Compliance Alert FINALFor employers, meeting the compliance requirements that govern their field is a moving target. With these regulations changing frequently as a result of new legislation like the ACA, companies need to understand some of the most common mistakes that are made so that they can prepare themselves to avoid them in the future.

Here are some of the most frequent regulatory compliance issues and some steps on how your business can avoid facing them.

Unemployment Entitlement

Every business owner knows that from time to time, it’s necessary to let an employee go because of misconduct. When an employee is fired for intentional wrongdoing, the laws in most states, including New York and Connecticut, don’t allow them to collect unemployment benefits.

However, many employers underestimate what is required to prove whether or not an employee was being immoral or willfully breaking company policy. This is especially common in small businesses, where human resources policies are often less rigid. For example, if your small business decides to fire an employee but you did not give them a handbook when they first joined the company, they could file an unemployment claim on the grounds that they weren’t made properly aware of your policies. This will cause your unemployment insurance to increase.

To avoid this problem, always make sure that you provide employees with the necessary information about company policy and confirm that they have read it. You should also keep a record of misconduct by employees to prove that they were violating policy before they were terminated.

Questions Asked During an Interview

Employers know that they have to ask the questions that will properly screen prospective employees to see whether or not they would be a good fit. However, many employers make the mistake of asking questions that violate major federal laws, including the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

Some of the most common questions asked by employers that are actually illegal pertain to:

  • Marital status: asking if someone is married or not
  • Holidays or religious events: for example, asking if an employee goes to church to see if they are available to work on Sundays
  • Nationality: employers cannot ask what country a candidate is from, but they can check to make sure that the candidate is allowed to work in a certain country

Avoid potential regulatory compliance issues relating to hiring by making sure that none of your interview questions pertain to race, gender, age, marital status or religious affiliation.

Wage Theft Prevention Act Compliance

The Wage Theft Prevention Act (WTPA) is a law that was put in place in 2011 to protect workers in New York from being underpaid. It’s vital that employers understand the rules of the law and are aware of any changes. For example, starting in 2015 New York lifted the annual requirement for employers to provide their existing workers with a written statement about their pay that must be signed and returned. However, it is still necessary for employers to receive this signed confirmation from new employees.

Family and Medical Leave Act Compliance

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) governs the rights that employees have when it comes to taking time off as a result of personal or medical reasons. This law is a significant one when it comes to employer-employee relations, which makes it important to understand. The FMLA is another labor law that is updated regularly: in February of 2015 it was announced that same-sex spouses will have the same rights under the FMLA act as traditional marriages effective March 27, 2015.

No matter what sort of business you are in, compliance issues can have a serious negative impact. Whether you are looking for WTPA compliance assistance or HR outsourcing, Paypro can help you avoid fines and other regulatory compliance issues so that your organization can continue to operate smoothly.

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