Compliance Update!

Training as a Cost-Effective Compliance Strategy

Update!
Employees can be discriminated against for many reasons. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission the main reasons are age, disability, equal pay, national origin, pregnancy, race, religion, retaliation, sex, and sexual harassment. (EEOC home page) There are also many ways in which an employee can be discriminated against. According to the EEOC an employee can be discriminated against in any aspect of employment, including everything from compensation, assignment, or classification of employee, to job advertisements and even transfers, promotions, layoffs, and recalls. (EEOC discriminatory practices) This wide span of reasons and ways to discriminate leaves employers open to many lawsuits, especially if their managers and leaders are not trained on the topics.

Examples like these show the value of employers properly educating their staff. Training employees on all reasons and ways of discrimination helps them understand they need to avoid costly mistakes.

Cost of Non-Compliance
Non-compliance costs include fines settlements, business disruption, productivity loss, revenue loss etc. What’s more, it’s getting more expensive every year. The average cost for organizations that experience non-compliance problems is $14.82 million, a 45% increase from 2011. While it’s easy to ascribe this increase to the high-profile fines, the real cost of non-compliance is much more serious.

According to the study, the biggest cost of non-compliance is business disruption rather than any fines or penalties. When found to be non-compliant, businesses can be forced to implement compliance changes before being able to resume business.

This can have a knock-on effect on business areas that aren’t even subject to the regulations being breached, potentially paralyzing the entire business. If compliance has to come in the form of new processes being introduced, further disruption will come in the implementation and training of staff.

The key objectives of compliance training are to:

  • Ensure that staff are aware of their compliance responsibilities
  • Reduce risk for fines, penalties and criminal sanctions
  • Remove legal liability from the organization in the event of malpractice and vicarious liability by their Leadership, Managers and HR Professionals
  • Protect the organization’s reputation
  • Encourage a better workplace culture

Other Factors
Qualified and Certified HR and Compliance Trainer
Ensure you hire a qualified and certified compliance professional who has conducted training for all populations. They need to have credentials and provide proper tracking for all training conducted. Depending on your state regulations, those who conduct mandatory training will support you with follow up on all inquiries and guide you to be compliant. The trainer should be able to conduct training onsite, seminar style and online training. Your corporate compliance training should cover your internal regulations as well as external laws. You should also conduct a risk assessment to identify areas of high risk so you can prioritize resources to tackle these first and ensure appropriate and sensible control measures are put in place.

Make It Accessible
Employees are busy and taking them away from their working environment to do their corporate compliance training limits how often you can provide training and the positive impact it will have.
By making your content available online, you’re able to provide 24/7 training, so your staff can keep up to date regardless of their location.
You also reduce the risk of regulation changes being missed as online training programs allow you to update content in real-time. As your practices and policies change, so can your resources. Remember, consistency is key.

Follow-Up on an Annual Basis
Don’t forget to stay in touch with your attendees to see if they need additional services or update training needs. Use email automation to stay connected and to establish continued support.
Creating an effective corporate compliance training program that addresses all of your organization’s requirements and is easily accessible will prove to be of huge value to the business. Your role should be to educate your employees to ensure they have all the information they need. By considering the points above, you’re on the right track to ensuring the business is approaching training in an ethical and compliant way.

Provide Compliance Updates
Providing Compliance Alerts will remind your clients of the need for creating a strategy to maintain compliance and learning about new regulations.

Training as a Cost-Effective Risk Management Strategy
Training continues to be a cost-effective risk management strategy. With all the changes in federal, state and local regulations it is more critical now to ensure training for leaders, Managers, Supervisors, HR Professionals and Compliance Professionals. There are so many training options to choose from that it is important to have a trainer with compliance experience, experience with creating and conducting training, and with the necessary credentials.

Margie Faulk, PHR, SHRM-CP, High Value/Low Cost Compliance Training Option
Margie Faulk, PHR SHRM-CP, Compliance Officer for HR Compliance Solutions, LLC has over 15 years of HR and Compliance experience, Margie has been providing compliance training for over 21 compliance institutes for 5 years. Margie is offering her own compliance training for her contacts, members and subscribers. The High Value/Low Cost Compliance Training Series is offered at a lower cost than other compliance trainings Margie conducts with other compliance institutes. The compliance series is Margie’s commitment to the HR and Compliance Industries that has provided her with great mentors, colleagues and support throughout her HR and Compliance career. Cost of these compliance webinar trainings range from $49-$99 a 50% savings from the company sponsored webinars. Free customized compliance tools created by Margie will be part of the resources and HR certification from SHRM will be offered as well.

Contact Margie Faulk, PHR, SHRM-CP to schedule your High Value/Low Cost Compliance Training at mfaulk@hrcompliance.net or via cell phone at (407)914-7336.

 

New W4 Form Launched by the IRS for 2020!

December 5, 2019

Update!
On December 5, the IRS issued the redesigned 2020 Form W-4 (Employee’s Withholding Certificate). The new form no longer uses withholding allowances. Instead, there is a five-step process and new Publication 15-T (Federal Income Tax Withholding Methods) for determining employee withholding.

The payroll community has anticipated the release of a redesigned Form W-4 since the enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act required significant changes to the form. The IRS postponed this new Form W-4 redesign in the 2018 and 2019 tax years due to time constraints and concerns from the payroll community.

Now, the IRS has issued the final 2020 Form W-4 with a five-step process (only Steps 1 and 5 must be completed) for determining employee withholding as follows:

  • Step 1. For an employee’s personal information and his/her anticipated filing status to determine the standard deduction and tax rates used to compute withholding.
  • Step 2. For an employee who has: (1) more than one job at the same time, or (2) are married filing jointly and both the employee and his/her spouse work.
  • Step 3. Provides instructions for determining the amount of the child tax credit and the credit for other dependents that you may be able to claim when you file your tax return.
  • Step 4. For an employee to enter: (1) other estimated income for the year (e.g., interest, dividends and retirement income), (2) deductions other than the standard deduction to reduce withholding and (3) any additional tax the employee wants withheld for each pay period.
  • Step 5. The employee signature and date under penalties of perjury.

What Does This Mean for Employers?

  • Ensure you have the most updated W4 by the IRS
  • Download the instructions to understand what is required by the IRS
  • Learn to communicate with the employees to utilize the new W4 forms

Next Step Recommendation

 

Is the Pay Data Collection Out for 2020?

September 11, 2019

Citing the high burden on employers and the unproven usefulness of the program, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced today that it will halt further collection of pay data during future EEO-1 reporting cycles. While you still need to turn over compensation information from both 2017 and 2018 when you submit your Component 2 pay data as part of your EEO-1 submission by September 30, today’s announcement may mean this will be a one-time effort that may not need to be repeated in 2020. What do you need to know about today’s news?
The EEOC announcement seeks to wrest back power from the court and put a halt to any future efforts. EEOC Chair Janet Dhillon released a 9-page report on behalf of the Board in the Federal Register today, scheduled for publication on September 12, reestablishing the agency’s authority when it comes to pay data.
What Does This Mean for Employers?
You still must submit the 2017 and 2018 pay date required by the Pay Data Component 2 Requirement. By conducting your own audit of pay practices, you will be able to determine whether any pay gaps exist that might catch the eye of the federal government if or when you are forced to turn over this information. You may have time to determine whether any disparities that may exist can be justified by legitimate and non-discriminatory explanations, or whether you will need to take corrective action to address troublesome pay gaps.
Next Step Recommendation
Be proactive before federal and state regulations mandate the data. Many states have aggressively launched pay data requirements so Pay Data Reporting is not totally off the radar.
For more information about the impact of Workplace Compliance Regulations, please subscribe to my website at www.hrcompliance.biz and receive updated compliance alerts & monthly Newsletter, webinar notices, and information on compliance resources!

 

New I-9 Form Scheduled to Be Changed After the Expiration

August 31, 2019

In June 2019 USCIS issued another comment period by the Federal Register to solicit feedback on the Form I-9 However, many Employers and HR Professionals were unaware of the feedback or the 60-day response deadline which has come and gone in July 2019!
Most changes proposed are changes to administrative explanations to clarify certain confusion. In response to the Form I-9 notice (and opportunity for feedback), What emerged were five broad areas where the USCIS can make a significant improvement to the employment eligibility verification process. These include:
• Remote I-9 processing
• The Use of N/A
• Section 1 information clarity
• Refining the Lists of Acceptable Documents
• Harmonizing I-9 and E-Verify rules and
• Overall simplification
Many Immigration and Employee Labor forms responded to the comments for changes but there were only 21 responses. As a result, there were several proposed changes which will go in effect soon!
For more information about the impact of Workplace Compliance Regulations, please subscribe to my website at www.hrcompliance.biz and receive updated compliance alerts & monthly Newsletter, webinar notices, and information on compliance resources!

FMLA-New Proposed Forms Changes

August 23, 2019

On August 5, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor announced a 60-day public comment period on proposed revisions to WHD’s optional-use FMLA forms. The goal in revising the forms is to increase compliance with the FMLA, improve customer service, and reduce the burden on the public by making the forms easier to understand and use.
WHD drafted revisions with input from the public and is seeking comment on the proposed changes, which include:

  • Fewer questions requiring written responses; replaced by statements that can be verified by simply checking a box
  • Reorganization of medical certification forms to more quickly determine if a medical condition is a serious health condition as defined by the FMLA
  • Clarifications to reduce the demand on health care providers for follow-up information
  • More information on the notification forms to better communicate specific information about leave conditions to employees

Comments must be submitted by October 4, 2019 WHDPRAComments@dol.gov . Comments, including any personal information provided, become a matter of public record. They will also be summarized and/or included in the request for Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval of the information collection request.
You may access the current DOL FMLA forms at www.dol.gov/whd/fmla/forms
For more information about the impact of Workplace Compliance Regulations, please subscribe to my website at www.hrcompliance.biz and receive updated compliance alerts & monthly Newsletter, webinar notices, and information on compliance resources!

It’s OT compliance time:
DOL unveils new proposed overtime rules!

July 2019

After two years of speculation, false starts and hand-wringing, the U.S. Department of Labor finally published its much-anticipated overhaul of the nation’s overtime rules. Released last night, these proposed rules are meant to replace the Obama-era rules that never went into effect.

The big news: The DOL wants to raise the minimum overtime salary threshold by 50% from the current $23,660. That means exempt administrative, executive and professional employees will be eligible for overtime pay as long as they don’t earn more than $35,308 per year ($679 per week).

White-collar employees who earn that amount or less will be eligible for overtime pay when they work more than 40 hours in a workweek.

The new threshold is slated to go into effect Jan. 1, 2020.
The change will likely mean that at least one million additional white-collar employees will suddenly qualify for overtime pay. The changes don’t require congressional approval. More Details to Come……..

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