Employee recruitment, management, and termination is rife with potential legal pitfalls. When you hire employees in multiple states, human resources (HR) compliance is even more time-consuming. Organizations that fall short of state and federal labor regulations open themselves up to significant legal liabilities—but having an HR compliance checklist can lessen the burden.

Compliance with HR regulations stands as a critical concern for businesses of varying scales. While some opt for legal counsel or maintain an in-house legal department to ensure compliance, SixFifty offers a more streamlined and economical solution. Our platform offers a user-friendly way to simplify and enhance HR compliance.

What is the purpose of an HR compliance checklist?

There are several reasons why an HR checklist is important, including:

  • Compliance assurance: The primary purpose of an HR checklist is to ensure that an organization complies with legal and regulatory requirements. By systematically going through the checklist, HR can identify areas where the organization may be at risk of non-compliance and take corrective actions.
  • Risk mitigation: An HR checklist helps identify potential compliance risks and vulnerabilities in HR practices. By addressing these issues proactively, an organization can mitigate the risk of legal consequences.
  • Consistency: Checklists ensure that procedures are followed consistently across the organization, reducing the likelihood of bias, favoritism, or deviations from established protocols.
  • Efficiency: HR professionals often have to manage a wide range of tasks and responsibilities. Checklists provide a structured approach, helping them stay organized and manage their workload efficiently.
  • Documentation: Checklists serve as documentation of HR activities and compliance efforts. They provide evidence that an organization is actively taking steps to follow regulations and maintain a compliant HR environment.
  • Training and onboarding: Checklists are useful in when training and onboarding HR staff. New HR professionals can use checklists as guides to understand and adhere to HR compliance requirements.
  • Communication: Checklists facilitate clear communication within the HR department and between HR and other departments. They can help HR professionals convey compliance expectations to managers and employees.
  • Continuous improvement: Regularly updating and revising checklists allows organizations to adapt to changing regulations and best practices. This encourages a culture of continuous improvement and responsiveness to evolving compliance requirements.
  • Crisis management: In the event of an HR-related crisis, such as a legal dispute or a data breach, checklists can be invaluable in ensuring that the organization follows appropriate procedures and adheres to relevant laws during the crisis response.
  • Accountability: Checklists can help assign responsibility for compliance-related tasks, making it clear who is accountable for each aspect of HR compliance.

In short, an HR checklist is a practical tool that helps organizations maintain legal and ethical HR practices, reduce risk, and promote consistency in HR operations.

HR compliance checklist of necessary items

While the specific items on such a checklist can vary depending on the organization’s location and industry, here are common things you might find on an HR compliance checklist:

Employment law compliance

  • Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) compliance
  • Anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies
  • Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) compliance
  • Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) compliance (wage and hour regulations)
  • Employee classification (exempt vs. non-exempt)
  • Workers’ compensation compliance
  • Compliance with applicable state labor laws

Data privacy and security

  • Compliance with data protection laws (e.g., GDPR, HIPAA)
  • Data handling and storage policies
  • Cybersecurity measures
  • Data breach response plan

Employee records and documentation

  • Proper documentation of HR activities (hiring, evaluations, discipline, terminations)
  • Recordkeeping of employee information
  • I-9 form compliance (employment eligibility verification)

Diversity and inclusion

  • Diversity and inclusion policies
  • Equal pay practices
  • Accommodations for disabilities
  • Reasonable accommodation policies

Compensation and benefits

  • Payroll compliance
  • Compliance with minimum wage laws
  • Benefits administration (healthcare, retirement plans)
  • Tax compliance (e.g., withholding and reporting)

Employee classification

  • Exempt vs. non-exempt classification
  • Independent contractor vs. employee classification

Recruitment and hiring

  • Compliance with employment advertising regulations
  • Fair and consistent hiring practices
  • Background checks and reference checks compliance

Termination and separation

  • Termination procedures
  • Final paychecks and accrued leave compliance
  • Exit interviews

Training and education

  • Anti-discrimination and harassment training
  • Safety training
  • Employee rights and responsibilities

Employee handbooks and policies

  • Up-to-date and comprehensive employee handbooks
  • Clear HR policies and procedures
  • Compliance with medical and family leave laws
  • Employee benefit plans (e.g., 401(k), health insurance)

Reporting and investigation

  • Procedures for reporting HR violations and concerns
  • Investigation protocols for addressing complaints
  • Requirements for government reporting and filings (e.g., EEO-1, ACA reporting)

This checklist serves as a general guide, and organizations should tailor it to their specific needs and circumstances. Regular review and updates can ensure continued compliance with evolving laws and regulations.

Stay in compliance with SixFifty

SixFifty’s platform is designed to make HR compliance fast and easy. We help employers generate their own legally compliant documents, ranging from employee offer letters and handbooks to data privacy compliance and more. Plus, our legal team watches for changes to employment legislation nationwide. When the law changes, we’ll let you know so that you can revise your documents and HR compliance checklist as needed.

Ready to learn more? Schedule a demo today!