10 Compliance Issues for Employers

Employers need to be aware as local, state and federal laws are constantly in flux. All workplace procedures, policies and practices must be reviewed in order to ensure a legally compliant workplace and to lower any liability risks.

Here are the top 10 compliance issues to pay attention to.

1. Employee Leave Protections

Employers must contend with new laws relating to military leave, paid sick leave and family leave. It’s important to ensure employers and HR staff members all understand how the leave laws relate to their industry, managing the ways the complex ways these issues intersect and how to incorporate them all into company practices, policies and procedures. These laws occur on federal, state and local levels.

2. Cyber Breach Threats

The big presence of the web, mobile phones and social media has a considerable effect on communication, productivity, mobility, interaction, and effectiveness inside the workplace. This means it’s imperative to minimize any cyber breach threats and make sure company, employee and customer information is secure.

It’s the responsibility of employers to keep this information encrypted and secure. They must protect this information through company agreements and policies and correctly train supervisors and employees on how to keep such information safe and how to respond in the case of any breach.

3. Employee and ACA Benefits

How healthcare laws will change under the Trump administration remains in doubt. However, employers must deal with the variety of deadlines, penalties and obligations brought about by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Additional challenges arise as employers work to ensure that wellness programs remain compliant legally.

As attorney Nick Oberheiden says, “The government’s aggression toward medical providers has been increasing in recent years, especially with the onset of the opioid epidemic.” Just last year, in June of 2016, they charged 301 medical professionals for similar crimes, and they have been allocating enormous funds to these enforcement actions. That’s why, if you’ve been charged with health care fraud, you need to find a qualified team of lawyers immediately to take up your case. The government is already building theirs, and they feel confident enough to bring these charges, meaning the defendants are already fighting an uphill battle. Without urgent legal assistance, there’s little chance you will be able to overcome – or mitigate – their charges against you.

4. Redefining the Workplace

The compliance picture gets complicated when considering that more employees work from home. Issues arise when telecommuters work in a different state. Employers must know the labor laws in those different states. Part of staying compliant is paying taxes properly, according to each state’s tax law.

5. Classifying Employees

Employers need to know the difference between employees and independent contractors. Each classification comes with different compliance standards.

6. Marriage Equality

All 50 states recognize same-sex marriages after the Obergefell v. Hodges case. This means employers need to know, for instance, that all spouses must be offered insurance benefits.

7. Hours and Wages

Each state varies in terms of what it considers “work time”. Employers need to remain compliant on which hours are considered “working hours”, break time periods, etc. Some states may count time an employee uses to travel to the airport as work time, while others may not.

8. Wellness

All wellness programs for employees should be looked at with an eye toward the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). EEOC rules include issues centering around restrictions for completing biomedical screenings and/or health risk assessments.

9. Gender

Even though laws protecting against gender discrimination have been in place for years, these regulations have significantly expanded recently. Employers need to stay knowledgeable about discrimination revolving around gender identification and sexual identity.

10. Stay Aware of New Laws

As laws continue to change, it’s imperative for employers to remain vigilant in staying up to date. This is a difficult task to be sure, but compliance law isn’t an area to relax about.

While staying compliant seems like an impossible job sometimes, it’s a matter of doing business and staying out of legal trouble is imperative. Employers need to realize it’s their responsibility to get the help they need to know for sure they are doing business properly according to all local, state and federal laws.