HR Compliance Checklist

August 11, 2020


By Lisa Calick

Regardless of a company’s size, it is important to make sure that its policies and practices comply with employment laws that exist at the Federal, State, and Local levels.  Doing so will help to minimize liability and risk. Below are some key areas that a company should pay close attention to.

Hiring and Onboarding

  • Have job descriptions and job postings been reviewed to ensure they are current and contain accurate information?
  • If employment applications are used, are they compliant with state and federal laws, and free from requesting protected information?
  • Are offer letters and/or employment agreements used? If so, are they customized for each individual and have they been reviewed to ensure they are compliant?
  • Is a background investigation completed for new hires, and if so are the proper disclosures provided and steps taken to comply with state and federal laws?
  • Are the newest versions of the I-9 and W-4 forms being used?
  • Are the proper steps of the I-9 process being followed, with forms completed within 3 days of hire? Are employees with temporary work authorization asked to re-verify when their documents expire?
  • Are hiring managers and others involved in interviewing aware of potential bans on inquiring about salary history? Are they also trained on what not to ask during an interview?

Payroll and Benefits

  • Are employees correctly classified as exempt or non-exempt?
  • Do pay practices comply with federal and state laws regarding minimum wage and overtime pay?
  • If independent contractors are used, has a review been done to ensure they are not improperly classified?
  • Are final paychecks provided on time?
  • Are new employees made aware of their benefit plan options on a timely basis?
  • Are benefit plans reviewed annually?
  • If applicable, is continued coverage under COBRA or mini-COBRA offered to departing employees in a timely manner?

General Compliance

  • Are federal, state and local labor law posters, and any required, notices displayed in the workplace?
  • Do all company policies and procedures comply with federal and state labor laws, including time off and leave policies?
  • Is there an employee handbook and if so, has it been reviewed and updated, where needed?
  • Do written policies exist for topics such as equal opportunity, discrimination and harassment?
  • Have employees been trained on sexual harassment, as may be required by some state laws?
  • Are personnel files maintained that include all employee documents? Are documents with protected medical information kept separately?
  • If over 100 employees, is an EEO-1 report filed annually?
  • Does the company comply with health and safety regulations?

Employee Relations

  • Is there a system in place for performance evaluations?
  • What process is in place for determining disciplinary action? Is documentation kept to support such action?
  • How are employee terminations handled?
  • If severance payments are provided, are employees asked to sign a release agreement?
  • Do exit interviews take place?

The above checklist, while not all-inclusive, can be used to identify possible areas of risk before they become problematic for a company.

Concerns about your company's HR Compliance? Reach out to your Wiss HR expert.


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