Guest blog post by Kristen Wylie, Product Marketing Manager at Kronos, Inc.
More than 14,000 HR professionals are gathered in Orlando this week for the annual SHRM Conference and Expo. As wage and hour lawsuits skyrocket, it’s no surprise that this year’s conference agenda includes more than 25 sessions focused exclusively on compliance. Here at the Kronos booth, we’re educating attendees on how workforce management solutions can help reduce compliance risk.
Organizations of every size across every industry can be susceptible to wage and hour and other compliance violations. No company wants to be charged with criminal or legal suits. But labor laws are complex and frustratingly fluid, making it increasingly difficult to manage compliance. Consider this:
- In the past five years, the Department of Labor’s wage and hour division has closed 145,884 cases nationwide resulting in more than $1 billion in back wages for 1.2 million workers. The cases processed in fiscal 2013 alone benefited 270,000 employees who recouped $249 million in back wages.
- Immigration and customs enforcement (ICE) started a new wave of form I-9 compliance audits last year. These inspections are searching for undocumented workers; they’re targeting your screening and management processes. We’ve gone from 250 ICE audits in 2007 to more than 3,000 audits today. The fines associated with these audits have increased by 1,200%.
- More discrimination charges were filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 2013 than in all but three previous years since the commission was founded 50 years ago.
- And of course, there are the additional regulations and policies around OSHA, FMLA, the Affordable Care Act and more.
No matter what the compliance issue, when an employee files a claim or an auditor shows up, you need to respond with confidence and speed. In our booth at the SHRM conference, we staged a “compliance court,” helping attendees to evaluate how prepared they would be for an audit or investigation:
- Are you compliant with I-9 regulations?
- How would you respond to an audit from the EEOC?
- Can you ensure time cards are in accurate and complete reflection of actual hours worked?
- What documentation do you have for your defense against wage and hour claims?
- How will you address the variety of regulations presented by the affordable care act?
- How do you gather enough detailed information to determine if an absence qualifies for FMLA?
Kronos Workforce Ready customer Pioneer Metal Finishing showed SHRM attendees how to successfully navigate our compliance court by being prepared with accurate workforce data. Disconnected software applications and manual processes for managing employee data – one system in HR, another in payroll, and another for time and attendance – mean your data may be out of sync and out of date. Pioneer explained that with Workforce Ready, organizations are better able to identify, monitor, and resolve compliance risk before issues have a chance to spark wildfires and result in fines or lawsuits.