As a small to mid sized employer, you may have wondered or even stressed about, what HR practices apply to your business? Here are a few things to implement and start paving the way to compliance:
1) Keep People Safe
It seems easy enough, but did you know that the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) has compliance regulations in place that employers must comply with? It doesn’t matter if your are in an office or on a construction site, Non-compliance can land you with some hefty fines. A business in Colorado Springs was hit with a $61,731 fine in 2016.Would your business be able to foot a bill like that and remain viable? For many, the answer is probably and understandably, no. If you’re wondering why OSHA is so strict, here is a shocking statistic: In the United States 769 people died on the job in 2017 alone.
Start working towards safety compliance so you don’t get stuck with hefty fines after a random OSHA audit, or worse, a work site injury or fatality.
If you are a small-mid sized business, check out these free resources:
- OSHA Small Business Handbook: https://www.osha.gov/Publications/smallbusiness/small-business.html
- OSHA on-site consultation: https://www.osha.gov/dcsp/smallbusiness/consult.htm
- Contact your Workers Comp insurance carrier for assistance and free resources
2) Required Forms, Notices and Posters
- I-9: All employers in the United States are required by the federal government to follow the I-9 verification process, and they audit employers to verify these forms are completed and stored accurately. This form has an expiration date and will need to be updated when the new version is released. Form: https://www.uscis.gov/system/files_force/files/form/i-9-paper-version.pdf Instructions: https://www.uscis.gov/i-9-central/handbook-employers-m-274
- W-4: This form is issued by the IRS so employees can decide how their taxes will be deducted from each paycheck. This form has an expiration date and will need to be updated when the new version is released. Form: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw4.pdf
- Colorado Pregnancy Accommodation: This form needs to be given (printed not digital) to every new hire in the state of Colorado. This form also needs to be posted in a visible area of your workplace, perhaps near your labor law posters. Notice:https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/sites/default/files/CCRD%20Notice%20re%20Pregnant%20Workers%20Fairness%20Act%20%282%29.pdf
- Labor Law Posters: Labor law posters need to be updated when state or federal labor law changes are made. In Colorado, since minimum wage is increasing each year until 2020, we will need to replace our labor law posters every January to reflect those changes. Keep in mind minimum wage isn’t the only change that can result in a poster update. This is something you will need to stay up to date on, so you know when to update your posters.
- ACA Marketplace Notice: Employers must provide their employee’s a copy of this notice, informing employee’s about whether the employer offers health insurance or not. If the employer does not offer health insurance, this notice also informs the employee that they can receive insurance through the Marketplace. This form has an expiration date and will need to be updated when the new version is released. Form: https://www.dol.gov/sites/default/files/ebsa/laws-and-regulations/laws/affordable-care-act/for-employers-and-advisers/model-notice-for-employers-who-offer-a-health-plan-to-some-or-all-employees.pdf
3) Keep Good Records!
One of the most important things an employer can do is have documentation. You should have offer letters, job descriptions and employee handbooks all with signed acknowledgments from your employees. You should also keep written documentation of any formal complaint, disciplinary action or workplace accident. All of these documents will support you as an employer in the event of an unemployment claim or lawsuit.
Tip: If you collect doctor’s notes from employees- make sure those are in a separate filing cabinet or drawer than their regular employee file. This is to comply with HIPAA regulations that protect employee privacy relating to health conditions. These doctors notes should only be accessible by select people, and preferably not the employees manager.