None of us know what we don’t know. For some of us, the gap is fairly large, and for others, we are continually striving to narrow that gap in those areas that affect our lives. I started my business with the premise that the employers with five to sixty employees certainly don’t need a full-time Human Resource or Safety Manager, but do need to comply with many of the rules and regulations that the big businesses have to follow. Many times, the small employer isn’t sure where to go to get the information s/he needs and sometimes doesn’t even know what questions to ask. Many times when I meet with a new client, I perform a compliance assessment where we review the business’ compliance with over 130 topics. Some basic topics are actually pretty important from a compliance perspective.
A. I-9 compliance. The I-9 system is supposed to ensure that employers don’t give jobs to people who are not legally authorized to work in this country. This law has been on the books since 1986, but the vast number of illegal aliens who work here is testimony to the fact that many employers weren’t complying. Do you have an I-9 form on every employee hired after 1986? Have you been using the new form (that expires in 3/2016) for all new hires after March 2012? Have you done an audit to make sure that the forms have been completed accurately? It is not enough to have the form on file; it needs to be completed in a very specific way to be compliant. Are you maintaining your I-9s in compliance with their record-keeping requirements? If you don’t answer yes to all of these questions, you may want to call us for an I-9 compliance assessment.
B. New Hire Rate of Pay form. Before Cynthia Flynn retired from the NH Dept of Labor, she made it very clear that the DOL had caught many, many employers violating the regulation that is specifically defined on the Protective Legislation poster. The poster says, “Employer must notify employee in writing when hiring of the rate of pay, or any changes prior to change; make available in writing, or by posted notice, employment practices and policies on vacation pay, sick leave, and other fringe benefits; furnish employee statement of deductions each payday.” Even if you don’t yet have an Employee Handbook or Guide, you can easily define these items on a New Hire Rate of Pay form. However, without this form signed by your employee, how can you prove you provided this employee with this information? You can’t and, in a pay dispute, it’ll be a “he said, she said” situation. In most cases like this, the Department of Labor & Department of Employment Security take the employee’s side. One client didn’t have this form in place and the ex-employee collected unemployment as if he was a full-time employee when he had been hired as a part-time, 4 hours per day, dishwasher. Protect your company and make sure you have one of these forms on file for each of your current employees. It is also required that you tell an employee when you are going to change their pay. You must do this before they get the new paycheck in hand.
We have a simple form that documents both for our clients.