Legal experts recommend that every employer start the year with an six-part legal checkup to ensure compliance with current employment laws.
Here’s the list from the law firm of Moore & Van Allen:
- Do a quick review of your company’s written vacation policy. Take a look to ensure that the policy provides proper notice of forfeiture, carryover, and accrual of vacation. Do a checkup to see that you’re in compliance with state laws. For instance, some special rules apply in states like California regarding forfeiture of accrued vacation.
- Update your company confidentiality agreement. First, make sure your agreement is tight and covers appropriate employees. A lot of law firms report that laid-off employees are taking revenge — or looking for an edge in finding a new job — by handing out confidential info from former employers. If you don’t have an up-to-date agreement, you leave your company open to such attacks. Second, review your agreements and policies to ensure they don’t prohibit employees from discussing their wages or terms and conditions of employment with their fellow employees. The National Labor Relations Board views such prohibitions as illegal interference with concerted activity, even if your company is not unionized.
- Get FMLA compliant. If your company has 50 or more employees, make sure that you post the FMLA poster that the US Department of Labor issued in 2009. Update your FMLA forms and policies, if you have not done so already. (To see if you’re in compliance with FMLA and other federal posting requirements, use the DOL compliance advisor.
- Get your managers up to speed on harassment policies. Review the policies with the bosses, and get them to schedule beginning-of-the-year meeting with their departments to review the policies.
- Get FLSA compliant. Review the company’s classification of employees as exempt from overtime under federal and state wage and hour laws. Lawsuits and investigations based on improper classifications of employees continue to be a hot area of the law and can result in significant awards against employers.
- Conduct an internal I-9 audit. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced new I-9 audits for employers. Make sure your bases are covered.