortunately, there are several options available to simplify your compliance efforts.
For those that are confident in their ability to understand and implement regulatory changes, you can subscribe to an employment law notification service that will keep you informed of the changing landscape. Those going this route should be sure to set up a monthly or quarterly rhythm to review these notifications and assign action items to ensure they don’t drift away into the deepest recesses of your inbox, never to be heard from again.
Retain an As-Needed Advisor
For added assurance, you can retain an advisor, such as an employment lawyer or HR advice line, to help clarify new rules and requirements. This is best done in conjunction with a notification service to ensure you are aware of, and can seek advice about new laws and regulations relevant to your region or industry. Keep in mind, an advisor or resource library lacks valuable context of your business and its culture. When choosing an HR advisor, look for one that can provide compliance advice that aligns well with your organization’s style and priorities.
Perhaps the easiest way to ensure you HR practices, policies, and procedures are current is to outsource your entire HR function. Not only will you enjoy a comprehensive approach to ensuring compliance, you’ll free up your staff to focus on key business objectives. However, not all HR outsourcing is the same. You’ll want to select an HR company that is not only able to reliably meet the full spectrum of your HR needs, but also adapt their services to your unique culture.
So why spend your time researching employment-related requirements when you could use that time to do what you do best—developing and growing your business. Whether you subscribe to notifications and updates or decide to outsource all or part of your HR to a reputable human resource organization, you can enjoy the peace of mind that comes from knowing your compliance needs are being handled by professionals who understand the trends and nuances of the employment law landscape. What are you waiting for? Take compliance concerns off your plate–it really is the right thing to do for your business.