HR Compliance Checklist: Everything You Need to Know

Human Resource professionals typically use HR Compliance Checklists to prepare for an HR audit. Government agencies are required to have formal HR audits, but there are benefits for a business to conduct yearly audits. These benefits include:

  • Ensures the company implements best practices for their policies.
  • Helps to create manuals for hiring and retaining employees and helping them toward achieving superior performance.
  • Enhances the business's reputation.
  • Makes sure the business systems are creating results.
  • Keeps the business within the legalities of employment.

Recruiting and Interviewing

The HR checklist should include information about recruiting and interviewing new employees, and it should include a review of the current application form and any internal job descriptions. The company should place special emphasis on handling of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Fair Employment and Housing Act with regard to legal wording.

This checklist should also place emphasis on defining at-will employment. It should focus on interviewing procedures with regards to the specific questions and who conducts the interviews. Finally, the recruiting and interviewing section should review how the company checks references in compliance with employment law.

Hiring Procedures

Under hiring procedures, the checklist should include reviewing offer letters, contracts, and new-hire orientations. It should include a review of documents that are provided upon hiring with special emphasis on Title VII, which refers to discrimination against employees for religion, sex, race, national origin, or color, as well as the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.

Policies and Procedures

The checklist should involve checking the personnel handbook and the company's policies and procedures. A reassessment analysis helps to make sure that the company is following all state and federal laws about employment. Among those statutes are:

When reviewing these policies, the HR checklist should also consider:

  • Drug and alcohol-free workplace specifications
  • Rehabilitation services
  • Equal pay
  • Ergonomics issues

Safety Section

Verify that Occupational Safety and Health Act standards are being followed as well as any other safety issues in the workplace.

For any companies that use chemicals, the safety checklist should include approaches to chemical safety and hazard communications that are federally approved. It should also include a requirement to tour the physical environment to make sure there is an emphasis on the safety of employees and customers.

Employee Handbook

The employee handbook offers a guideline for all employees and should include all work issues. It is the fundamental document for employees concerning their employment and HR issues. The following policies should all be comprehensively addressed in the employee handbook.

  • The Equal Employment Opportunity policy should follow all federal, state, and local regulations. It should also be reviewed often.
  • The dress code should address:
    • Tattoos
    • Extreme hair color
    • Distracting body piercings
    • Scents and aromas that could bother employees or customers
  • Cellphone use policies may include:
    • Talking or texting during work hours
    • Phones set to vibrate
    • Safety issues involving cell phones including talking or texting while driving
    • Taking pictures during work hours
  • Similarly, an internet policy should be in place that addresses:
    • Guidelines for composing emails
    • Internet sites that employees should avoid
    • Information about email policies and whether work emails are subject to review

The employee handbook should also define proper and inappropriate relationships at work. Finally, there should be a policy that prohibits discussing salaries or benefits with other employees.

Along with an employee handbook, you should also have employee posters displayed prominently throughout the workplace. You should have at least six copies of all required posters according to federal law.

Social Networking

Employers should create a social networking policy at work that includes the following:

  • Social networking sites should be prohibited during working hours.
  • Employees posts are safeguarded concerted activity — even when they are judgmental of management.
  • Supervisors and managers should not check personal social media pages of employees.
  • Managers should be discouraged from "friending or following" employees.
  • NLRB regulations urge employers not to tell employees what they can or cannot post on social media.

Sexual Harassment, Bullying, and Drugs

Your company should have annual sexual harassment training for all managers and employees. Your company should also take a hard stance against bullying. Bullying may happen in the workplace or in cyberspace and might be emotional or physical. The company should have a way for employees to anonymously report any type of bullying.

Furthermore, you should implement a Drug-Free Workplace Program, helping to lower workers' compensation premiums and prevent or resolve drug issues in the workplace.

DISC Program

Implementing a DISC program enables you to hire the best employees by measuring whether applicants are:

  • People-oriented
  • Multitaskers
  • Detail oriented
  • Hard driving Type A

The company should also send new hire reports to the state employment agency database.

Affirmative Action, EEO, and Veterans Checklist

If you have more than 50 employees and federal government contracts of at least $50,000, you are covered by Affirmative Action and must update your Affirmative Action plan annually.

As of 2017, you must file reports about EEO-1 and VETS 4212. EEO-1 reports are due March 31, 2018, and focus on the need to include pay data in payroll information from W-2 forms. The Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act requires VETS 4212 reports by Sept. 30 every year. Companies are required to send this report if they fall into one the following categories:

  • The company has at least 100 employees
  • The company has 50 employees and an Affirmative Action Plan

Management Training

The company should offer management training focusing on the following concerns:

  • Counseling and dismissing employees
  • Performance appraisals
  • Managing difficult employees
  • Training in diversity and harassment

If you need help with an HR Compliance Checklist, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Stripe, and Twilio.