5 Compliance Topics Every HR Leader Should Know

Written by Lauren Fischer | February 7, 2020

HR Compliance Issues

Employers face challenges every single day - some of which could have a significant impact on their business if not handled properly. For HR and benefits practitioners, these challenges often fall into the bucket of compliance. 

While "compliance" doesn't only apply to human resources, anyone working in the industry will say it's a huge part of the job, and can impact anything from recruiting, payroll, benefits offerings and employee retention. They will also agree it's a demanding position to be in - meaning it's not always easy for HR professionals to prioritize the ever-changing face of compliance issues. 

At benefitexpress, we stay on top of compliance and regulatory updates to keep our clients and industry practitioners informed, prepared and equipped to address any challenges that result from changes in laws and regulations. Here are some of the top HR compliance issues to keep an eye on in 2020.    

1. Wage and Hour Pitfalls (FLSA)

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal law that sets minimum wage, overtime, and minimum age requirements for employers and employees. And, understanding the intricacies of this law is imperative for employers and HR and benefits professionals. 

Making a mistake on employee payroll and record-keeping impacts the employee - but it can also cost you, the employer, in lawsuit damages. In fact, employers pay millions of dollars each year to settle wage-hour lawsuits. And the reality is that much of that liability could have been avoided had the employer reviewed and changed its pay policies. 

Wage and hour compliance continues to be challenging for even the most sophisticated companies. Watch our on-demand webinar to learn more about FLSA and how your organization can remain compliant and avoid the most common wage-and-hour pitfalls. 

2. Family Leave Laws 

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal leave law that guarantees certain employees up to 12 working weeks of unpaid leave per year with no threat of job loss. While the FMLA is commonly associated with maternity leave, the law also applies to other situations, such as employees with serious medical conditions. Under this law, employers are required to continue to provide health benefits for eligible workers just as if they were working. Due to its complexity, there are many questions surrounding the FMLA. Our on-demand FMLA webinar reviews these questions and more: 

  • How to provide employees proper notice
  • Which conditions qualify for FMLA
  • How to distribute a designation notice
  • What to expect when employees return to work
  • When and why to extend an employee's leave

3. Workplace Harassment 

Workplace harassment can be a tricky policy to navigate, even for the most seasoned HR and benefits practitioners - especially when considering sweeping societal changes like the #MeToo movement. Not only must HR leaders navigate the space for the safety and well-being of their employees, but also be focused on ensuring compliance with legal and regulatory guidelines. To improve compliance and understanding throughout the workforce, a number of states now mandate harassment prevention training at work. 

Is yours one of them? What else is your organization doing to ensure compliance in a post #MeToo world? Tune in to our on-demand webinar discussing #MeToo for compliance tips, and an inside look on how employers and employees alike are responding to the issue. 

4.  Employee Health and Wellness

There continues to be a lot of chatter surrounding health and wellness programs in the workplace. It's especially prominent in today's multi-generational workforce where health and wellness benefits are becoming a part of salary and compensation expectations.

While offering these benefits has been linked to increased job satisfaction and employee productivity, providing these offerings comes with its own set of challenges -  including how they coordinate with existing programs such as ERISA, COBRA, FMLA and others. 

We have the scoop. Watch our one-hour webinar on-demand to learn what rules remain after the EEOC’s regulations were found invalid and what rules have to be met going forward in order to offer a valid wellness program.

5. HRAs in 2020 

As out-of-pocket expenses rise for employees, an HRA provides a great opportunity for employers to cushion the increase. Two new HRAs were introduced for 2020, each with their own complexities. Get caught up the newest Health Reimbursement Accounts with our on-demand webinar covering the important details employers need to know, including: 

  • Why are these new HRAs so important?
  • Which employees can be included or excluded
  • What documentation is needed to be completed by employers to adopt them
  • What reporting and disclosure requirements must be met
  • What types of expenses can be reimbursed
  • The pros and cons of establishing and participating in these new HRAs for employers

Of course, HR compliance cannot be summed up in just five issues. However, the topics we've summarized here are some of the most common we see among our clients and contacts. 

While we're known for our benefits administration and technology services, helping you maintain a safe and compliant workplace is one of the many other ways benefitexpress can help your business succeed. Subscribe to our ERISA Compliance Webinar Series to be the first to know about upcoming presentations. Plus, you can get caught up on past webinars via our library of on-demand topics


Topics: For Brokers & Consultants, For Employers, Compliance