2022 HR Compliance Checklists

October 19, 2022

Compliance is one of the most complex burdens organizations face. HR professionals must be familiar with many employment laws, such as the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act and the Immigration Reform and Control Act, as well as regulations and requirements for hiring and terminating employees. Smooth and effective processes can help ensure HR professionals comply with relevant laws and regulations and that tasks are completed in an orderly manner.

The following checklists can assist HR professionals in developing and maintaining effective processes and help organizations remain compliant:

  • Complying with FMLA
  • Complying with COBRA
  • Complying with WARN Act
  • Completing Form I-9
  • Form I-9 Internal Audit
  • Hiring Out-of-State Employees
  • Voluntary Terminations Offboarding
  • Involuntary Terminations Offboarding

The checklists are not an all-encompassing list of compliance topics but rather subjects relevant to organizations in 2022. These checklists are intended to be used as guides, and the steps in these lists should be modified to meet the unique needs of your organization. Due to the complexities of the subjects, organizations are encouraged to seek legal counsel to discuss and address specific issues and concerns.

 

 

Complying with FMLA

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law that provides eligible employees of covered employers with unpaid, job-protected leave for certain family and medical reasons. In addition to providing eligible employees with leave for qualifying reasons, covered employers must maintain employees’ health benefits during leave and restore employees to their same (or equivalent) jobs after leave.

This checklist outlines key steps for employers to comply with the FMLA. Keep in mind that complying with the FMLA may involve additional steps depending on the facts of a specific situation. Also, many states (and some localities) have their own family and medical leave laws that provide broader leave protections to employees. Employers will need to comply with the FMLA and any applicable state and local leave laws.

 

Complying with COBRA

The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) is a federal law that requires covered group health plans to offer continuation coverage to employees, spouses and dependent children when coverage would otherwise be lost due to certain specific events.

This checklist outlines key steps for administering COBRA coverage. Keep in mind that administering COBRA coverage can be complex and may involve additional steps depending on the details of specific situations. Also, many states have their own continuation coverage requirements for fully insured group health plans, which are often referred to as “mini-COBRA” laws. Employers will need to comply with COBRA and any applicable state continuation coverage laws.

 

Complying with WARN Act

The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act is a federal law that requires employers with 100 or more employees to provide written notice at least 60 days before a plant closing or mass layoff unless an exception applies. This notice is intended to protect workers by giving them time to seek alternative jobs or obtain job training before their termination.

Employers who fail to comply with the WARN Act may be liable for back pay and benefits, in addition to civil monetary penalties, for the period in which notice was not given.

This checklist outlines key steps for complying with the WARN Act’s advance notice requirement. Keep in mind that complying with the WARN Act can be complex and may involve additional steps depending on the facts of a specific situation. Also, many states have their own layoff notice laws, which are often referred to as “mini-WARN” laws. Employers will need to comply with WARN Act and any applicable state and local mini-WARN laws.

 

Completing Form I-9

Federal law requires employers to hire only individuals who may legally work in the United States—either U.S. citizens or authorized foreign nationals. To comply with the law, employers must verify the identity and employment authorization of each individual they hire by completing and retaining the Employment Eligibility Verification form (Form I-9). Employers must have a completed Form I-9 for every employee hired after Nov. 6, 1986.

Complying with Form I-9 requirements accurately and in a timely manner is difficult. The risk employers face for any errors is real and can be extremely expensive. Employers who fail to comply with Form I-9 requirements can face severe consequences, including civil and criminal penalties. This checklist outlines the steps for completing Form I-9 for a newly hired employee. This checklist is intended to be used as a guide, and the steps in this list should be modified to meet the unique needs of your organization and its onboarding process. This checklist should be completed by someone trained in Form I-9 requirements to reduce the risk of errors.

 

 

Form I-9 Internal Audit

This checklist outlines the steps for conducting an internal audit of your organization’s Forms I-9. This checklist is intended to be used as a guide, and not all of the following steps are necessary for an organization’s internal audit. The audit process may differ based on your organization’s size and other factors; thus, the steps in this list should be modified to meet the unique needs of your organization. This checklist is to be completed by someone trained in Form I-9 requirements, such as an HR representative, to help ensure a smooth audit process.

This checklist provides an overview of a Form I-9 internal audit and should not be construed as legal advice. Due to the complex nature of Form I-9 compliance, employers are encouraged to seek legal counsel to discuss and address specific issues and concerns.

 

Hiring Out-of-State Employees

While hiring out-of-state employees gives your organization access to a wider pool of talent, it also requires complying with state and local requirements that may be unfamiliar. In general, the state and local laws that govern an employment relationship are based on where the employee is physically working and earning wages, not where the employer is based. In addition to wage and hour laws, other items that employers may need to consider include workers’ compensation insurance, unemployment insurance and tax obligations.

This checklist outlines key items for employers to consider when hiring out-of-state employees.

 

Voluntary Terminations Offboarding

The offboarding process for voluntary terminations generally begins when the employee provides verbal or written notice that they are ending their employment. It could also be initiated when an employee retires.

This checklist outlines the steps for offboarding employees voluntarily departing your organization. This checklist is intended to be used as a guide, and not all of the following steps are necessary to offboard an employee. The offboarding process may differ based on your organization’s size and other factors; thus, the steps in this list should be modified to meet the unique needs of your organization. This checklist is to be completed by a supervisor, manager or HR representative to help ensure a smooth transition for all employees who voluntarily end their employment.

 

Involuntary Terminations Offboarding

With voluntary terminations, the offboarding process starts when an employee provides verbal or written notice that they are ending their employment. However, the offboarding process for involuntary terminations generally begins when an organization decides to terminate an individual’s employment. There are many reasons an organization may decide to involuntarily terminate an employee, including misconduct, performance issues or layoffs. These factors may impact the offboarding process and compliance with applicable laws.

This checklist is intended to be used as a guide, so not all of the following steps are necessary to offboard an employee. The offboarding process may differ based on your organization’s size and other factors; thus, the steps in this list should be modified to meet the unique needs of your organization. Due to the complexities of terminating an employee, including the many applicable federal, state and local laws, employers are encouraged to seek legal counsel to discuss and address specific issues and concerns. This checklist can be referenced by a supervisor, manager or HR representative to help ensure key steps are not missed for all involuntarily terminated employees.

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