Your HR Audit

Your HR Audit
Authored by Andrew Wampler

Wilson 1bca35f096d56ee718c45bfa7080d4cdc0dac51aa6b2e653b2ea8ce1b527da5a

Your HR audit questionnaire

The following list of questions will provide a "snapshot" to use in determining whether or not you are complying with fundamental employment laws and regulations. Every answer to every one of these questions is something every employer should know. Although a “No” answer does not necessarily mean that there is a violation of any laws or regulations, the reason as to why the answer is "No" should be understood.

 


  • Are all medical records kept separate from other personnel files?

     

  • Do all new hires complete I-9 forms?

     

  • Are all new hires reported appropriately to the proper agency?

     

  • Is each employee’s personnel files retained for at least the required time after employment as ended?

     

  • Are interviewers aware of what questions can’t be asked of job applicants, and which ones should be?

     

  • Are there complete job descriptions that describe the essential and non-essential functions of each job, and are they updated periodically?

     

  • Are employees properly designated as exempt or non-exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)?

     

  • Does the company have an employee handbook? If so, is it regularly updated, and does it include a clear statement that employment is at will and not guaranteed?

     

  • Does the company have a plan for complying with the Workers Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) in the case of a mass layoff or plant closing?

     

  • Is there a written sexual harassment policy, and are employees aware of it?

     

  • Are there procedures for investigating employee complaints about harassment?

     

  • Are there procedures for investigating employee misconduct?

     

  • Are tests for drugs or alcohol in compliance with both Virginia and federal law?

     

  • Is there a progressive discipline policy, and do supervisors understand it and apply it consistently?

     

  • Are the federal requirements regarding continuation of group healthcare coverage being followed?

     

  • Is there a plan for dealing with workplace violence?

     

  • Is there a system for handling wage garnishment or income deduction orders?

     

  • Are employees eligible for family and medical leave?

     

  • Is there a system for sending out COBRA notices within the required time limits?

     

  • Does the company have an electronic mail, Internet, and other communications policy?

     

  • Are all job and personal references checked before hiring?

     

  • Are the procedures for reinstating a veteran after military leave known by supervisors and HR?

Compliance thresholds

The following list does not include all federal and Virginia employment laws but it does provide a snapshot view of how many employees an employer must have to be covered by these most significant laws. Remember, however, that coverage for some of the laws also depends on requirements other than the number of employees. If the number places your business on the borderline, consult further for an explanation of those other requirements.

 




Minimum

employees




Law




Notes regarding applicability




Applicable section








1




Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA)




Very restricted use




Posting requirements






1




Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) (includes child labor)




Applies to “enterprises” with related operations performed for a common business purpose




Wages and hours






1




Virginia's Payment of  Wages Act




Applies to all businesses, regardless of size




Wages and hours






1




Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA)




Applies to all businesses, regardless of size




Family and medical leave






1




Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act)




Broad coverage includes nearly all private sector employers




Workplace safety and health






1




Federal new hire reporting requirements




The law does not currently provide a minimum number of employees for coverage




Recruiting and hiring






1




Virginia's Unemployment Compensation Act




Applies to all employers doing business in Virginia




 






1




Virginia’s prohibition on preventing employment by others of former employee




Applies to all persons doing business in the Commonwealth

“Employer” is defined as “an individual, partnership, association, corporation, legal representative, receiver, trustee, or trustee in bankruptcy doing business in or operating within this Commonwealth who employs another to work for wages, salaries, or on commission.”  Employer includes “any similar entity acting directly or indirectly the interest of an employer in relation to an employee. 




Termination of employment






1




Virginia’s prohibition on employing illegal immigrants




Applies to all persons doing business in the Commonwealth

“Employer” is defined as “an individual, partnership, association, corporation, legal representative, receiver, trustee, or trustee in bankruptcy doing business in or operating within this Commonwealth who employs another to work for wages, salaries, or on commission.”  Employer includes “any similar entity acting directly or indirectly the interest of an employer in relation to an employee. 




Recruiting and hiring






1




Virginia’s prohibition on discharging employee for absence due to work related injury




Applies to all persons doing business in the Commonwealth

“Employer” is defined as “an individual, partnership, association, corporation, legal representative, receiver, trustee, or trustee in bankruptcy doing business in or operating within this Commonwealth who employs another to work for wages, salaries, or on commission.”  Employer includes “any similar entity acting directly or indirectly the interest of an employer in relation to an employee. 




Termination of employment






1




Virginia’s prohibition on requiring payment for medical examination as a condition of employment




Applies to all persons doing business in the Commonwealth

“Employer” is defined as “an individual, partnership, association, corporation, legal representative, receiver, trustee, or trustee in bankruptcy doing business in or operating within this Commonwealth who employs another to work for wages, salaries, or on commission.”  Employer includes “any similar entity acting directly or indirectly the interest of an employer in relation to an employee. 




Recruiting and hiring






1




Virginia’s prohibition on the use of certain questions on polygraph tests for employment




Applies to all persons doing business in the Commonwealth

“Employer” is defined as “an individual, partnership, association, corporation, legal representative, receiver, trustee, or trustee in bankruptcy doing business in or operating within this Commonwealth who employs another to work for wages, salaries, or on commission.”  Employer includes “any similar entity acting directly or indirectly the interest of an employer in relation to an employee. 




Recruiting and hiring






1




Virginia’s prohibition on the use of polygraph tests in certain employment situations




Applies to all persons doing business in the Commonwealth

“Employer” is defined as “an individual, partnership, association, corporation, legal representative, receiver, trustee, or trustee in bankruptcy doing business in or operating within this Commonwealth who employs another to work for wages, salaries, or on commission.”  Employer includes “any similar entity acting directly or indirectly the interest of an employer in relation to an employee. 




Recruiting and hiring






1




Virginia’s equal pay law




Applies to employers who do not meet the coverage requirements of the FLSA only




Wages and hours






1




Virginia’s registration requirement for certain non-resident employers




Applies only to employers domiciled outside of Virginia performing excavation, installation, demolition, paving, or construction work in Virginia where the value of the services is between $300 and $60,000




 






1




Virginia's occupational safety and health laws




Applies to all public and private sector employers in the state except for federal and private sector maritime employers

 




Workplace safety and health






1




Virginia’s right to work laws




Applies to all public and private sector employers




Discrimination in employment






1




Virginia's child labor laws 




Applies to most public and private sector employers.  Does not apply to domestic employers, parents of a child worker, child workers on farms, paid pages of the Virginia House of Delegates or Virginia Senate, farm workers, elected officials, taxi cab drivers, certain real estate agents, railroad workers, and non-compensated board members of non-profit organizations




Wages and hours

 






1




Virginia’s limitations on amounts subject to garnishment




Applies to all employers.




Wages and hours






1




Virginia’s prohibition on employers requiring disclosure of expunged charges or arrests




All private employers and educational institutions




Background checks






1




Virginia’s Victim’s Leave Act  




Applies to all employers




Family and medical leave






2




Equal Pay Act




Applies to all employers




Wages and hours






2




Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)




Employers are usually not covered by HIPAA unless they operate a healthcare facility




Health insurance






3




Virginia workers’ compensation law




Encompasses individuals, small businesses, corporations, and government bodies.  Equally applicable to non-profit organizations.  Does not apply to independent contractors, casual workers, domestic workers, farm workers, elected officials, taxi cab drivers, certain real estate agents, railroad workers, and non-compensated board members of non-profit organizations




Workers’ compensation






4




Virginia's Minimum Wage Act




Applies only to employers who do not meet the coverage requirements of the FLSA




Wages and hours






5-15




Virginia's Human Rights Act




Applies to all employers that have at least five and less than 15 employees




Discrimination in employment






15




Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964




Applies to public and private employers




Discrimination in employment






15




Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)




Applies to private employers




Disabilities and reasonable accommodation






15




Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA)




Applies to public and private employers




Discrimination in employment






20




Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)




Applies to public and private employers




Discrimination in employment






20




Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA)




Applies to most employers




Health insurance






50 (within a 75-mile radius)




Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)




Applies to private and public employers




Family and medical leave






100




Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN)




Applies to any private for-profit and not-for-profit business enterprise




Termination of employment