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The Role of HR in Compliance

Role of HR in Compliance
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Teaching employees and the public about the big “C” word is critical.

HR professionals do more than just hire, fire, and handle payroll. Keeping a business in compliance is at the top of every HR professional’s to-do list.

As a human resources professional, you’re used to people asking what it is you actually do or even making jokes about the unnecessary paperwork that’s always lying on your desk. It’s common for people outside of the world of HR to think that your duties stop after hiring, firing, benefits, and payroll. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Your days are filled with vitally important paperwork, much of which revolves around the big “C” word: compliance.

Legal compliance in HR practices is a huge undertaking, more than one huge undertaking to be specific. There are so many rules, regulations, and federal laws that businesses must meet to the very smallest detail to ensure all employees and the building itself is under compliance. That’s a lot of responsibility for one person or even one team. The best way to ensure your business is in legal compliance in HR practices to follow an HR compliance checklist.

Compliance Issues Every HR Should Know

Here’s an unofficial human resources compliance checklist to get you started:

And these are just a few of the most common laws in place in regards to compliance. There are many other laws and regulations that HR professionals must ensure their businesses are in full compliance with. HR compliance issues require more than just asking an employee to fill out an extra form in their intake packet or fixing an error with an employee’s time entry stamp. These issues are a big deal and can become a huge deal for the entire company if not addressed quickly and succinctly.

Legal Compliance in HR Practices

The role of HR in compliance cannot be emphasized enough. HR professionals are the ones ensuring every step of everything done throughout every single day follows what federal laws, rules, and regulations mandate. While some of your bigger companies may employ one specific person, a corporate compliance officer, to focus solely on compliance, for most companies, this falls into the lap of the human resources department.

Compliance management is a huge undertaking and must be watched with a close, attentive eye as even the smallest of breach in compliance can be enough to shut a company down. Issues that untrained people wouldn’t even think to consider to be at the heart of the focus of every employee search, write-up, probation, and termination. For example, an older handicapped gentleman comes in for an open job interview. He’s unqualified because the job listing stated the position requires someone with at least an associate’s degree. You must be very careful in documenting that point so that the individual doesn’t immediately claim age or disability discrimination when you send him a letter to let him now the job has been filled. In fact, documentation can be your saving grace every time. Thus, the paperwork.

So, the next time someone suggests all you do is hire and fire people and handle piles of “unnecessary” paperwork, hand them an HR compliance checklist, and watch their jaw hit the floor.


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Amy N Barkman
Amy N Barkman
Amy works in higher education and has a bachelor’s degree in English Literature. She loves to read and write, and spends the rest of her free time exploring, fishing, camping, and just being outdoors with her husband and young son. Amy enjoys using her creative talents for writing and graphic design whenever possible.

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