With a new year comes new employment laws, so it’s a good time for small businesses to tackle an HR cleanup of all employee files and make sure your compliance is in line. Not only is it smart to keep your employee records straight for your company’s own use and benefit, but also to avoid penalties for not being in compliance with state and federal regulations. We’re sharing a checklist here of the areas where you should focus to get the process started.
- File Access. Review who has access to employee paperwork to protect confidentiality. Make any necessary adjustments.
- Recruiting & Hiring Practices. Keep all resumes and applications on file for a minimum of 1 year as well any materials from the hiring process, such as questionnaires and projects. Shred any items that have reached their retention period. Also review your onboarding materials, employee benefit documents, etc. to ensure they are still applicable to the company, culture and candidate(s) that you’re looking for.
- Job Descriptions. Document the initial job description, and update this for each employee based on how their role and responsibilities have changed.
- Offer letters / employment agreements. Keeping originals of these initial, signed documents in the employees’ file are the best proof against claims of implied or expressed agreements.
- Correct personal info. Remind employees to keep their personal information updated such as addresses, tax withholdings, etc.
- I-9 forms. The federal immigration form must be complete and on file for every active employee. For terminated employees, the I-9 must be retained for either 3 years from date of hire or for 1 year from date of separation, whichever is longer.
- Review periods. Document the schedule and compensation scales for employee review periods, and keep previous performance reviews, disciplinary documentation, and promotion and pay history.
- Your business should have a record retention policy that outlines that how long information is kept before it is no longer needed and purged, based on state and federal record retention requirements.
- Labor Law Posters. There are federal, state and local laws on workplace postings. Keep a calendar of expiration dates for these notices so you can keep compliant.
- Workplace Harassment and Respectful Workplace Training. Schedule an annual review with your team to educate and reinforce the issues.
- OSHA Training. Being compliant with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration includes annual team training and consistent
POLICIES & PRACTICES:
- Employee Handbook. Review and update your company policies, procedures and practices, as well as keep employee acknowledgments of receipt.
- Succession Plans. In certain workplaces these can be helpful in identifying and developing new leaders who can step into management roles when natural attrition in management occurs.
- Post-Review Planning. Document the options for mentoring or coaching roles, performance improvement plans, training and development options.
- Payroll. Confirming your company’s new pay schedule, and paperwork deadlines (example: W2s to be issued by Jan 31st). Also ensure that PTO is calculating correctly for the new year as well as audit payroll to ensure that the benefit deductions match up with your invoices.
- Open Enrollment Periods. Announce and inform the team of the periods for healthcare enrollment, and coordinate your plans and review costs.
- Salary Scale. Review your company-wide salaries and do a salary compensation study to make sure they are aligned with the market.
- Safety and Security Review. Ensure that the steps are clear to keep the workplace safe. For example: ensure the process for reporting an injury is it up to date.
If you would like guidance in your record keeping cleanup, we offer an HR Compliance Audit package for small businesses. With analysis of issues, and actionable steps to correct, we help guide you to resolutions for continued compliance. Learn more here.