The new year is a great time to take stock of your company's compliance with important federal, state, and local labor law requirements. Keep these resolutions in mind to help start your company off right in 2017:
1. Give your poster wall a thorough check-up. Make sure all of your workplace posters are up-to-date and the correct size. Check with your state labor department for any industry-specific poster requirements that may apply to your business. Note that certain localities may also have posting requirements.
2. Stay on top of notice requirements. Employers are required to supply employees with a variety of notices. For example, the COBRA General Notice must be provided to employees when they enroll in a medical benefit plan. The COBRA Continuation of Coverage Notice must be provided to an employee and/or dependent when there is a qualifying event. FMLA notices must be provided to an employee who is out of work due to an FMLA qualifying event. Summary Plan Descriptions (SPDs) are required for qualified welfare plans. Employers should confirm that employee communications are accurate, consistent, and in compliance with applicable law.
3. Keep up with record-keeping. In addition to being a good business practice, employers are required to maintain certain types of employee records. Verify that your record-keeping procedures address any requirements related to confidentiality and how long to maintain records. HR Works Virtual HR Helpline clients can call the helpline for assistance with this requirement.
4. Review policies and procedures. Company policies and procedures should be reviewed and updated annually to comply with changes to labor laws. This year there were changes related to equal employment opportunity, sexual harassment, and worker safety, among others. HR Works Virtual HR Helpline Clients will receive the 2017 Handbook Legal Updates within the next few weeks.
5. Confirm that your workers are classified properly. Misclassifying employees as independent contractors can result in costly legal consequences. Also remember that an employee's exempt or nonexempt status is based on his or her compensation and specific job duties. It's a good idea to review job descriptions on a regular basis (at least annually) as well, as tasks and requirements may change. However, neither job titles nor job descriptions determine the exempt or nonexempt status of an employee.
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