The Website and Blog of HR Author and Speaker Lori Kleiman

HR Compliance in 2018: What Every Human Resource Department Needs to Know

hr compliance in 2018

Human Resources can feel like an ever-changing target in small business today.  Owners and managers do all they can to keep up with HR compliance, but there is always something new.   All this while trying to run your business, but you know that without employees you have nothing.  You can demystify human resources if you know what to look for. To ensure HR Compliance in 2018, we are keeping an eye on these key areas for small business, and if you do too, it will make it easier to tackle your human resources responsibilities.

Federal Agencies and Laws in Congress

The new Secretary of Labor was appointed April 2017 and is still getting settled in the role. Secretary Acosta has a number of vacancies as of the first of the year, which slows down enforcement and new initiatives. What we do know is that the issue of a salary cap for exempt employees is not dead. During his confirmation hearings, he stated that he believed the cap should be changed to the $31 – 33,000 range, so HR professionals are anticipating the overtime issue being revisited in 2018.

Congress is considering a few new laws that will impact the definition of joint employers, and give employers that operate in multiple states a safe harbor provision for paid time off. And then… there is tax reform.  It will be interesting to see how all those issues impact our businesses.  Keeping an eye on Congress is always key for small business owners as employment-related compliance can be a major issue.

Harassment in the Workplace

Harassment is a topic that cannot be ignored given everything that is happening in the media.  It is essential that all businesses have written harassment policies and train employees on those policies.  A formal reporting process should be established and employees need to feel comfortable coming forward to discuss issues if you want your business to stay out of the news!

workplace harassment training for hr compliance 2018

State Laws Continue to Weave a Tangled Web

Every state is passing a variety of laws that impact employers, and local municipalities are making things even more complex passing laws that impact small geographic regions.  Be sure you know your obligations for your area that impact:

  • Minimum Wage
  • Paid Time Off
  • Salary History information
  • Ban the Box
  • Gender discrimination

Marijuana Laws

While the legalized use of marijuana is still a State issue, we have to keep a close eye on what the Federal government may do to streamline the law and enforcement.  And, given the ease of travel these days, businesses have to consider how their policies and drug testing will be impacted if an employee uses marijuana in a state where it is legal for recreational use.  We see medical marijuana approved in many states, and complying with these regulations is another issue HR departments will need to address!

Employee Handbooks

Your policies and procedures are only good if they are current. Often, employee handbooks are written, and additional policies are added during the year. Management rarely goes through and reviews the full handbook to be sure it is current and encompasses all relevant laws. Review your handbook to be sure it includes all new obligations, states an employment at will relationship, and discusses policies that are currently in force in your organization.  And don’t forget to update handbooks for new technology issues, such as allowing employees to use their personal smartphone or other mobile devices to access company websites and social media platforms.

hr compliance 2018 update employee handbook

These are just a few of the high-level human resources issues we see impacting small business at the start of 2018.  It is essential that the small business owner find resources to stay on top of human resources compliance and best practices if you hope to keep top talent and stay out of the news!

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