What is a compliance workflow?
Compliance workflow is a set of tasks that an organization has to execute to make sure, its own processes are complying with the requirements laid by its customer and regulatory bodies such and Federal/State/County Governments. It also deals with making sure that its vendors and suppliers are complying with the norms laid by the corporate governance.
Any workflow is based on dependencies. Someone needs to set tasks and assign responsibilities. Then, that person needs to ensure that tasks are completed on time.
In compliance, the compliance officer should be setting the tasks and monitoring their completion. Maintaining visibility into the compliance program requires communication across the organization.
However, a traditional compliance workflow often becomes burdensome as the organization scale. Emails and calendar notifications become lost in the day-to-day clutter of business operations and meetings. This outdated process can lead to missed deadlines which overwhelm the compliance officer.
Why automate the compliance workflow?
With automation, you can use technology to streamline business processes. Rather than having to update your tasks manually, you can use software that automatically renews and tracks the items that need to get done.
For example, if you need to meet the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) requirements, you need to review patch management processes. Often, this requires the HR department to submit documentation. However, if the HR department loses the document request in the stream of emails, the compliance officer is the one who needs to follow up. That follow up process means sending reminder emails and nagging the responsible party. Automation allows for a “set and forget” approach to task management and follow up which saves time and better controls the process.
Why does streamlining the compliance process matter?
Compliance managers need to balance a variety of regulatory and industry-standard requirements. Depending on the industry, they may need to maintain compliance with cybersecurity as well as human resources, document retention, and internal operations requirements. All of this becomes more complicated as regulatory and industry standards evolve requiring more time and more documentation.
Thus, juggling all those balls at once can lead to the compliance manager dropping one. A dropped ball can lead to a compliance violation. A compliance violation can lead to fines and penalties. Thus, ensuring effective controls and compliance with them becomes not just a financial, but also a personal, risk.
Streamlining the process with workflow automation makes documenting the process easier. Ultimately, any area that requires compliance also requires an audit. Audits rely on documenting policies, processes, and procedures. With workflow automation, the necessary documentation resides in a single location to enable audits.
What Compliance issue the US HR Managers must be aware of?
1. Wage and Hour Laws
The Fair Labor Standards Acts (FLSA) lays down strict guidelines regarding wage and hour laws in the US. It has policies in place that govern the minimum requirements for hours worked, minimum wage, overtime, recess and meal timings, and child labor. Different states have adopted different minimum hourly rates. It falls under the purview of the HR Manager to ensure that the company is following the laws in accordance with the region of operation.
2. Anti-discrimination Laws
It is illegal to discriminate in the workplace based on factors such as age, color, race, sex, disability, or ethnicity. Additionally, discrimination based on veteran status or genetic information is also disallowed. There are strict laws in place to keep a check on any kind of workplace discrimination.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits prejudices on the basis of color, race, sex, or ethnicity. Any kind of sexual harassment also falls under the same title.
There are other acts including The ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) and ADEA (The Age Discrimination in Employment Act) that prohibit employers from discriminating based on disabilities and ages of the employees respectively. The Equal Pay Act (EPA) prohibits sex-based wage discrimination between male and female workers. Additionally, there is the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 that makes sure no discrimination happens on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.
These laws make it important for the HR teams to let go of any assumptions based on the age of the employees and to judge them solely on the basis of their performances.
3. Immigration Laws
Workplace diversity is a major area for HR leaders to concentrate on. Immigrant workers form an integral part of a diverse ecosystem. It is the responsibility of the HR department to make sure that rules laid down by the government are followed while hiring immigrants and overseas professionals. There are numerous laws in place for organizations to take note.
The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA), the Immigration Act of 1990 and the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA) are some of the notable acts that govern the employment of immigrants in the USA. HR leaders are required to check for and follow guidelines while recruiting professionals, keeping in mind they don’t introduce any form of discrimination.
4. Safety Laws
It is important to provide employees with necessary safety instructions and kits as per the nature of the work they are expected to perform. Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) governs workplace safety norms in the US and has come up with the OSHA (Occupational Health and Safety) Act in order to make sure employees work under protected conditions. It falls under the umbrella of the HR department to ensure that the safety laws are adhered to.
5. Family and Medical Leave Laws
The FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act) has been created to help workers maintain a balance between their professional and personal lives. All public agencies in the US, all elementary and secondary schools (both public and private), and business establishments having 50 or more staff members fall under the scope of FMLA. As per FMLA, employers need to provide eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave annually.
FMLA also requires all employers to maintain the group health benefits of the employees while they are on leave. Additionally, it strives for equal employment opportunities for men and women. Any employee can avail FMLA due to the following reasons:
- To take rest and treatment during serious health conditions.
- To take care of an immediate family member with serious health conditions.
- For the birth and care of a newborn child.
- For placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care.
Why do you need ShareCredentials CAAS?
Most HR functions begin with OnBoarding. This is where data, documents for the HR and Payroll system originates, and flows to the enterprise systems. It is important to catch compliance at the source. This is the underlying philosophy of ShareCredentials. ShareCredentials manages the entire lifecycle of HR, which is comprised of Pre-boarding, On-Boarding, and Off-Boarding. ShareCredentials Compliance cloud feeds from its HR Cloud and provides seamless integration of the two processes.
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