4 Compliance Topics Every Employee Benefits Leader Should Know
Employers face challenges every single day — some of which have a significant impact on their business if not handled properly. For human resources and benefits practitioners, these challenges often fall into the bucket of compliance.
Compliance doesn’t only apply to HR and can impact anything from recruiting, payroll, benefits offerings, and employee retention. They will also likely agree it’s a demanding position to be in — meaning it’s not always easy for HR professionals to prioritize the ever-changing face of compliance issues. Here are some of the top HR compliance issues to keep an eye on.
FLSAs and Family Leave Laws
Wage and Hour Pitfalls (FLSA)
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal law that sets minimum wage, overtime, and minimum age requirements for employers and employees. And, understanding the intricacies of this law is imperative for employers and HR and benefits professionals.
Making a mistake on employee payroll and record-keeping impacts the employee — but it can also cost you, the employer, in lawsuit damages. In fact, employers pay hundreds of millions of dollars each year to settle wage-hour lawsuits. And much of that liability could have been avoided had the employer reviewed and changed its pay policies.
Family Leave Laws
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal leave law that guarantees certain employees up to 12 working weeks of unpaid leave per year with no threat of job loss. While the FMLA is commonly associated with maternity leave, the law also applies to other situations, such as employees with serious medical conditions.
Under this law, employers are required to continue to provide health benefits for eligible workers just as if they were working. Due to its complexity, there are many questions surrounding the FMLA:
- How do you provide employees proper notice?
- Which conditions qualify for FMLA?
- How do you distribute a designation notice?
- What should you expect when employees return to work?
- When and why should you extend an employee’s leave?
Workplace Harassment and Employee Health and Wellness
Workplace harassment can be a tricky policy to navigate, even for the most seasoned HR and benefits practitioners. Not only must HR leaders navigate the space for the safety and well-being of their employees, but they also need to focus on ensuring compliance with legal and regulatory guidelines.
To improve compliance and understanding throughout the workforce, a number of states now mandate harassment prevention training at work. Is yours one of them? What else is your organization doing to ensure compliance?
Employee health and wellness
There continues to be a lot of chatter surrounding health and wellness programs in the workplace, especially in light of the Great Resignation and with so many employees working from home.
While offering these benefits has been linked to increased job satisfaction and employee productivity, providing these offerings comes with its own set of challenges – including how they coordinate with existing programs such as ERISA, COBRA, FMLA, and others.