2019 Human Resources Compliance | Hot Topics | Rea CPA

HR Compliance Is Hot Topic In 2019

Employers To Face A Heightened Focus On HR Compliance

HR professionals already know the importance of ensuring and maintaining compliance in the area of human resources with regard to federal and state regulations. These ongoing compliance issues are serious for both large and small employers. And in 2019, you can expect to see greater emphasis on all things compliance.

The year ahead will bring a heightened focus on HR compliance. Designed to assist employers and workers with compliance issues, the new Office of Compliance Initiatives announced late last year the creation of www.worker.gov and www.employer.gov. These online resources were designed to help HR professionals evaluate updates and policy changes while providing users with effective compliance assistance. Additionally, these initiatives were also developed as a way to help the Department of Labor (DOL) target repeat violators.

HR Compliance | Employer website | Ohio CPA Firm
Worker Resources | HR Compliance | Ohio CPA Firm

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What To Expect

As we embark on the year ahead, remember that any changes to the following regulations should be closely monitored.

Key Federal Policy Agendas

  • Paid Sick Leave – Employers continue to be subjected to complex paid leave laws and HR professionals should observe any proposed and future leave laws that could have a direct impact on the business.
  • Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA) – At many businesses, HR isn’t notified of employees’ FMLA leave requests and/or misuse. This failure by upper management can jeopardize HR compliance and hurt the business. As an HR pro, make sure your managers have knowledge of their role in FMLA compliance.
  • Workplace Immigration – Regulations regarding workplace immigration are complex and require significant work to properly process. Additionally, new immigration policies could be on the horizon that will bring more complexity to the issues. Being knowledgeable and following the government’s guidance will help you leverage outside talent and remain compliant.
  • Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) Overtime Rules – While the proposed overtime update was tabled last year, it is still on the radar at the Federal level. This proposed ruling requested the minimum salary threshold for exempt employees and could influence employers across the nation to increase wages for their employees. It’s smart to pay close attention to any news from the DOL on this matter.
  • Minimum Wage – This year saw various changes to the minimum wage. If you’re an employer operating in multiple regions, be sure to review your pay policies to make sure you are compliant with the various minimum wage rates that are floating around.
  • Compensation Equity – At the state and local level, compensation laws have been rising in popularity, so employers should be ready for changes at the federal level.

Listen to episode 93, “Human Resources 101: Hiring & Retaining Top Talent,” for more insight into this area of business on this episode of Rea’s award-winning podcast, unsuitable on Rea Radio, with Desiree Lyon. 

Other Important Regulations

  • Updating The Regular Rate Of Pay – The DOL issued a proposed regulation, which would clarify and update the types of pay included in calculating the “regular rate of pay”.
  • Redefining Joint Employment – The DOL is expected to issue proposed regulations to further define joint employment under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). These regulations seek to provide clarity regarding the joint liability relationships between subcontractors and franchisees.

Key State Policy Agendas

With the rapid changes in the workforce environment at the state level, HR professionals must be knowledgeable in the following areas:

  • Sexual harassment
  • Pre-employment background screenings
  • Legalizing the private use of marijuana
  • Gender discrimination
  • Vapor smoking in enclosed/indoor workplaces

We understand this is very extensive and ongoing list of topics. Our goal is to continue providing updates and articles as the year progresses. Stay tuned for additional updates to 2019 HR compliance and regulation updates.

Please email Rea & Associates regarding how our HR Consulting Services can assist you with your compliance questions. These services are customizable and based on your business’s unique needs.

By Renee West, SHRM-SCP, PHR (New Philadelphia office)

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Disclaimer: The HR Consulting services are based on the best knowledge of non-attorney specialists at Rea & Associates, Inc. Rea does not provide legal advice. You are encouraged to consult with legal counsel of your choice prior to implementing polices or procedures.